for an Irish 'narrative of identity' is at the centre of the
politics of characterisation of most of the authors proposed
here; and any narrative of identity aims at constructing
memory. The re-creation of memory is a key element in
the structuring process of an 'imagined community', to use
Benedict Anderson's term; memory is part of the constitution
of an Anglo-Irish subjectivity that negotiated between an
ever-growing Irish tradition, principally Catholic, and the
powerful influence of the British Anglican tradition.
case of the Anglo-Irish writing proper, the lack of heroes
whom they could claim as their own highlights the need for a
re-awakening of the Irish, English or Spanish pasts
striving to create an Anglo-Irish present, deprived of all
these former figures. The constant search by Anglo-Irish
authors for Spanish characters reflects the discontinuity in
much Anglo-Irish writing, which contrasts with the Spanish
literary and historical discourse.
the 'anecdotal' analysis of Spain and Spanish references in
Irish literature between 1789 and 1850, the need to question
the literary canon is also addressed. The use of the new
historicist 'anecdote' and the 'thick description' would
enable the future researcher and student of the period to
study those 'cracks' within the institution of the literary
canon. We suggest that, through this proposed approach to new
historicist synchronic 'cultural cuts', we also refer to the
diachronic character of the Irish canon. It is through the
study of Spain and Spanish references in Irish literature
between 1789 and 1850 that we would be able to rescue these
works from 'canonical silence' and critical relegation.
period between 1789 and 1850, the approach to Spain and
Spanish references in Irish literature should be broad and
multi-faceted. The use of Spain and Spanish culture has as its
aim the establishment of a mirror in which the Irish discourse
is reflected and 'furnished'. W. J. McCormack contends that
'Anglo-Irish literature [and I would add the Catholic Irish
literature of the period] is given an excessive stability by
the acceptance of tradition as accumulated and accumulating
succession' (McCormack 1994: 12). This new historicist
approach to the representation of Spain and Spanish references
in Irish literature between 1789 and 1850 proposed here, and
how this representation is used to reflect the Irish discourse
of the period, is our contribution to the Irish literary
critical tradition, which is also an 'accumulated and
Asier Altuna-García de Salazar
 I owe great
thanks to the Department of Education Eusko
Jaurlaritza-Gobierno Vasco for postdoctoral fellowship
support, BFI05.R2.40, which made this research possible.
 For details of
publication and circulation of some of the works proposed here
see A Guide to Irish Fiction, 1650-1900, Rolf Loeber
and Magda Loeber (Dublin: Four Courts Press, 2006).
 See Asier
Altuna-García de Salazar,
Spain in Anglo-Irish
(Bilbao: Universidad de Deusto, 2001), PhD Thesis UMI
Townshend contends that 'the bloody mayhem of the 1798 United
Irish rebellion, and the ferocious Protestant mobilization to
suppress it, convinced Prime Minister William Pitt that
political reform in Ireland - essentially, the granting of
civil rights to Catholics - was vital, and that the
Protestants who controlled the Irish parliament would never
carry it out. Only unification, merging the Irish into the
British parliament, could open up the possibility of 'Catholic
Emancipation'. Charles Townshend,
The 20th Century
1998), p. 3.
 See Lennon's
seminal and illuminating study, Joseph Lennon, Irish
Orientalism: a Literary and Intellectual History
(Syracuse: Syracuse University Press: 2004).
Altuna-García de Salazar, Asier, Spain in Anglo-Irish
Literature 1789-1850 (Bilbao: Universidad de Deusto,
2001), PhD Thesis UMI publication AAT3056702.
Sir Charles Gavan (ed.), The Ballad Poetry of
, A Facsimile Reproduction of the Fortieth Edition
(1869) with an Introduction by R.N. Leonard (New York: Delmar,
Gallagher, Catherine and Stephen Greenblatt, Practicing New
Historicism (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2000).
Gallagher, Catherine, 'Marxism and the New Historicism' in
The New Historicism H. Aram Veeser
1989), pp. 37-48.
Joseph, Irish Orientalism: a Literary and Intellectual
History (Syracuse: Syracuse University Press: 2004).
- Loeber, Rolf
and Magda Loeber, A Guide to Irish Fiction, 1650-1900
(Dublin: Four Courts Press, 2006).
McCormack, W.J., From Burke to Beckett. Ascendancy
Tradition and Betrayal in Literary History (Cork: Cork
University Press, 1994).
in English. The Romantic Period (1789-1850),
Vol. I (Gerrards Cross: Colin Smythe, 1980).
- Said, Edward,
The World, the Text, and the Critic (Cambridge: Harvard
University Press, 1983).
Ireland. The 20th Century