Posts Tagged ‘Early Irish Fiction; Four Courts Press; Vertue Rewarded; Irish Tales; Sarah Butler’

Review: Vertue Rewarded (1693) and Irish Tales (1716)

21 June 2010

By Christina Morin

I first promised a review of these Early Irish Fiction titles back in Easter and fully intended to deliver on that promise much earlier than now, but the best laid plans, etc., etc., etc. Working with the maxim, however, that it’s better late than never, I’m offering this belated piece with the caveat that its tardiness not be taken as a reflection on the relative worth of the editions themselves, which are, in fact, a long overdue and much anticipated addition to the body of currently available eighteenth-century novels by Irish authors. The first title, Vertue Rewarded; or, The Irish Princess (1693), is a fascinating piece of prose fiction in which the main narrative’s interruption by two  interpolated tales serves to interweave the apparently disparate locations of late-seventeenth century Clonmel, during the Jacobite-Williamite Wars, pre-Norman Ireland, and sixteenth-century Peru. In each story, the same plotline repeats itself, with slight variation: man falls in love with woman; said woman becomes somehow tainted in his eyes, either morally or otherwise, and she must clear her name before their reconciliation and ensuing marriage can take place. Read more