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New Voices and Counter-Narratives

New Voices and Counter-Narratives: Hannah Lynch, Transnational Literary and Publishing Networks, and Late-Nineteenth-Century Irish Women's Writing

Project Description

The aim of this project is to uncover dissonant voices, alternative perspectives, new narratives of transnational literary connections and publishing networks in the Irish fin de siècle. The life and writing of Dublin-born but Paris-based writer, Hannah Lynch (1859-1904) in the contexts of the dominant debates of the period: nationalism, imperialism, women and education, the Irish Literary Revival, Decadence, and the New Woman, provides an ideal lens for this study. Lynch’s ‘Europeanized perspective’, evident in all of her work, offers a broader picture of life and writing in Ireland at the fin de siècle than ‘the Irish grand narrative’ has allowed, in particular the grand narrative of the Irish Literary Revival. While her literary career intersected with some of the major Irish writers of the period, such as W.B. Yeats, Oscar Wilde and George Moore, her work also opened up dialogues with a diversity of English and European writers. She was published alongside Joseph Conrad in Blackwood's magazine and she frequented literary salons attended by Walter Pater, Henry James and Marcel Proust. Her cosmopolitan and feminist connections established in London and Paris through the English writers Mabel and Mary Robinson and the French historian and biographer, Cécile Vincens (Arvède Barine), for example, shaped her writing, specifically in relation to the discourses of gender and national identity. Through new and original archival excavation and critical analysis of hitherto unstudied texts, the aim is to recover a distinctly different narrative of Ireland and late-nineteenth-century writing, revealing fresh avenues of critical enquiry into late-nineteenth-century Irish women’s writing and its European contexts. Exposing hidden female networks and connections, neglected literary and critical voices, narratives and counter-narratives, will be a major outcome of the project and base for further research. It will also inform the overall shape and substance of the study.

Principal Investigator

Dr Kathryn Laing (MIC, University of Limerick)


Dr Faith Binckes (Worcester College, University of Oxford)

External Partners

University of Oxford


2007- 2019

Grant Source

MIC Seed Funding

Grant Amount


Project Outputs

Publications related to the project:

Laing, K. & F. Binckes, (2012). 'Irish Autobiographical Fiction: Hannah Lynch’s Autobiography of a Child'. English Literature in Transition Vol 55, 2, 195-218.*
Laing, K. & F. Binckes, (2011) 'An Irishwoman in Belle Epoque Paris: Literary networks, cultural debate and the writing of Hannah Lynch. Etudes Irlandaises No. 36-2, 157-171.
Laing, K. & F. Binckes, (2010). 'From “Wild Irish Girl” to “Parisianised Foreigner”: Hannah Lynch and France' in War of the Words: Literary Rebellion in France and Ireland. Publication du CRBC Rennes-2, TIR, 41-58.
Laing, K. & F. Binckes, (2010). ‘A Vagabond’s Scrutiny: Hannah Lynch in Europe’. In: Elke d’Hoker, Raphaël Ingelbien and Hedwig Schwall (Eds) Irish Women Writers: Irish and European Contexts. Peter Lang.

Other related outputs/outcomes:

Monograph on Hannah Lynch