Title: ‘It is myself I seen in her’: Points of Departure in Teresa Deevy’s The King of Spain’s Daughter (1935)
Professor Willy Maley
Despite the excellent efforts of recent scholars such as Gerardine Meaney, Cathy Leeney, and Úna Kealy, criticism of Teresa Deevy is still at a relatively early stage, yet her work is as deserving of detailed attention, and as open to arguments over endings and intentions, as that of James Joyce. In this brief presentation I take Joyce’s short story ‘Eveline’ (1904) and J. M. Synge’s Playboy of the Western World (1907) as jumping-off points for a discussion of Teresa Deevy’s dynamic one-act play The King of Spain’s Daughter (1935) in order to explore the dreams of leaving entertained by female figures in the literature and drama of the period and the obstacles in their paths. Deevy’s work has been compared with that of Synge before, of course, but less so Joyce, and Joyce criticism arguably offers richer ways of thinking about the complexities of Deevy’s drama, and in particular the representation of women. Closer to home, for Deevy, Signe Toksvig’s essay, ‘Why Girls Leave Ireland’ (1929) provides a bridge into Deevy’s world, as Toksvig was a contemporary and correspondent of the dramatist, and she has fascinating things to say about the predicament of the likes of Annie Kinsella, where sisterhood and solidarity strive with solitude and subservience.
How do I access this recorded presentation?
- Click on the play button on the image below.
- To access the captions: when the video begins, click on the CC button, or the subtitles icon.
- Press play and enjoy!
Willy Maley is Professor of English Literature at the University of Glasgow. He has edited several collections on Irish literature and history, including with Brendan Bradshaw and Andrew Hadfield, Representing Ireland: Literature and the Origins of Conflict, 1534-1660 (Cambridge University Press, 1993), with Alison O’Malley-Younger, Celtic Connections: Irish-Scottish Relations and the Politics of Culture (Peter Lang, 2013), with Paddy Lyons and John Miller, Romantic Ireland: From Tone to Gonne: Fresh Perspectives on Nineteenth-Century Ireland (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2013), and with Kirsty Lusk, Scotland and the Easter Rising: Fresh Perspectives on 1916 (Luath Press, 2016). He has also published essays on a range of writers from James Connolly and Sean O’Casey to Marina Carr and Martin McDonagh.