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Scholarcast 19: Four Nations Feminism: Una Troy and Menna Gallie

Claire Connolly


The emergence of four nations framework in literary and historical scholarship has helped us to arrive at a fuller understanding of the complex and overlapping histories of the islands of Britain and Ireland, while recent research into Wales and Ireland in particular has helped to make the map of our relations more fully comprehensible. But what is the relevance and meaning of the four nations context for women’s writing in Ireland and Wales? What part does gender play in the interconnected histories of Wales and Ireland, and how are questions of sexual and artistic identity addressed within texts that imagine British-Irish history in gendered terms?

This lecture identifies finds evidence of a feminist reimagining of archipelagic relationships by two writers: Munster novelist and playwright Una Troy, and Welsh writer Menna Gallie, born into a mining community on the western edge of the South Wales coalfields. Both Troy and Gallie wrote novels that deploy plots of female friendship to interrogate the relationship between gender and national affiliation in a four nations context. 

Claire Connolly

Claire Connolly is a Reader in English Literature at Cardiff University. Edited collections include Theorising Ireland(Palgrave) and (with Joe Cleary) The Cambridge Companion to Modern Irish Culture. She has written many essays on nineteenth-century Irish culture, produced scholarly editions of novels by Maria Edgeworth and Sydney Owenson, and is the author of the forthcoming A Cultural History of the Irish Novel(Cambridge University Press). She is currently writing a cultural history of the Holyhead-London road. 


Series edited by: John Brannigan.
Commissioning Editor: P.J. Mathews 
Scholarcast original theme music by: Padhraic Egan, Michael Hussey and Sharon Hussey.
Recording, audio editing, photography and development by: John Matthews, Brian Kelly, Vincent Hoban &
Niall Watts at UCD IT Services, Media Services.

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