George Brittaine [Rev.]

Notes

Life
1790-1847; vicar of the Union of Kilmactranny, 1819, and afterwards rector of Kilcommock, Co. Longford [var. Kilcormack]; wrote The Confessions of Honor Delany (1829), denigrating Catholic superstition in the peasantry; also Irish Priests and English Landlords (1830), which caused the management of Dublin Literary Gazette to disociate itself from his ultra-Protestantism; also issued anonymously The Election (1840); d. Dublin 1847; several of his works were revised and reissued by the Rev. Henry Seddall. IF DIW MKA RAF OCIL

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Works
Novels
  • Recollections of Hyacinth O'Gara (Dublin: for Richard Moore Tims …, 1828), 77pp., 14cm., and Do. [3rd enl. edn.] (1829), 12°; Do. [3rd edn., enl.] (Dublin 1829); and Do. [4th edn.] (Dublin 1831)
  • The Confession of Honor Delany (Dublin: for R. M. Tims [printed by M. Goodwin] 1829), 129pp., and Do. [4th Edn.] (Dublin: R. M. Tims 1830), 108pp. [more];
  • Irish Priests and English Landlords (Dublin: R.M. Tims 1830), 249pp.; Do. [another edn.?] Do. (Dublin: Hamilton 1830);, and Do. [new edn.], rev. & corr. by Rev. Henry Seddall, B.A. (London: William Hunt & Company 1871, 1879), xiii, 304 [16]pp., ill. [3 leaves of pls.], 18 cm.;
  • Irishmen and Irishwomen, by the author of Hyacinth O'Gara, Irish priests and English landlords (Dublin: Richard Moore Tims, …; London: Messrs. Hamilton and Adams; Edinburgh: Waugh and Innes 1830), 219pp.; Do. [2nd edn.] (Dublin 1831), 12°, and Do. [3rd Edn.] ([Dublin]: [R. M. Tims …] [1831]), [4], 292pp., 18.9cm. [printed by P. D. Hardy];
  • Johnny Derrivan’s Travels (Dublin: R. M. Tims 1833), 36pp., 12º.
    Mothers and Sons [A tale.] By the author of “Hyacinth O’Gara” (Dublin: Richard Moore Tims; London: Hatchard & Son, Longman & Co., Simpkin & Marshall; Edinburgh: Waugh & Innes, and White & Co. 1833), 279pp., 17cm [12º; printed in Dublin by P. D. Hardy];
  • Nurse M’Vourneen's Story, by the Author of “Hyacinth O’Gara” [sold for the benefit of the Ladies' Iris Association] (Dublin: R. M. Tims; London: Simpkin & Marshall 1833), and Do. [another edn.] (Dublin 1869), 14cm.;
  • The Election, by the author of “Recollections of Hyacinth O’Gara” … &c. (1848), 331pp., 17cm. [8°]
Collected edition
  • Hyacinth O'Gara; Honor Delany, [and] Irish Priests and English Landlords, by the author of “Mothers and Sons” [New edition, &c.] (Dublin: Moore Tims 1839), iv. 350pp., 8º.
Miscellaneous
  • A Sermon preached by the Rev. George Brittaine, vicar of the Union of Kilmactranny, in the diocess of Elphin, in the cathedral church of Elphin, on Thursday, August 19th, 1819, at the annual visitation, before the Hon. and Right Rev. the Lord Bishop of Elphin, and the clergy of the diocess of Elphin; and printed at their request (Dublin: R. M. Tims 1819), 23pp. [GRAIL/The Galway Resource for Anglo-Irish Literature, Bk. 2].

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Bibliographical details
The Confession of Honor Delany [1829]. 2nd Edn.: (Dublin: for Richard Moore Tims; London: Hamilton and Adams …; J. Nesbitt …, Hatchard and Son …; Edinburgh: Wm. Oliphant, Waugh and Innes; Glasgow: Chalmers and Collins 1829), 129pp. 3rd Edn.: (Dublin: Richard Moore Tims 1830), 108pp. 4th Edn.: Dublin: for Richard Moore Tims; London: Hamilton and Adams; Wellington: … Houlston & Son 1830), 108p., 14.6cm. [printed in Dublin by W. M’Donnell]. 5th Edn.: (Dublin &c. 1831); New Edn. (London: London : Seeleys 1852), 85pp., 16°. [See under Quotations, infra.]

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Commentary
Patrick Rafroidi
, Irish Literature in English: The Romantic Period, 1789-1850 (Gerrards Cross: Colin Smythe 1980), Vol. 2: Rector of Kilcormack [recte Kilcommock], d. Dublin 1847; the novels calumniate Catholic priests and their parishioners; Confession of Honor Delany (1830) [sic but recte 1829], Irish Priests and English Landlords (1830, and 3 reprints), Irishmen and Irishwomen (1831), Recollections of Hyacinth O’Gara (1839) [recte 1829], Johnny Derrivan’s Travels (1833), Mothers and Sons (1833), Nurse M’Vourneen (1839), The Election (1848). Rafroidi adds that Brittaine ‘devoted [his] literary energies to painting blackest picture of Irish peasants and hysterically denouncing Catholicism’. See also Rafroidi, Irish Literature in English (1980) Vol. 1, where he writes that the purpose of Brittaine’s whole output is summed up in preface of The Confessions of Honour Delany (1983) [as infra]. Further, villainous priests in these novels include Mortimer in Recollections of Hyacinth O’Gara (1829) who empties the non-denominational school, and Bishop O’Royster in Irish Priests and English Landlords (1830), who tyrannises the clergy under him and causes the death of his niece. [Rafroidi, op. cit., 123].

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Barbara Hayley, ‘A Reading and Thinking Nation: Periodicals as the Voice of Nineteenth-century Ireland’, in Hayley and Enda McKay, ed., Three Hundred Years of Irish Periodical (Assoc. of Irish Learned Journals: Gigginstown, Mullingar 1987), pp.29-48, makes reference to Brittaine as author of Irish Priests and English Landlords, to which the Protestant management of Dublin Literary Gazette took exception as ultra-Protestant. (p.34.)

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Margaret Kelleher, ‘Prose Writing and Drama in English; 1830-1890 […]’, in Cambridge History of Irish Literature, ed. Kelleher & Philip O’Leary (Cambridge UP 2006), Vol. 1: ‘George Brittaine (c.1790-1847), rector of Kilcommock, in the diocese of Ardagh, provided an unrelenting attack on Catholic “priestcraft” in works such as Irish Priests and English Landlords (1830) and Hyacinth O’Gara (1830), first published in Dublin. Brittaine’s writings did not become widely available to an English readership until their republication in the 1870s in editions significantly rewritten by Revd. H. Seddall.’ (p.460.)

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Quotations
Confessions of Honour Delany [enl. edn. of 1829] - preface: ‘The aim of the author [is] to give a true picture of the Irish peasantry as connected with their religion and to show how Priestcraft has wound itself (often most unwelcomely) into all their concerns, and interferes with or regulates every event of their lives - and that this interference is, in numberless instances, only tolerated from the fear of supernatural judgements, in the power of the Priests to inflict, as he pleases.’ (pp. iii-iv; quoted in Patrick Rafroidi, Irish Literature in English: The Romantic Period, 1789-1850, Colin Smythe 1980, Vol. 2 [supra].

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Irishmen and Irishwomen (1830): ‘Reading cannot possibly injure morals, since there are few who can read; and yet, the enemies of education, so far form discovering any superior innocency of manners, will find the perpetration of crimes much more frequent, because the moral feelings are perverted by the deadly influence of a baneful superstition. The truth is, reading is the chief security of the poor against moral, political, and religious error. The contamination is always in their way; is it not proper, then, to provide the antidote?’ (pp.72-73; quoted by Rolf Loeber & Magda Stouthamer-Loebber, ‘Fiction available to and written for cottages and their children’, in The Experience of Reading: Irish Historical Perspectives, Bernadette Cunningham and Máire Kennedy, Dublin: Rare Books Group 1999, p.128.)

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References
Stephen Brown, Ireland in Fiction [Pt. I] (Dublin: Maunsel 1919) notes that Hyacinth et al. were revised by H[enry] Seddell. Note that Brown dates Confession of Honour Delaney 1830, contrary to COPAC; see also Brian McKenna, Irish Literature, 1800-1875 […] (Gale Research 1978), which lists it for 1839. [See COPAC online.]

Brian Cleeve & Ann Brady, A Dictionary of Irish Writers [rev. 1 vol. edn.] (Dublin: Lilliput 1985), offer ?1760-1847, at odds with Rafroidi’s dates (Irish Literature in English, 1980, supra).

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British Novels 1830-36 (CEIR Cardiff) lists Irish Priests and English Landlords. By the Author of Hyacinth O’Gara ( Dublin: R. M. Tims, 85, Grafton-Street, 1830), 249pp.. 18°, boards [3s.]. Do. [2nd edn.] (1830); also issued with Hyacinth O’Gara and Honor Delany (1839); Irishmen and Irishwomen[.] By the Author of Hyacinth O’Gara; Irish Priests and English Landlords &c. &c. (Dublin: Richard Moore Tims, 85, Grafton-Street; Messrs Hamilton and Adams, London; Waugh and Innes, Edinburgh, 1830), 219pp., 18°. [2s.] Further edns.: 2nd edn. (Dublin 1831); 3rd edn. (Dublin; London 1831). [Source: British Novels 1830-36 at CEIR Cardiff online.]

Ulster Libraries: UNIV. OF ULSTER CENTRAL LIBRARY holds Honour Delaney (1929) [4 PR4161] and Hyacinth O’Grady (1830) [4 PR4161], both unaccountably absent from the Morris Collection at 5 July 1990. BELFAST CENTRAL PUBLIC LIBRARY holds a volume that contains Hyacinth O’Grady, Confessions of Honor Delany, and Irish Priests and English Landlords. BELFAST LINENHALL LIBRARY holds Irish Priests and English Landlords.

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Notes
Kilcormack or Kilcommock?: The Kilcommock website lists marriages in which Geo. Brittaine officiated - viz., Elizabeth Moffatt of Kilcommock Parish and Alexander Shaw of Killashee, married in Kilcommock Parish Church by licence with consent of parents by Geo. Brittaine Rector on 28 Sept. 1829; Margaret Moffitt of this Parish and Richard Swift of the Parish of Street […] in Kilcommock Parish Church by Geo. Brittaine Rector on 21 March 1839. [Online; accessed 2 June 2010.]

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