Cultivated for Consumption: Botany, Colonial Cannibalism, and National/Natural History in Sydney Owenson’s The Wild Irish Girl

Cultivated for Consumption: Botany, Colonial Cannibalism, and National/Natural History in Sydney... <p>ABSTRACT:</p><p>This essay argues that Sydney Owenson employs botanical imagery in her novel, The Wild Irish Girl (1806), to represent many facets of Irish colonialism as well as the 1800 Act of Union that formed the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. Depicting the Irish as metaphorical plants, as food for England’s “body politic,” Owenson gestures toward a symbolic cannibalism as just one form of England’s colonial consumption of Ireland within the novel, and highlights this notion further through comparisons between the Irish peasantry and African slaves in the West Indian colonies. Melding ideas of science and sensibility, as well as natural history and national history, Owenson subtly exposes England’s exploitation of Ireland in this Act of Union.</p> http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Eighteenth Century University of Pennsylvania Press

Cultivated for Consumption: Botany, Colonial Cannibalism, and National/Natural History in Sydney Owenson’s The Wild Irish Girl

The Eighteenth Century, Volume 59 (4) – Dec 7, 2018

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Publisher
University of Pennsylvania Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2010 University of Pennsylvania Press.
ISSN
1935-0201

Abstract

<p>ABSTRACT:</p><p>This essay argues that Sydney Owenson employs botanical imagery in her novel, The Wild Irish Girl (1806), to represent many facets of Irish colonialism as well as the 1800 Act of Union that formed the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. Depicting the Irish as metaphorical plants, as food for England’s “body politic,” Owenson gestures toward a symbolic cannibalism as just one form of England’s colonial consumption of Ireland within the novel, and highlights this notion further through comparisons between the Irish peasantry and African slaves in the West Indian colonies. Melding ideas of science and sensibility, as well as natural history and national history, Owenson subtly exposes England’s exploitation of Ireland in this Act of Union.</p>

Journal

The Eighteenth CenturyUniversity of Pennsylvania Press

Published: Dec 7, 2018

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