John Bernard Trotter's Stories for Calumniators is another attempt to avoid the perils of history, and it is the first novel of the Rebellion that endeavours to put the events of 1798 into a specifically Irish historical context.
Although neither Oddities and Outlines nor Stories for Calumniators is an historical novel in the sense that we would understand the term in the wake of Walter Scott, both attempt to put the Rebellion into historical context.
Stories for Calumniators also gropes towards the historical, this time by highlighting historical grievances.
While Trotter's Stories for Calumniators is undoubtedly assertive on behalf of Catholics, it was only hi the second decade of the century that we can trace the beginnings of an assertive Catholic voice in fiction in the shape of two novels--Eliza Kelly's The Matron of Erin: A National Tale (1816), and the anonymous The United Irishman, Or, the Fatal Effects of Credulity (1819).
The points of view range from the utterly hostile, as in early novels such as The Rebel and The Infernal Quixote, through a more thoughtful period, represented by The Exile of Erin, Oddities and Outlines and Stories for Calumniators, to a more assertive Catholic viewpoint as seen in The Matron of Erin and The United Irishman, and finally to a valorization of the United Irishmen and their principles that was largely the property of Irish-American fiction until it began to appear in domestic fiction in the 1860s.
And if you have read the recent effusions of John Le Carre ("the United States of America has gone mad") or Harold Pinter, you will know that British calumniators
of America can be every bit as shrill as their Continental counterparts.
Secker surely seems less an innovator than a modest improver and, as Barnard is at pains to report, his contributions had more depth than the spectacular exercises perpetrated by calumniators
and champions of Anglicanism.
Still opposed to reopening the Dreyfus case, the anti-Dreyfusards launched a series of patriotic counterattacks designed to brand all Dreyfusards as traitors to France and calumniators
of the honor of the army.
Of course, it is easy to lose one's head in the heat of political strife, but what are we to think of those who, with every opportunity for reflection and the moderation of passion, accuse their political opponents of lying in cold print--which affords slanderers and calumniators
a certain amount of protection?