While recent studies of Edmund Spenser and Jonathan Swift have firmly relocated both writers in their Irish as well as their English context, English writing in Ireland between these molithic figures has been largely neglected. This study explores in detail the literary territory between Spenser and Swift. Examining a range of texts, from fragments to sophisticated publications such as ecomic improvement manuals, histories, plays, romances and poems, Deana Rankin demonstrates how writers in Ireland articulated the transition from soldier to settler across this century of war and political turmoil. She illuminates both centre and periphery by revealing for the first time the richness of English writing in Ireland during the period and its sustained engagement with canical English literature, including Shakespeare, Sidney and Milton. Historians and literary scholars will find much to discover in this significant contribution to early modern British studies.
Deana Rankin is Fellow and Director of Studies in English at Girton College, Cambridge.