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Original scientific paper

Women, Romance and Romantic Nationalism in Dragojla Jarnević’s Dva pira (Two Wedding Celebrations, 1864) and M. E. Francis’s Dark Rosaleen (1917)

Tihana Klepač


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Abstract

While the reasons for the choice of a romance novel by the two authors and the positioning
of the genre within the Croatian, and the literary tradition of Irish writing in
English differ, the historical context which motivates the two novels is highly similar.
Namely, the Illyrian revival of the 1830s in Croatia corresponds in spirit and social
atmosphere to the Irish national revival associated with the Home Rule as the two
nations begin their anti-colonialist projects. Under a strong influence of the romantic
nationalism of the day, both, Jarnević and Francis, construct their female characters
principally through their participation in the national process. Within this ideology,
any venture outside the boundaries of the outlined roles leads to a life of misery, which
is a mode of expiation for the transgression; the order of the universe thus restored.
However, by making it clear that the wrongs done to women are inseparable from
those inflicted to the Croatian and the Irish nation respectively, the two authors transcend
this typical portrayal of women in nationalist movements, thus contributing to
the formulation of the female anti-colonialist narrative. Finally, while Francis never
abandons the conventions of the romance genre, and leaves her heroines locked in a
typical representation of the day, Jarnević takes a step further by stretching the genre
to depict an emerging female consciousness, thus earning the name of a Croatian
proto-feminist (Andrea Zlatar).

Keywords

Jarnević, Francis, women, romance, romantic nationalism

Hrčak ID:

101810

URI

https://hrcak.srce.hr/101810

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