A strange case of hero-worship: John Mitchel and Thomas Carlyle

Hdl Handle:
http://hdl.handle.net/10034/322207
Title:
A strange case of hero-worship: John Mitchel and Thomas Carlyle
Authors:
Huggins, Michael
Abstract:
The Scottish essayist Thomas Carlyle might be considered a surprising influence on the Young Ireland movement of the 1840s and its most militant leader, John Mitchel. Carlyle has become notorious for his anti-Irish sentiments, expressed most forcefully in his Reminiscences of my Irish journey in 1849. Yet his critique of the Benthamite and liberal Zeitgeist was a significant influence on Mitchel. This article examines what it was in Carlyle’s thought that appealed to Mitchel. Carlyle’s antagonism to liberal conceptions of progress informed Mitchel’s intellectual development and prompted specific political perspectives that can in some measure be viewed as a Carlylean response to Ireland’s crisis in the 1840s. Mitchel made many of the same historic and philosophical assumptions as Carlyle, legitimising the present struggle for Irish nationality via a critique of contemporary laissez-faire doctrine. Thus, Swift’s saeva indignatio was inflected in Mitchel by his encounter with Carlyle’s work, shaping Mitchel’s anger in terms of the spiritual-material polarity at the heart of Carlyle’s Signs of the Times (1829). This ‘sacred wrath’ helps explain why Mitchel is often seen as someone who hated England more than he loved Ireland.
Affiliation:
University of Chester
Citation:
Studi Irlandesi: A Journal of Irish Studies, 2 (2012), pp. 329-352
Publisher:
Firenze University Press
Journal:
Studi Irlandesi: A Journal of Irish Studies
Publication Date:
2012
URI:
http://hdl.handle.net/10034/322207
DOI:
http://dx.doi.org/10.13128/SIJIS-2239-3978-12430
Additional Links:
http://www.fupress.net/index.php/bsfm-sijis
Type:
Article
Language:
en
Description:
This is the publisher's pdf version of an article published in Studi Irlandesi: A Journal of Irish Studies by Firenze University Press.
EISSN:
2239-3978
Sponsors:
This article was submitted to the RAE2014 for the University of Chester - History.
Appears in Collections:
History and Archaeology

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.contributor.authorHuggins, Michaelen
dc.date.accessioned2014-06-24T08:47:00Z-
dc.date.available2014-06-24T08:47:00Z-
dc.date.issued2012-
dc.identifier.citationStudi Irlandesi: A Journal of Irish Studies, 2 (2012), pp. 329-352en
dc.identifier.doihttp://dx.doi.org/10.13128/SIJIS-2239-3978-12430-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10034/322207-
dc.descriptionThis is the publisher's pdf version of an article published in Studi Irlandesi: A Journal of Irish Studies by Firenze University Press.en
dc.description.abstractThe Scottish essayist Thomas Carlyle might be considered a surprising influence on the Young Ireland movement of the 1840s and its most militant leader, John Mitchel. Carlyle has become notorious for his anti-Irish sentiments, expressed most forcefully in his Reminiscences of my Irish journey in 1849. Yet his critique of the Benthamite and liberal Zeitgeist was a significant influence on Mitchel. This article examines what it was in Carlyle’s thought that appealed to Mitchel. Carlyle’s antagonism to liberal conceptions of progress informed Mitchel’s intellectual development and prompted specific political perspectives that can in some measure be viewed as a Carlylean response to Ireland’s crisis in the 1840s. Mitchel made many of the same historic and philosophical assumptions as Carlyle, legitimising the present struggle for Irish nationality via a critique of contemporary laissez-faire doctrine. Thus, Swift’s saeva indignatio was inflected in Mitchel by his encounter with Carlyle’s work, shaping Mitchel’s anger in terms of the spiritual-material polarity at the heart of Carlyle’s Signs of the Times (1829). This ‘sacred wrath’ helps explain why Mitchel is often seen as someone who hated England more than he loved Ireland.en
dc.description.sponsorshipThis article was submitted to the RAE2014 for the University of Chester - History.-
dc.language.isoenen
dc.publisherFirenze University Pressen
dc.relation.urlhttp://www.fupress.net/index.php/bsfm-sijisen
dc.subjectIrelanden
dc.subjectracismen
dc.subjectCarlyleen
dc.subjectMitchelen
dc.titleA strange case of hero-worship: John Mitchel and Thomas Carlyleen
dc.typeArticleen
dc.identifier.eissn2239-3978-
dc.contributor.departmentUniversity of Chesteren
dc.identifier.journalStudi Irlandesi: A Journal of Irish Studiesen
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