An Imaginary England: Nation, Landscape and Literature, 18401920

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2005-07-28
  • Publisher: Routledge

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In his highly theorised and original book, Roger Ebbatson traces the emergence of conceptions of England and Englishness from 1840 to 1920. His study concentrates on poetry and fiction by authors such as Alfred Lord Tennyson, Richard Jefferies, Thomas Hardy, Q, Rupert Brooke and D.H. Lawrence, reading them as a body of work through which a series of problematic English identities are imaginatively constructed. Of particular concern is the way literary landscapes serve as signs not only of identity but also of difference. Ebbatson demonstrates how a sense of cultural rootedness is contested during the period by the experiences of those on the societal margins, whether sexual, national, social or racial, resulting in a feeling of homelessness even in the most self-consciously 'English' texts. In the face of gradual imperial and industrial decline, Ebbatson argues, foreign and colonial cultures played a crucial role in transforming Englishness from a stable body of values and experiences into a much more ambiguous concept in continuous conflict with factors on the geographical or psychological 'periphery'.

Author Biography

Roger Ebbatson is Visiting Professor at Loughborough University, having previously taught at University College Worcester and the University of Sokoto, Nigeria.

Table of Contents

Preface vii
Introduction 1(18)
Chapter 1: Tennyson's English Idylls: History, Narrative, Art 19(26)
Chapter 2: Enoch Arden's Other Island 45(12)
Chapter 3: The Lonely Garden: The Sonnets of Charles Tennyson Turner 57(12)
Chapter 4: The Dewy Morn: Jefferies, Being and History 69(14)
Chapter 5: The Authorial Double: Hardy and Florence Henniker 83(16)
Chapter 6: 'Trooped Apparitions': Hardy and the Boer War 99(10)
Chapter 7: Poison Island: Quiller-Couch's English Treasure 109(26)
Chapter 8: Rupert Brooke: The South Seas, Englishness and Modernity 135(24)
Chapter 9: The Imaginary England of Edward Thomas 159(18)
Chapter 10: 'England, My England': Lawrence, War and Nation 177(14)
Afterword 191(4)
Notes 195(24)
Select Bibliography 219(4)
Index 223

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