Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Wednesday, September 11, 2019 12:30 am by M. in    No comments
A thesis:
The Presence of the Shelley's in the Brontës' Juvenilia
Yandell, J.E.
University of Nottingham, 2019

This thesis examines the juvenilia of the four Brontë siblings. It considers them primarily as readers, whose own work developed through their rewriting of the texts which they read. It proposes that, from 1829 onwards, a narrative about Percy Bysshe and Mary Shelley was available to the Brontë family through the periodicals and newspapers they had access to. It then shows how this narrative informed the writing of the juvenilia. To date, there has been no single, systematic exploration of a Shelleyean presence in the Brontës’ work. This thesis brings together scholars’ occasional and isolated recognitions of Shelleyean influences, alongside a wealth of new evidence, with the aim of demonstrating that the Brontës’ engagement with the Shelleys was more pervasive and significant than has hitherto been realised, and that the Brontës’ works should therefore be understood as having both a Shelleyean and also a specifically female literary heritage.
Considering examples of well-known textual borrowings in the juvenilia, such as those involving Napoleonic or Byronic narratives, I define a writing framework within which the Shelleys might be placed. This writing model involved borrowing from a source text to create a new work, where those borrowings might be structural, thematic or linguistic. Giving consideration also to wider Romantic writing practices, I explain how this practice of borrowing from, and responding to, certain Shelleyean narratives was intended to be recognised by the reader. Drawing on Helen Small’s recognition of a slight linguistic parallel between Mary’s The Last Man and Emily’s Wuthering Heights, this thesis proposes that the work of all four siblings demonstrates linguistic and thematic similarities with that of the Shelley’s published lives, as well as with elements of their work and poetry. As both readers and writers, the Brontës were, it is argued, fully a product of, and fully engaged with, the print culture of their time.
A couple of  M.A. theses:
Fantasy as Psychological Protection and a Coping Mechanism in Jane Eyre
Eden Conwell
Dalhousie University, 2019

In Charlotte Brontë’s novel Jane Eyre, Jane uses her imagination to create fantasies that enable her to overcome difficult environmental stimuli, including an abusive homelife, physical neglect at school, restlessness due to social constraints, and separation from love. She derives her daydreams from activities including reading,painting, drawing, and pacing, using them to ignite her mind. Her fantasizing helps her to process her experiences and regulate her emotions, preventing her from losing self control and succumbing to socially unacceptable behaviour. Through her imagination, Jane directs her attention away from circumstantial negativity toward thoughts that nurture her, enabling her to obtain the psychological benefits that her external environment denies her. As a result of her fantasy engagement, Jane develops resilience and accesses a degree of agency to act as an autonomous individual instead of as a submissive victim, displaying strength despite childhood trauma and adulthood adversity.
Frankenstein and Wuthering Heights: The Unreliable Male Narrator and Anonymous Female Authorship in the Gothic Novel
Tricia Monsour
University of Saskatchewan, 2019

Conventions of nineteenth-century British society restricted the subjects of women’s authorship and biased the reception of women’s writing. By publishing anonymously, or using a male pseudonym, women could evade the gender bias imposed on their literary works. The author’s name, however, was not the only means by which women could influence society’s reception of their works; a male narrator allowed the author not only a male persona, but a male voice through which to convey her writing. This paper will explore the characters of Captain Robert Walton in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, and Mr. Lockwood in Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights. As frame narratives, both Frankenstein and Wuthering Heights rely on these characters to shape the entire narrative. Walton and Lockwood enable Shelley and Brontë, respectively, to code their voices as male; publishing without identifying themselves as women allows these writers to further the perception. While comparisons have been drawn between Frankenstein and Wuthering Heights, research has not focused specifically on the male narrators in the text in synonymy with anonymous publication and the combined significance for the Gothic nature of these tales. The framing narrative structure of the novels fittingly accompanies their Gothic genre, which maintains a transgressive quality in its use of uncertainty. As expectations are thwarted and explanations are often withheld, the reader must surrender themselves to the narrative, granting Gothic authors immersive power over their readers. Within Frankenstein and Wuthering Heights, Shelley and Brontë use uncertainty to heighten the fearful nature of their Gothic tales for the reader. The authors create a sense of horror for a readership reliant on gender confines, the realization that such confines are permeable. By depicting their tales through frame narratives and publishing without revealing themselves as women, Shelley and Brontë engage a broader readership of both men and women, increase the freedom of their narrative voice, and heighten the uncertain nature of Gothic tales for the reader. Gothic tales thrive on uncertainty, which Shelley and Brontë then intensify through unreliable narrators and anonymity, leaving the readers uncertain of the authors’ gender.
A review ( by Elisabeth Jay) of Anglican Women Novelists from Charlotte Brontë to P.D. James published in Journal of Anglican Studies

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