Maria Edgeworth (1768-1849) was born in Edgeworthstown, Co. Longford, and became well known as a novelist in her lifetime. Jane Desmarais lectures in English and Art History at Goldsmiths College, University of London Marilyn Butler is rector of Exeter College, Oxford
First published in 1802, "An Essay on Irish Bulls" was intended to show the English public the talent and wit of the Irish lower classes. Originally devised by Maria's father, Richard Lovell Edgeworth, Irish Bulls is an informal philosophic dialogue on the nature of Bulls (logical absurdities) and jokes and jests in general. Published at the time of the Union, the overarching theme is the confusions of identity and the relationship of Irish people to the English. This highly entertaining work has not been published as a single book since the nineteenth century. The editorial material and text for this edition are reproduced from the "Pickering & Chatto Novels" and "Selected Works of Maria Edgeworth", vol. 1. New introduction for this edition is by Jane Desmarais.
Introduction by Jane Desmarais
I Originality of Irish Bulls Examined
II Irish Newspapers
III The Criminal Law of Bulls and Blunders
IV Little Dominick
V The Bliss of Ignorance
VI 'Thoughts that Breathe and Words that Burn'
VII Practical Bulls
VIII The Dublin Shoeblack
IX The Hibernian Mendicant
X Irish Wit and Eloquence
XI The Brogue
XII Bath Coach Conversation
XIII Bath Coach Conversation
XIV The Irish Incognito
"University College Dublin Press has now published over thirty ‘Classics of Irish History'. These contemporary accounts by well known personalities of historical events and attitudes have an immediacy that conventional histories do not have. Introductions by modern historians provide additional historical background and, with hindsight, objectivity."
"Scholars of nineteenth-century Irish and Irish-American politics should reacquaint themselves with these classics, part of a long running and immensely useful series from University College Dublin Press."
Irish Literary Supplement