The Wild Irish Boy, Works of Charles Robert Maturin, Vol. 2 by Charles Robert Maturin
The Wild Irish Boy (1808) was Charles Robert Maturin's second novel. Set in Ireland and England, the story follows the adventures of Ormsby Bethel, a young Irishman of uncertain ancestry, as he navigates through the temptations of high life, the intrigues of swindlers, gamblers, and fast women, and his own uncertainties about his place in the societies of both countries. Combining features of the silver fork novel, coming-of-age story, and to some degree (in scenes of Irish life) the national novel, The Wild Irish Boy is an entertaining tale full of unexpected twists and turns, extravagant scenes of fashionable excess, misguided and dangerous passions, and long-held secrets with dire consequences: riches and ruin, both moral and financial. Among the colorful characters is the too-fascinating Lady Montrevor, cultured, ingenious, and enigmatic, who adds a dimension of excitement and intrigue that contributes to making The Wild Irish Boy a novel rich with conflicting social and moral viewpoints.