Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Wild Irish Girl

I've just finished reading Lady Morgan's (or Sydney Owenson's, as she was when she wrote the novel) novel The Wild Irish Girl. To which I say THANK GOD because I hated it.

Lady Morgan is not a great writer, as Jane Austen pointed out. This is a syrupy, silly melodrama, badly written and very predictable. The characters are all highly irritating and the storyline drags and drags until a rush of highly implausible events occur in the last fifty pages of the book.

The book's only real appeal lies in its very positive portrayal of pre-Union Ireland. That is the only possible reason one could have for reading this. That is the reason I read it, after all. Well, kinda - I am more interested in comparing her with another Irish novelist, Maria Edgeworth.

I think I will read some more Maria Edgeworth instead!


Dorothy W. said...

Well, that's too bad, because I bought this book recently (used). I may read it anyway, but I'm guessing I'll agree with you. I love 18C novels, but when they are bad, they are BAD -- I had an awful experience with Sophia Lee's novel The Recess, which was a real slog. The Wild Irish Girl is pretty short, right?

Scarlettfish said...

Oooh sorry! The Wild Irish Girl is reasonably short for an 18th-century novel. It was about 250 pages, I think. But yes, it is a slog. I still have to read The Recess, but I am very much not looking forward to it now!

The edition I have of The Wild Irish Girl has an introduction in it by Brigid Brophy. The first line of the introduction runs something along the lines of "Some books are deplorably bad. This is one of them".