|About the Book|
Kathleen Constables ambitious work A Stranger Within the Gates investigates fully Brontes Irish heritage and the way in which it is reflected in her literary endeavours, including Jane Eyre and Shirley. Constable draws on primary sources to illuminate the relations of Ireland and England, then gives a conclusive literary background of the Bronte family. An analysis of both Brontes juvenile and mature pieces reveals the persistence of Irish characters, Irish nouns, and Irish narrative elements that, Constable argues, point to Brontes Irish consciousness. The use of mask and theater in Jane Eyre is discussed as an anti-colonial construct within the Victorian novel. Finally, Constable places Jane Eyre in the Big House literary tradition. Together, the four sections of this work aim to connect otherwise separate and unrelated fields of literary study: the Victorian Novel and the Irish experience.