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Irish Science Fiction$
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Jack Fennell

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9781781381199

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.5949/liverpool/9781781381199.001.0001

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“Future War” and Gender in Nineteenth-Century Ireland

“Future War” and Gender in Nineteenth-Century Ireland

(p.62) 2. “Future War” and Gender in Nineteenth-Century Ireland
Irish Science Fiction

Jack Fennell


This chapter looks at Irish examples of the ‘future war’ genre, a popular nineteenth-century genre that depicted apocalyptic battles between the European ‘great powers’; in the Irish variant, somewhat predictably, the conflict was always between nationalists and unionists, or between nationalists and the British army. Written from both nationalist and unionist perspectives, these works appeared whenever the question of Irish home rule was being debated in Westminster, and there is a curiously gendered aspect to them, a consequence of the ‘marriage rhetoric’ of the Act of Union of 1801. With this rhetoric depicting Britain as the ‘groom’ and Ireland as the ‘bride’, the political question of self-determination was intertwined with the question of gender roles, and played out in future-war stories.

Keywords:   future war, nineteenth century, gender roles, Act of Union, Irish home rule

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