Studia Hibernica

Hubert Quinn, liberal Protestantism and late kailyard culture in mid-twentieth-century Ulster

Studia Hibernica (2016), 42, (1), 121–140.

Abstract

The genre of sentimental fiction of small-town and rural life influenced by theologically liberal Presbyterianism known as ‘kailyard’ originated in Scotland in the late nineteenth century but survived in Ulster into the 1950s, some decades after it had become outmoded in Scotland. The Presbyterian minister Hubert Quinn (1901–72) was one of the later Ulster exponents of ‘kailyard’ fiction; this paper charts Quinn’s gradual retreat from London to Belfast publishers and eventual self-publication as the kailyard genre became less marketable, his literary responses to the political-sectarian conflict of early twentieth-century Ireland, to the Second World War and to modernist-fundamentalist disputes within Irish Presbyterianism, and his combination of Christian socialism and theological liberalism with anti-modernist idealisation of rural life, fear of mechanical modernity and anti-feminism.

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Author details

Maume, Patrick