Maria Edgeworth and the Homeric story

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Maria Edgeworth

Nature of event: Public Lecture: ‘Maria Edgeworth, Edmund Burke, and the First Irish Ulysses’
Guest Speaker: Professor James Chandler (University of Chicago)

Where: William MacMahon Ball Lecture Theatre, Ground Floor, Old Arts

When: Thursday 11 December, 6.30pm

Cost: Free entry

Further information: Professor Gillian Russell, FAHA, Gerry Higgins Professor of Irish Studies, School of Historical and Philosophical Studies & School of Culture and Communication
Tel: 03 8344 2617

Long before James Joyce’s brought his allusive novelistic craft to bear on the Odyssey, another Irish novelist, likewise practised in the art of allusion, Maria Edgeworth, made extensive reference to the Homeric story in perhaps her most important prose narrative, The Absentee (1812).  In considering the specific appeal of this story for the Irish in this period, Edgeworth’s Homeric framing of absenteeism in the context of her explicitly Burkean theory of allusion is carefully regarded, some reflections on James Barry’s enigmatic portrait of Burke and himself in the role of Ulysses and one of his companions is included. 
All welcome.