Date of Award

1-1-2011

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph.D.

Department

English

First Advisor

Benjamin Kim, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Linda Bensel-Meyers

Third Advisor

Eleanor McNees

Fourth Advisor

Ingrid Tague

Keywords

Austen, Britain, Byron, Domestic virtues, History, Scott

Abstract

James Chandler in England in 1819: the Politics Of Literary Culture and the Case of Romantic Historicism says that the second-generation Romantic writers were in essence historicist. According to Chandler, the literary work of England in 1819 is concerned with its own historical self-representation. Romantic writers can be regarded as fashioning the history by which they must be understood. Chandler regards Romanticism as a crucial period because despite the relatively short span of years to which it is usually assigned (1790-1830), close attention has been paid to its literary activity (3). Chandler's concern is "with writings that seek to state the case of the nation--and do so in such a way as to alter its case" (6). A primary concern for second-generation Romantic writers was to examine through their texts and correspondence Britain's national identity because their writings demonstrate their desire to participate in "a national self-making or remaking," underscoring future possibilities for changes in the existing societal order.

My dissertation investigates three second-generation Romantic writers, Jane Austen, Lord Byron, and Sir Walter Scott. I argue they fashioned history by arguing for certain "domestic virtues" that would determine the future course of the nation and national identity. Examining a brief time span in the Romantic period, 1805-1819, my dissertation explores these writers' treatment of domestic issues and national identity in the following texts: Austen's Mansfield Park and Persuasion; Byron's The Corsair and Lara; and Scott's Ivanhoe. At issue is how these writers' individualized yet communal sense of history, both personal and public, impacts their narrative accounts of domestic issues and national identity. Their texts examine both the national and personal aspects of domestic virtues. On a national level their texts investigate domestic issues, such as Britain's involvement in the slave trade, women's education, public and private morality in Regency England in 1814, and Scotland's place within Britain in 1819. Austen, Byron and Scott unite the past to the present to create a narrative structure of community and national history.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.

Provenance

Received from ProQuest

Rights holder

Joan Garden Cooper

File size

153 p.

File format

application/pdf

Language

en

Discipline

British and Irish literature

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