Thursday, February 12, 2015

Thursday, February 12, 2015 12:30 am by M. in    No comments
Brontë-related theses and essays recently published:
Domestic imperialism in Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre and Henry Rider Haggard’s She, a history of adventure Ataya, Nabila Adel, American University of Beirut, Department of English, 2013

This thesis aims to discuss the Victorian understanding of gender politics through Imperial thought and discourse in both Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre and in Rider Haggard’s She: a History of Adventure. In both novels, the “woman question” was a source of anxiety for patriarchal Victorian society as it was detrimental to the progress of Imperial Britain. Dimensions of gender interplay constituted fundamental aspects to the definition of domesticity and in turn to the security and maintenance of imperial power. For Haggard, the “woman question” is addressed in his imperialist novel not only as problematic but also as a means to question the success of male sovereignty over Imperial Britain. As for Brontë the “woman question” is answered through Jane Eyre’s manipulation of society in Victorian England. Jane Eyre is the embodiment of the “New woman” who rises in the novel as the subject and the object of the patriarchal society which cleverly empowers her to move independently through the Victorian milieu. Using a feminist-imperial theory to reinterpret the social advancement of women in the Victorian age, this thesis studies the anxieties presented by the “woman question” and its implications that reshaped the positioning of women in society and the understanding of imperialism in Victorian Britain. After having read the works of various feminist-imperialist critics on the representation of female roles in Victorian novels, I have decided to exclude biographical interpretations of Charlotte Brontë’s orphaned life and of Rider Haggard’s disappointment with British politics in South Africa. Moreover, I have steered away from the traditional psychoanalytical and feminist interpretation of Jane Eyre through the studies of Freud, Gilbert and Gubar respectively. Instead, to understand the “woman question” in a new light I focus on interpreting the progress of women through domestic agency as a performa...
A Lost Collection of Robert Burns Manuscripts: Sir Alfred Law, Davidson Cook, and the Honresfield CollectionPatrick G. Scot
University of South Carolina
Scholar Commons, Faculty Publications, Department of English Language and Literatures

This essay traces the formation by William Law of Littlesborough, Lancashire, of a major collection of literary manuscripts and books, including works by Robert Burns, the Brontes, and Walter Scott; recounts the unlikely role in the 1920s of Davidson Cook, a cooperative society manager from Barnsley, in encouraging the then-owner Sir Alfred Law, M.P., of Honresfield House, to make the collections available for scholarly use; summarizes available information on the partial dispersal of the collection in the late 20s and early 1930s, and the disappearance after Sir Alfred's death in 1939 of much of the collection, including major items; and reviews in detail the current state of knowledge about the Honresfield Burns manuscripts, based on the scholarly access that was provided nearly a hundred years ago.
Influence and Legacy: The Brontë Sisters and Anne RiceAlexandru-Ionuţ Micu, PhD Student, ”Al. Ioan Cuza” University of Iaşi

“Whoever controls the media, the images, controls the culture”, said Allen Ginsberg. Those born in the 20th century have the luck to enrich their minds with literary masterpieces belonging to their predecessors. A novel or a poem is worth reading when it boosts one’s imagination, leading to introspection. I pause, while reading, to ponder over an idea that impressed me; at the same time I’m thrown back to various states and memories. It’s unbelievable what we discover about ourselves by simply reading. Great writers have been inspired especially by classics. In the gothic genre we run across Matthew Lewis, Anne Radcliffe or Edgar Allan Poe; at first, one would be surprised to learn that novels “Jane Eyre” and “Wuthering Heights” include elements of the gothic. Ill tempered characters wight for their loved ones and for their principles. Women silence men, supporting their points of view; an image unbearable in the first half of the 19th century. Novels belonging to the Brontë sisters hold the same energy as they did a century ago. No wonder they are avant-la-lettre and thought provoking. Horror writer Anne Rice admits she was influenced by the Brontës; her vampires possess the same force and cruelty like negative characters Heathcliff and Mr. Brocklehurst. They owe
supernatural powers, destroying everything around them. Moreover, misfit Catherine
Earnshaw resembles Rice’s creatures. They cannot find inner peace, struggling with dual
personalities. Catherine’s volcanic temper ends in no spiritual reconciliation; she’s stuck
between her nature and patriarchal pressures. She belongs to Heathcliff for eternity, but marries Linton. Jane Eyre fights for freedom of speech, trying to win over man’s authority; stubborn, smart, she rejects St.John’s marriage proposal or Helen’s spiritual limits. Like Lestat (“Interview with the Vampire”), she is willing to enforce her status in society in order to be accepted by the mob. Thus, mentalities can be shaped slowly but surely in order to reach that particular aim.


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