chapter
Introduction
The Art of the Unvarnished Tale
WithSusan B. Egenolf
Pages 16

This introduction presents an overview of the key concepts discussed in the subsequent chapters of this book. The book is about the artistic craft and political engagement of three major women novelists of the Romantic period writing in Britain and Ireland—Elizabeth Hamilton, Maria Edgeworth, and Sydney Owenson. These writers often present their readers with disruptions in their narrative segments, called glosses, that call attention to themselves and momentarily alter the narrative. The book offers contribution to the comparative study of Irish and Scottish literature, to the study of women's fiction of the Romantic period, and to our understanding of the art of political fiction more generally. It shows that the readers of the 1790s and early 1800s would have been encouraged to question their conceptions and knowledge about the Indian, the Irishman, and the Scott by reading these texts and their various kinds of glosses.