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The Picturesque, The Sublime, The Beautiful: Visual Artistry in the Works of Charlotte Smith (1749-1806)

Derbyshire, Valerie Grace (2018) The Picturesque, The Sublime, The Beautiful: Visual Artistry in the Works of Charlotte Smith (1749-1806). PhD thesis, University of Sheffield.

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Abstract

This thesis considers the relationships between Charlotte Smith (1749-1806) and a number of visual artists of the eighteenth century with whom she had connections. By exploring these associations with artists such as George Smith of Chichester (c. 1714-1776), George Romney (1734-1802), James Northcote (1746-1831), John Raphael Smith (1751-1812) and Emma Smith (1783-1853), the thesis demonstrates how the artwork of these individual artists influenced the literary works of Charlotte Smith. It further indicates how the literary works of Charlotte Smith exercised a mutual influence on the corpora of these artists. This study reveals information which was not heretofore known in connection with these artists, including a mistaken attribution of a sketch which accompanied the second volume of Smith’s Elegiac Sonnets (1797) and a print held by the British Museum which was previously shrouded in mystery. The artworks also enhance the information scholars already hold in respect of Smith’s biography. The main purpose of the thesis, however is to analyse the tropes and motifs of these artists and the popular aesthetics of the period as they employed them and undertake parallel readings between the visual artistry and examples from Smith’s poetry, novels and educational works for children. The thesis deliberates on how Smith utilises these aesthetics as narrative devices, making use of the tropes of the picturesque, the sublime, the beautiful and a national artwork in the form of the iconography of heraldic charges, in order to enhance meaning in her literary oeuvre. By accessing these aesthetics and employing them thus, Smith makes use of them as a vehicle for social critique making commentary on political, gender, moral and class concerns, in addition to using the artwork in order to enhance the perceived authenticity of her own artistry.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: Charlotte Smith, Visual Artistry, Romanticism
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Arts and Humanities (Sheffield) > School of English (Sheffield)
Depositing User: Dr Valerie Grace Derbyshir
Date Deposited: 03 Dec 2018 09:41
Last Modified: 03 Dec 2018 09:41
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/22192

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