Wales, the West Country, and the Midlands in female-authored novels, 1810-1820

Hawley-Sibbett, Ruby Ellen (2023) Wales, the West Country, and the Midlands in female-authored novels, 1810-1820. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.

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This thesis focuses on the use of regional spaces in a corpus of forty-four female-authored novels set in Wales, the West Country, and the Midlands, published between 1810 and 1820. By so doing, it aims to address a gap in current scholarship on Romantic regionalism. It argues that these case study regions form a coherent grouping within the wider phenomenon of the English and Welsh regional novel, due to their contiguity, their many similarities, and their shared differences from other spaces. This study focuses on the 1810s as a significant point in the development of the regional novel genre. It considers trends which correlate with formal regional boundaries, as well as transregional themes, particularly remoteness and retirement.

This thesis argues that there is a certain amount of regional distinctiveness in the representation of each of its case study regions. However, it also explores how this distinctiveness coexisted with prevalent stereotypical images associated with a generic rural ideal, which is often nationalistic and conservative. It considers women writers’ approach to the relationship between literary space and female freedom, arguing that the corpus of novels which it discusses presents an overwhelmingly conservative vision of gender politics; it also highlights exceptional images of alternative gender performance, which primarily appear in Wales. This study aims to situate Jane Austen’s use of regional settings in the context of her publishing contemporaries, drawing attention to those who represent these spaces in distinctive ways, particularly Catherine Hutton.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (PhD)
Supervisors: Pratt, Lynda
ní Fhlathúin, Máire
James, Felicity
Keywords: 1810s, Romanticism, novel, Jane Austen, space, setting, regional, Midlands, West Country, Wales, women's writing, women writers
Subjects: P Language and literature > PR English literature
Faculties/Schools: UK Campuses > Faculty of Arts > School of English
Item ID: 73057
Depositing User: Hawley-Sibbett, Ruby
Date Deposited: 20 Jul 2023 04:40
Last Modified: 20 Jul 2023 04:40

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