Advertisement

Ulstermen of Letters: The Unionism of Frank Frankfort Moore, Shan Bullock, and St John Ervine

Chapter

Abstract

Cultural Unionism is often called a contradiction in terms. The Victorian Irish Protestant intelligentsia who claimed the intellect of Ireland was against Home Rule have been eclipsed by political defeat and by artists of the Irish Revival from Protestant/Unionist backgrounds who adopted nationalism as part of their rebellion into artistic self-definition. Belfast Unionism, the product of a provincial commercial city, took less interest in the arts than the Dublin variety. Its literary self-expression was left to local antiquarians, minor regional writers (often linked to Protestant churches, the Orange Order, or various branches of the Unionist establishment) or Ulster-born writers in London who still identified with their origins.* Only in recent years has Belfast supported a significant literary intelligentsia, and few of its members have Unionist affiliations. Because of the strength of regionalism among twentieth-century Ulster writers, the intellectual atrophy of Ulster Unionism after the demise of its Dublin counterpart and the marginalisation of the Irish Question in British politics after 1922, critics underestimate the Unionist commitment of earlier writers and forget the role of the London-based Ulsterman of letters.

Keywords

Unionist Commitment Protestant Church Biographical Note Emotional Insecurity Home Rule 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Notes

  1. John Tyndall, quoted in Jonathan Parry, Democracy and Religion: Gladstone and the Liberal Party 1867-75 (Cambridge, 1986), p. 43.Google Scholar
  2. Bullock to P. S. O’Hegarty quoted John Boyd ‘Ulster Prose’ in Sam Hanna Bell (ed.), The Arts in Ulster (London, 1951), pp. 105-9. Robert Thorne (London, 1907). His other London novels are The Barrys (London, 1898), A Laughing Matter (London, 1908), Mr. Ruby Jumps the Traces (London, 1917).Google Scholar
  3. ‘My Sin’ in Mors et Vita (London, 1923), verses composed spontaneously after his wife’s death. Arnold: Robert Thome, pp. 255-7.Google Scholar
  4. E.g. Benedict Kiely, ‘Orange Lily’, Irish Bookman, June 1947, quoting After Sixty Years, pp. 32-3.Google Scholar
  5. The Cubs (London, 1906); By Thrasna River, pp. 2-4. See Boyd, ‘Ulster Prose’.Google Scholar
  6. Lord Ernest Hamilton, The Irish Rebellion of 1641 (London, 1920).Google Scholar
  7. By Thrasna River, pp. 85-8, ch. IX; Master John (London, 1909), pp. 109-19.Google Scholar
  8. The Loughsiders (London, 1924). For critical comment, see John Wilson Foster, Forces and Themes.Google Scholar
  9. Thomas Andrews (Dublin, 1912), especially Plunkett’s introduction and pp. 21, 28.Google Scholar
  10. Shaw to Ervine, 29 October 1932, Dan H. Laurence (ed.), Collected Letters of Bernard Shaw, Volume 4: 1926-50 (London, 1988), p. 313.Google Scholar
  11. Ernest A. Boyd, The Contemporary Drama of Ireland (Boston, 1917), pp. 179-92.Google Scholar
  12. Robert Hogan, Richard Burnham and Daniel Poteet, The Modern Irish Drama IV: The Rise of the Realists 1910-15 (Dublin, 1979), pp. 200-3; The Critics in Four Irish Plays.Google Scholar
  13. Sir Edward Carson and the Ulster Movement (Dublin, 1916); The Orangeman in Four Irish Plays; Mrs. Martin’s Man, pp. 174—6.Google Scholar
  14. Niall Cusack, ‘A Most Undesirable Person’ – St. John Ervine, Ulster playwright’, New Ulster 4 (Summer 1987).Google Scholar
  15. ‘A Testament of Middle Age’ in F. J. Harvey Darton (ed.), Essays of the Year, 1930-1 (London, 1931).Google Scholar
  16. John Boyd, The Middle of My Journey (Belfast, 1990), p. 112 describes its reception.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 1996

Authors and Affiliations

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations