“Carmilla” and the Roots of Anglo-Irish Gothic Fiction.

Joseph Thomas Sheridan Le Fanu (1814-1873), author of Carmilla, 'the first modern vampire tale' . Anglo Irish writers of the nineteenth century shared a fascination with the supernatural. Archetypal examples of the Gothic genre, from Melmoth the wanderer (1820), Carmilla (1872) and Dracula (1897) were all written by scions of the ascendency.  At first glance, … Continue reading “Carmilla” and the Roots of Anglo-Irish Gothic Fiction.

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Northern Formation: Heaney, Friel and Issues of Identity in 1970s Northern Ireland.

  Brian Friel and Seamus Heaney Hegemony is most effective when it is invisible. It strives to become all-pervasive, to engulf thought, so that culture develops within its strictures as a fish moves through water. At moments of crisis, however, the veil drops and its inner workings become exposed. Social systems have modus operandi, which … Continue reading Northern Formation: Heaney, Friel and Issues of Identity in 1970s Northern Ireland.

Goodbye to All That: The Post-War Poetry of Robert Lowell and Philip Larkin

    Robert Lowell (1917-1977) and Philp Larkin (1922 –1985) were formed by a world between the wars. As upper middle-class males, Lowell and Larkin came of age in a world that had been shaped by and for their cohort, and these sense of tradition and the past is keenly felt in their poetry, yet … Continue reading Goodbye to All That: The Post-War Poetry of Robert Lowell and Philip Larkin

A Mutual Antagonism – The Cold War in Europe 1945-1950.

 Map of the Iron Curtain in Europe. Nato Coutries are in blue. Warsaw Pact countries are in red. Neutral countries are in Grey. Yugoslavia is in green and pink and grey stripes is Albania. Berlin is represented by the black dot. The ‘Cold War’ that separated Europe into western and eastern blocs after 1945 could be seen … Continue reading A Mutual Antagonism – The Cold War in Europe 1945-1950.

Piercing the Hegemonic Veil: Maude Gonne and “The Famine Queen”

Maude Gonne (1866-1953) is usually remembered today as the wife of the Irish revolutionary Captain John McBride and muse of W.B Yeats. Gonne served as the inspiration of some of Yeats’ most famous poems and plays, such as “He Wishes for the Cloth of Heaven”, “Easter 1916” and “Cathleen Ni Houlihan”. However, an analysis of … Continue reading Piercing the Hegemonic Veil: Maude Gonne and “The Famine Queen”

 ‘The Library of Babel’ and ‘The Book of Sand’ by Jorge Luis Borges: A Post-structuralist Analysis.

  The Argentinian Author Jorge Luis Borges “I think therefore I am” stated the mathematician- philosopher Rene Descartes in his Meditations on First Philosophy (1641), and the notion that there were provable certainties upon which human knowledge was based thus became a defining feature of modern thought. As the Enlightenment progressed, however, a number of … Continue reading  ‘The Library of Babel’ and ‘The Book of Sand’ by Jorge Luis Borges: A Post-structuralist Analysis.

The Development of Mining in Castlecomer, Ireland 1640- 1969.

Introduction Castlecomer is located on a broad shale basin that stretches across north County Kilkenny between the Rivers Nore and Barrow. Here, the limestone that underpins south Kilkenny’s rich farmland is replaced by shale containing rich deposits of coal. It was this precious resource that drove the wealth of the town from the 1640s until … Continue reading The Development of Mining in Castlecomer, Ireland 1640- 1969.