Peer-Reviewed Journal Details
Mandatory Fields
Christina Morin
European Romantic Review
‘“At a distance from [my] country”: Henrietta Rouvière Mosse, the Minerva Press, and the Negotiation of Irishness in the Romantic Literary Marketplace’.
Optional Fields
Minerva Press William Lane Irish gothic Irish emigre authors

This article considers the career of little-known Irish émigré author, Henrietta Rouvière Mosse (c. 1770-1835), who made a name, if not a fortune, for herself publishing with the popular London publishing house, the Minerva Press. Like her more recognized contemporary, Regina Maria Roche (c.1764-1845), who published exclusively with Minerva from 1796, Mosse garnered a considerable popular following with novels understood as representative Minerva publications: hackneyed gothic romances unworthy of critical attention. Like Roche, too, Mosse saw her novels widely circulated, despite critical disdain, thanks to Lane’s extensive network of circulating libraries and trade partners. Moreover, although now considered a minor literary figure at best, Mosse proved a savvy commentator on a number of issues that impacted directly on the negotiation of Irishness in a period of increased Irish travel, emigration, immigration, and material circulation.


Through a close examination of works such as Lussington Abbey (1804), The Heirs of Villeroy (1806), A Peep at our Ancestors (1808), and The Old Irish Baronet (1809), this essay explores Mosse’s participation in the distinct re-location of Irish cultural production outside of Ireland after the Anglo-Irish Union (1801). As it does so, it charts the manner in which changing processes of literary production and circulation created a global demand for the kind of gothic romance produced by Mosse, Roche, and a number of other Irish émigré authors working with Minerva. While, however, these texts have commonly been understood as literary ephemera with little to recommend them to the serious reader, and even less to interest Irish Studies scholars, this essay understands them as important interventions into an evolving Irish cultural nationalism more frequently associated with the national tale and the historical novel than with contemporary gothic romance.
Grant Details