Although there are numerous published studies of Irish literature, and several women's autobiographies, none has combined these areas of study. Literary autobiographies of both women and men have gained popularity and scholarly attention over the last three decades, especially twentieth-century women's autobiographies. This study identifies and examines the Irishwomen's literary autobiography and traces its development through the twentieth century. The opening chapter discusses autobiographical trends prior to the present century in Ireland, and charts major movements in forming the women's autobiography of the twentieth century. Of particular importance are the ways in which the life stories of Irish women writers both affirm and contradict intercultural theories of women's autobiography, how these writers manifest their autobiographical "I" as a deflected entity, and the relevance of class and religious background to the autobiographical voices of women in Ireland. The core discussion of the study focuses on the self-narratives of Lady Augusta Gregory, Katharine Tynan, Mary Colum, Elizabeth Bowen, Kate O'Brien, and Eavan Boland.
Publisher: University Press of America