Skip to content
Register Sign in Wishlist

Dion Boucicault
Irish Identity on Stage

  • Date Published: July 2015
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107534278


Add to wishlist

Other available formats:
Hardback, eBook

Looking for an inspection copy?

Please email to enquire about an inspection copy of this book

Product filter button
About the Authors
  • Deirdre McFeely presents the first book-length critical study of Dion Boucicault, placing his Irish plays in the context of his overall career. The book undertakes a detailed examination of the reception of the plays in the New York-London-Dublin theatre triangle which Boucicault inhabited. Interpreting theatre history as a sociocultural phenomenon that closely approximates social history, McFeely examines the different social and political worlds in which the plays were produced, demonstrating that the complex politics of reception of the plays cannot be separated from the social and political implications of colonialism at that time. The study argues for a shift in focus from the politics of the plays, and their author, to the politics of the auditorium and the press, or the politics of reception. It is within that complex and shifting field of stage, theatre and public media that Boucicault's performance as playwright, actor and publicist is interpreted.

    • Provides a detailed examination of the reception of Boucicault's Irish plays in New York, London and Dublin, presenting analysis in light of the plays' social, cultural and political complexity
    • The only full critical study on the playwright, the book acts as an ideal point of entry for readers new to his works, and will also appeal to experienced scholars in the field due to its new approach and new information
    • Brings Boucicault into wider debates concerning Irish theatre, including internationalisation and ethnicity
    Read more

    Reviews & endorsements

    'McFeely is not so scholastically detached as to let us forget that Boucicault's plays are fun and that he was a master of pithy dialogue and comic inventiveness. This is a wonderfully well-researched and discerning book, placing Boucicault as a much more politically motivated playwright than previous critics have ever suggested.' Irish Times

    'Thoughtful and insightful …' The Times Literary Supplement

    'McFeely's sparkling collection of research on the political importance of Boucicault's plays is detailed and comprehensive, yet her writing is not burdened with perplexing terminology or arbitrary discourse … [Her] accurate and acute analysis of primary resources provides sound evidence for her argument, while her familiar style provides an excellent foundation for the nascent theatre researcher delving into the captivating realm of Irish literature and drama.' A. I. Cahill, Studies in Theatre and Performance

    'There is much to like in this well-researched study, which illuminates the international reception of some of Boucicault's best-known work. … students of Boucicault will find it a rich resource.' Nicholas Daly, Victorian Studies

    See more reviews

    Customer reviews

    Not yet reviewed

    Be the first to review

    Review was not posted due to profanity


    , create a review

    (If you're not , sign out)

    Please enter the right captcha value
    Please enter a star rating.
    Your review must be a minimum of 12 words.

    How do you rate this item?


    Product details

    • Date Published: July 2015
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107534278
    • length: 230 pages
    • dimensions: 230 x 153 x 13 mm
    • weight: 0.35kg
    • contains: 5 b/w illus.
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Becoming Boucicault
    2. Nationalism, race and class in The Colleen Bawn
    3. Music, myth and censorship in Arrah-na-Pogue
    4. Alternative readings: The Rapparee and Daddy O'Dowd
    5. The politics of exile: The Shaughraun in New York
    6. 'Audiences are not political assemblies': The Shaughraun in London
    7. Supporting the Land League: The O'Dowd
    Conclusion: towards an Irish national drama.

  • Author

    Deirdre McFeely, Trinity College, Dublin
    Deirdre McFeely's work on Boucicault has appeared in publications including Irish Theatre on Tour (edited by Nicholas Grene and Chris Morash) and Irish Theater in America: Essays on Irish Theatrical Diaspora (edited by John Harrington). This is her first book.

Related Books

Sorry, this resource is locked

Please register or sign in to request access. If you are having problems accessing these resources please email

Register Sign in
Please note that this file is password protected. You will be asked to input your password on the next screen.

» Proceed

You are now leaving the Cambridge University Press website. Your eBook purchase and download will be completed by our partner Please see the permission section of the catalogue page for details of the print & copy limits on our eBooks.

Continue ×

Continue ×

Continue ×
warning icon

Turn stock notifications on?

You must be signed in to your Cambridge account to turn product stock notifications on or off.

Sign in Create a Cambridge account arrow icon

Find content that relates to you

Join us online

This site uses cookies to improve your experience. Read more Close

Are you sure you want to delete your account?

This cannot be undone.


Thank you for your feedback which will help us improve our service.

If you requested a response, we will make sure to get back to you shortly.

Please fill in the required fields in your feedback submission.