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Devotion and Identity in the Works of Edmund Yates and Wilkie Collins

Brown, Lucy Victoria (2015) Devotion and Identity in the Works of Edmund Yates and Wilkie Collins. PhD thesis, University of Sheffield.

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Abstract

The thesis analyses the sensation novels of Edmund Yates and Wilkie Collins with emphasis on the representation of devotion within the texts. The thesis examines the depictions of four distinct types of character, the wife, the female friend, the disabled male and the servant, and identifies a trend within the novels of Yates and Collins whereby characters defy the conventional power structures of class and gender, obtaining agency via acts of devotion that nevertheless also perform and reinforce conventional social structures. The devotion between characters can therefore be understood as a force that ‘queers’ identity, reconfiguring relationships in ways that unsettle the bounds of heteronormativity. The sensational devotion of Yates and Collins is analysed in the context of the periodical press with which both Yates and Collins were closely involved. By using periodical articles as indicators of contemporary opinion and argument, the thesis explores Yates’s and Collins’s divergence from cultural norms, a divergence that opens up new possibilities for the sensation genre. Via these discussions the thesis seeks to re-assert Yates as a significant member of the sensation canon.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Arts and Humanities (Sheffield) > School of English (Sheffield)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.666620
Depositing User: Miss Lucy Victoria Brown
Date Deposited: 18 Sep 2015 14:21
Last Modified: 03 Oct 2016 12:19
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/10032

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