A self-described "disappointed Author", Charles Robert Maturin (1780-1824) has been largely relegated to the margins of literary history since his death in 1824.
Yet, as this study demonstrates, he exerted a fundamental influence on the development of Irish fiction in the early nineteenth century.
In particular, his novels dramatically underscore the continuing presence and deployment of the Gothic mode in Romantic Ireland - an influence now frequently overlooked in critical attention to the national and regional forms popularized in Ireland in the wake of Anglo-Irish Union (1801).
Working from Jacques Derrida's influential theory on ghosts, this study positions Maturin as the cornerstone on which to build a new paradigm of Irish Romantic fiction, one which accounts for the spectral traces of the past - cultural, social, and political - evident in early-nineteenth century Irish fiction.
As it does so, it calls for renewed critical and popular attention to an author who himself continues spectrally to emerge in the works of his literary successors. -- .