|About the Book|
According to Wikipedia: William Carleton (20 February 1794, Prillisk, Clogher, Co. Tyrone - 30 January, 1869, Sandford, Co. Dublin) was an Irish novelist... Carleton wrote from intimate acquaintance with the scenes he described, and drew with a sureMoreAccording to Wikipedia: William Carleton (20 February 1794, Prillisk, Clogher, Co. Tyrone - 30 January, 1869, Sandford, Co. Dublin) was an Irish novelist... Carleton wrote from intimate acquaintance with the scenes he described, and drew with a sure hand a series of pictures of peasant life, unsurpassed for their appreciation of the passionate tenderness of Irish home life, of the buoyant humour and the domestic virtues which would, under better circumstances, bring prosperity and happiness. He alienated the sympathies of many Irishmen, however, by his unsparing criticism and occasional exaggeration of the darker side of Irish character. He was in his own words the historian of their habits and manners, their feelings, their prejudices, their superstitions and their crimes (Preface to Tales of Ireland). A second factor that alienated him from many of his Irish countrymen was his attitude towards the Catholic religion. It has been argued (for example by Brian Donnelly) that his conversion may have been a pragmatic move, as it would have been difficult for an aspiring young Catholic author to receive the degree of patronage necessary to achieve success. In 1826 he wrote a letter to the then Home Secretary Sir Robert Peel urging him against Catholic Emancipation (Peel was already an outspoken opponent), and offering to provide proof of the involvement of Daniel OConnell in agrarian crimes, while also vilifying the Catholic clergy and Roman Catholic schoolteachers. Shortly afterwards he befriended Caesar Orway, according to W. B. Yeats an anti-papal controversialist who encouraged him to write stories to highlight...the corrupt practices of an ignorant clergy.