A.Heaton Cooper, “Cottage by the sea, Renvyle“, in Frank James Mathew, Ireland (London: AS . & C. Black, 1916).
A.Heaton Cooper, “Cottage by the sea, Renvyle“, in Frank James Mathew, Ireland (London: AS . & C. Black, 1916).

Local Colour Fiction, the Irish Revival and Transnationalism, 1882-1914

Redefining the Region, subproject 3
2019 until 2024
Project type

The foundation of The Gaelic Journal (1882) by Douglas Hyde has often been interpreted as the beginning of the Gaelic Revival, a cultural movement which focused on indigenous folklore, oral traditions and mythology as the roots of an authentic Irish identity, thereby informing political nationalism (Castle 2001; Felton 2007). The Irish region—a complex concept involving various spatial levels (Whelan 1992) — and its literatures and cultures  was central to nationalist ideologies, but the question arises in what respects local colour fiction of this era breaks away from this national frame to address transnational concerns and issues.

This research question will be central to this project, and examined in relation to short stories (published in periodicals in Ireland) and short story collections; book design and used illustrations will also be analysedDuring the Gaelic Revival, visual and material arts played a significant role in literary production (Hutton & Walsh 2011: 392-93), and it will therefore be important to assess to what extent these aspects endorsed the transnational dimensions of the narratives.

Furthermore, this subproject examines the circulation and reception of Irish local colour short stories from this period in Europe and the US and Canada. Which works were published in editions elsewhere in Europe or transatlantic editions, and were there significant differences with the editions published in the home country? In what ways did marketing and prefaces to these editions address other European and Irish diaspora audiences?

Central authors: F.M. Allen, Jane Barlow, William Boyle, Shan Bullock, Lipsett Caldwell, B.M.Croker, Julia Crotty, Charlotte O’Connor Eccles, Emily Lawless, Seumás Macmanus, Randal McDonnell, Archibald McIlroy, Lewis McNamara, Rosa Mulholland, Frank James Mathews, George Moore, E. Sommerville and Martin Ross, Mary Tench, Katharine Tynan.

Journals: An Claidheamh Soluis; Athenaeum; Blackwood’s Magazine; Chamber’s Edinburgh Journal; Irish Homestead; Macmillan’s; The Cornhill Magazine; The Dublin Review; Irisleabhar na Gaedhilge; The Irish Monthly; The Irish Review; Shan Van Vocht.

This project is part of the main project Redefining the Region - The Transnational Dimensions of Local Colour (P.I. Prof. Marguérite Corporaal).



Corporaal, M.C.M. “Where the Atlantic meets the land. The ocean as regional and transnational space in Irish (diaspora) local colour fiction of the 1890s”. Nineteenth-Century Contexts, 43.3 (2021): 1-20.

Corporaal, M.C.M. “Staging Irishness in the Transnational Marketing of Local Colour Fiction”. In Paul Fagan et al., eds., Stage Irish: Performance, Identity and Cultural Circulation (Trier: Wissenschaftlicher Verlag Trier, 2021), 45-60.

Corporaal, M.C.M. & T. Sintobin. “Gemeen volk. Zigeuners in Europese streekliteratuur”. De Moderne Tijd, 4.3 (2020): 249-85.

Corporaal, M.C.M. “Local-Colour Writers. Figures of Authority?”. In R. Ingelbien & S. Galavan, eds., Figures of Authority in Nineteenth-Century Ireland (Liverpool: Liverpool UP, 2020), 223-38.

Corporaal, M.C.M. “Relocating regionalism: the Fin-de-Siecle Irish local colour tale in transnational contexts”. Irish Studies Review 28. 2 (2020):155-170. https://doi.org/10.1080/09670882.2020.1740429

Contact information