Derek Hand's A History of the Irish Novel is a major work of criticism on some of the greatest and most globally recognisable writers of the novel form. Writers such as Laurence Sterne, James Joyce, Elizabeth Bowen, Samuel Beckett and John McGahern have demonstrated the extraordinary intellectual range, thematic complexity and stylistic innovation of Irish fiction. Derek Hand provides a remarkably detailed picture of the Irish novel's emergence in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. He shows the story of the genre is the story of Ireland's troubled relationship to modernisation. The first critical synthesis of the Irish novel from the seventeenth century to the present day, this is a major book for the field, and the first to thematically, theoretically and contextually chart its development. It is an essential, entertaining and highly original guide to the history of the Irish novel.