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Facts and Fictions of Anglo-Irishness

The Novels of Shane Leslie against the Background of his Essayistic Work


Laura Balomiri

The writer, essayist, biographer, and diplomat Sir Shane Leslie (1885-1971) is a remarkable, although little known and even less researched personality of Anglo-Irish culture. Although his many publications rarely reached a second edition, they are highly valued as cultural-historical documents. His novel Doomsland (1923) has received critical praise as ‘a bildungsroman of exceptional interest which has been most unfairly neglected.’ This monograph aims to compensate for this unjustified neglect by trying to rediscover Leslie through his fictional and essayistic work. The research for this thesis included a visit to Castle Leslie in Ireland, Co. Monaghan, explorations of the family archives in Dublin and Belfast, and, as well as interviews with the writer’s son, Sir John Leslie.
Contents: The Anglo-Irish issue illuminated by Leslie’s essays – Literary analyses of Leslie’s novels The Oppidan, Doomsland, The Cantab, and The Anglo-Catholic – Shane Leslie - biographical sketch – Historical-cultural background of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century in Ireland and the UK.