chapter  6
“Have you Irish?”: Heroism in Morgan’s The O’Briens and the O’Flahertys
WithSusan B. Egenolf
Pages 28

This chapter expresses that Lady Morgan doubted the efficacy of heroes like O'Brien to effect positive change in Ireland, and her glosses focus attention on the lead female characters to show the power they wield despite the limitations of gender. In this novel, Morgan employs the irony of the hero of an Irish national tale having "almost lost" his Irish to subtly critique the constructs of national heroism, many of which she had championed in her first national tale The Wild Irish Girl. In The O'Briens and the O'Flahertys, Morgan employs almost all of the variations of editorial and cultural glosses that have been discussed in relation to the principal novels of this study. The main narrative of The O'Briens and the O'Flahertys tells the story of two Catholic families with deep roots in traditional Irish culture. Morgan's critique of masculine heroic action finds its counterpart in the glosses which highlight feminine heroic action.