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Title: 'immaculately pure and very high in tone' : proto-feminism in the novels of Rosa Nouchette Carey
Authors: Hartnell, Elaine Marie.
Award date: 1998
Presented at: University of Leicester
Abstract: This thesis constitutes the first in-depth study of the forty-one largely-forgotten 'domestic' novels of Rosa Carey [1840-1909]. Jane Crisp's pioneering monography on Carey combines a useful essay on the major themes in the novels with extensive bibliographies of Carey's work and other related material. However, this thesis is the first extended treatment of the novels to place them in their historical context and to apply to them to a variety of theoretical readings. Thus, it is germane to the feminist project of 'rediscovery'.;However, the work also dovetails into existing scholarship in that it begins to chart an area as yet only hinted at by others. Recent ground-breaking work relating to the 'domestic sphere' has focused upon three areas: the subversive genres of sensation novel and novels about the 'New Woman' [as does Lyn Pykett in The Improper Feminine]; historical explorations of the lives of women who wished to escape from the domestic sphere into remunerative employment of alternative communities [as exemplified by Martha Vicinus' Independent Women]; and work on texts of domesticity from the first half of the nineteenth century [especially Nancy Armstrong's Desire and Domestic Fiction]. The first two of these areas cover the period explored by this thesis but do not focus directly upon the construction and function of the normative domestic; the third gives an account of the rise of 'domesticity' but ends just before the age of the domestic novel proper. Research in all of these areas places at the periphery what this thesis places at the centre.;Finally, the thesis has something new to say in theoretical terms. The exciting work of Jean-Francois Lyotard, which has thus far been appropriated by the Postmodernists, has been used to illuminate the literature and society of the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries.
Type: Thesis
Level: Doctoral
Qualification: Ph.D.
Rights: Copyright © the author. All rights reserved.
Appears in Collections:Theses, Dept. of English
Leicester Theses

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