Recently there has been a growing scholarly interest in Sydney, Lady Morgan (nee Sydney Owenson). In this work, Dr. Donovan contextualises an important yet relatively neglected author by analysing an emblematic Irishness that was too often dismissed in the early 19th century as excessive showmanship; the criticism was not without some basis, since Owenson was an actor's daughter and grew up in the company of travelling performers. The study includes an extensive discussion of Morgan's personal papers and artefacts, housed in the national Library of Ireland and the Royal Irish Academy. No previous study has fully considered this crucial archival material and its implications. In addition unpublished and hitherto unconsulted papers from the Yale University collection are also part of this original research monograph. Owenson's writing is far ranging (she is known both as a polemicist and the author of works on post restoration Italy as well as Ireland) and she commanded the friendship and respect of many early 19th c authors and poets including Byron, Shelley, Moore among many others.
Introduction; Body, Text and Textile in "The Wild Irish Girl"; Sydney Owenson's Self-Fashioning; How Sydney Owenson Played the Harp; Ireland in Europe and the World: Sydney Owenson's Travel Writing; Owenson in the 19th Century.