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Romantic Antiquaries and Silent Conversations: Ann Radcliffe's Post-1797 Works and Sir Walter Scott

Bobbitt, Elizabeth Kathleen (2018) Romantic Antiquaries and Silent Conversations: Ann Radcliffe's Post-1797 Works and Sir Walter Scott. PhD thesis, University of York.

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Abstract

This study aims to redress the almost complete critical marginalisation of Ann Radcliffe’s post-1797 works, published in a four-volume collection entitled "Gaston de Blondeville, or the Court of Henry III Keeping Festival in Ardenne, a Romance; St. Alban’s Abbey: A Metrical Tale, with some Poetical Pieces by Ann Radcliffe, to which is Prefixed a Memoir of the Author with Extracts from her Journals" (1826). I examine the major works of this collection, beginning with Radcliffe’s last novel, "Gaston de Blondeville," before providing a critical analysis of her two longest narrative poems, "St. Alban’s Abbey" and "Salisbury Plains: Stonehenge." In arguing for a widening of the bounds of Radcliffean scholarship to include not just her well-known Gothic romances of the 1790s, but also her later works, I contextualise Radcliffe’s post-1797 texts alongside Sir Walter Scott’s "Ivanhoe" (1820) and his earlier narrative poetry. Examining Radcliffe’s later work in the context of Scott’s historical fiction allows us to see Radcliffe’s innovation as a writer post-1790s. It also highlights the striking thematic reciprocity which exists between Radcliffe’s post-1797 texts and Scott’s historical fiction. These works display varying responses to a larger revival of interest in Britain’s early heritage, exemplified through Radcliffe’s and Scott’s exploration of the nature of antiquarian study and medieval romance forms. In tracking this thematic reciprocity, this study uncovers a little-acknowledged "conversation," initiated by Radcliffe’s post-1797 works with Scott’s oeuvre. The forthcoming chapters define the specific nature of this "conversation," in which Radcliffe first anticipates and then responds to Scott’s unprecedented literary success in the field of historical fiction.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Academic Units: The University of York > English and Related Literature (York)
Depositing User: Elizabeth Kathleen Bobbitt
Date Deposited: 03 Dec 2018 16:36
Last Modified: 03 Dec 2018 16:36
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/21407

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