Stephen Cullen

Life
fl.1796; author of The Haunted Priory; or, The Fortunes of the House of Rayo (1794), and The Castle of Inchvally: A Tale - Alas! Too True (1796), and counted the earliest to address English readers on Irish matters in fiction, anticipating Maria Edgeworth’s Castle Rackrent by some years.

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Works
Fiction
  • The Haunted Priory; or, The Fortunes of the House of Rayo. A romance founded partly on historical facts (Dublin: W. Jones, MDCCXCIV [1794]), 262pp.; Do. (London: printed for J. Bell 1796), [4], 156pp., 12° [copy held in Sheffield UL], and Do. [3rd Edn.] (London: J. Bell 1976) [copy held in Manchester UL].
  • The Castle of Inchvally: A Tale - Alas! Too True [...] In three volumes [3 vols.] (London: printed for J. Bell [...] 1796), [18.4cm/12°. [v.1: [A]1 B-N\12 O\4; v.2: [A]1 B-O\12 P\8 Q\2; v.3: [A]1 B-N\12 O\10; Press figures present; watermarked 1795 / 1795 [copy in TCD Lib.; Nat. Lib. of Scotland]]
  • Do. / By the author of “The Haunted Priory” (Hackney [London]: printed by S. & J. Cave ... for W. Emans ..., 1820; London: Published by J. S. Pratt, 1844), 522pp. [engr. t.p., and add. engr. t.p bearing the imprint: London, published by Thos. Kelly ... Septr. 1, 1820], 22cm. [copies in Cambridge UL, BL.]

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Related texts
See also dramatic adaptation as De Rayo, or, The Haunted Priory: A Dramatic Romance (London: William Kenneth, Dramatic Repository, 1833), 96pp. [Note to reader: ‘Founded on a romance entitled The Haunted prior ...’ 22cm].

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Commentary
Rolf & Magda Loeber, with Anne Mullin Burnham, A Guide to Irish Fiction, 1650-1900 (Dublin: Four Courts Press 2006) - Introduction: ‘The first known Irish novel clearly aimed at English readership was Stephen Cullen's Gothic tale, The castle of Inchvally: A tale-alas! too true (London, 1796, 3 vols.), which has footnotes to explain Irish customs. Better known are Maria Edgeworth's Castle Rackrent. An Hibernian tale (London, 1800), and Mary Leadbeater's Cottage dialogues among the Irish peasantry (London, 1811), each of which contained an extensive glossary of Irish phrases and notes for the use of English readers.’ (p.lxiii.) [Note that the Loebers do not mention the earlier Haunted Priory in this context - and check listings in the Guide for same.]

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References
COPAC listing for The Castle of Inchvally (1796 Edn.) cites reference in S. J. Brown, Vol. 1 [i.e., Desmond Clarke], [item] 324.

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