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Franco-Irish Connections in Space and Time

Peregrinations and Ruminations

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Edited By Eamon Maher and Catherine Maignant

Strong cultural, commercial, literary and intellectual links have existed for many centuries between the Celtic cousins France and Ireland and continue to flourish today. This book explores some of the connections that have been forged over space and time by groups and individuals travelling between the two countries.
Covering subjects as varied as travel literature, music, philosophy, wine production, photography and consumer culture, and spanning the seventeenth through to the twenty-first centuries, the collection draws attention to the rich tapestry of interconnections and associations which confirm this unique and mutually beneficial friendship. The book examines the role of figures such as Boullaye-le-Gouz, Coquebert de Montbret, Sydney Owenson, Alain de Lille, Augusta Holmes, Alain Badiou, Wolfe Tone, Jacques Rancière, the ‘Wine Geese’, the O’Kelly family, Marguerite Mespoulet, Madeleine Mignon, Jules Verne, Hector Malot, Harry Clifton, John McGahern, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Kate O’Brien, John Broderick, Brian Moore and François Mauriac. The essays will appeal to both academic and general readers and to anyone with an interest in Franco-Irish relations.

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Part I Travel Literature and Literary Connections Between France and Ireland

Extract

Grace Neville Things Fall Apart – Boullaye-le-Gouz, An Angevin Traveller to Ireland in 1644 In all of literature – or so it has often been said – there are just two basic plots: a man goes on a journey, a stranger comes to town. While the text that forms the basis of this chapter is not strictly speaking a work of literature but rather a naturalistic discourse, it nonetheless revolves around these twin themes: it tells the story of a man who went on a journey, of a stranger who came to town. The text in question, Les Voyages et Observations du Sieur de La Boullaye le Gouz, contains a purportedly factual account of a two-month stay in Ireland in 1644, by a self-styled Voyageur Catholique, the Angevin, François de la Boullaye-le-Gouz (1623–1668).1 He arrived on Irish shores in early summer, 1644, and headed south from Dublin through Kilkenny and Limerick to Cork, before making his departure through Wexford. He was just twenty-one years old at the time. Accounts of strangers arriving in Ireland are, of course, as old as recorded history, from Paladius and St Patrick through to Giraldus Cambrensis, via visits, invasions and landings, all the way down to our own day. From aeons before that, the origin myths preserved in folklore tell how the first settlers to arrive in Ireland purportedly landed in pre-historic times on the shores of South Kerry from their home in Spain. In the early modern period, with Europe on the cusp of...

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