Sydney Morgan (née Owenson), Lady Morgan

1 portrait

Sydney Morgan (née Owenson), Lady Morgan, by William Behnes,  - NPG 1177 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

Sydney Morgan (née Owenson), Lady Morgan

by William Behnes
pen and ink
7 1/4 in. x 9 in. (184 mm x 229 mm)
Given by Francis Draper, 1898
Primary Collection
NPG 1177


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  • William Behnes (1794-1864), Sculptor. Artist associated with 31 portraits.

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An Anglo-Irish liberal and successful novelist, Lady Morgan was a leading figure in the 'Irish cultural revival'. This was a diverse and politicised movement which began in the 1770s and aimed to recover (and sometimes invent) ancient Gaelic civilisation as a means of asserting a pre-British national identity. At first embracing both Catholics and Protestants, in its later stages it was chiefly the tool of the ruling Anglo-Irish who feared the loss of power that the 1801 Act of Union would bring. Lady Morgan's most influential novel The Wild Irish Girl; A National Tale (1806), romanticised the Irish landscape and aspects of Gaelic culture while criticising Irish peasant barbarity.

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