going into detail on Land Acts, the agrarian unrest of the Molly Maguires, and the increased agitation for Home Rule. Once all the remaining nieces are in Ireland, the courtship narrative of the standard Austen novel now completely dissolves under the Land Wars, famines, and political upheavals of Irish history. In Gweedore, Father James McFadden took leadership of the Land League just as Lord George Hill's son, Arthur, became the absentee landholder of his father's estate. Unlike his father, Arthur had no knowledge of Irish language or interest in the culture. He was inflexible on rent, unwilling to listen to tenant demands, and quick to evict. Consequently, violence erupted. While Marianne, Louisa, and their niece Cassandra lived in the house in Ballyare, District Inspector William Martin manhandled Father McFadden after Sunday mass, angering parishioners to the point where they bludgeoned Martin to death. "The Gweedore Terror," as it became known resulted in several arrests and increased the level of tension exponentially. After Louisa's death, Marianne and Cassandra found themselves once again unsure of their future residence. Hillan is quick to point out that "like the tenants, she [Marianne] and Cassandra were expendable." In a final apt parallel, the
New Hibernia Review – Center for Irish Studies at the University of St. Thomas
Published: Jul 7, 2013
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