Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS: http://ethos.bl.uk/OrderDetails.do?uin=uk.bl.ethos.582240
Title: Near London and Brighton : suburbs in fiction, 1780s-1820s
Author: Scarth, Katherine Ada
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2012
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Abstract:
My thesis explores London’s and Brighton’s Romantic-period affluent residential suburbs as represented in fiction by Charlotte Smith, Medora Gordon Bryon, Elizabeth Helme, Jane Austen, and Elizabeth Sandham. While scholarship is still small in size and scope, literary critics, historians, geographers, and architects have increasingly recognized the importance of this period for understanding suburban histories and geographies more generally. At this time, the middling ranks began to move en masse to the suburbs, distinctly suburban architecture and developments proliferated, and unprecedented acceleration in the growth of suburban population and infrastructure occurred. My thesis is the first full-length assertion of the suburbs’ significant re-ordering of society and the built environment in this period, a transformation that anticipates today’s ubiquitous Anglo-American suburbs. I ground my study in Romantic-period suburbs by using the work of J.C. Loudon, whose The Suburban Gardener, and Villa Companion (1838) was the first in-depth treatise on explicitly suburban homes and gardens. Furthermore, I spatialize the suburb, extending current criticism on Romantic-period homes, suburbs, and cities, and applying the ideas of postmodern geographers and spatial theorists. I define the suburban by focusing on how characters experience domestic space’s geographical location, material features, and social spaces. These elements of space, along with the connections between time and suburban space, reveal how the suburb is implicated with the urban and the rural and with issues of management and power. Characters experience suburban space differently depending on factors such as socio-economic status, lifestyle, gender, and space of primary identification. Multiple and diverse versions of suburban homes emerge. Invariably, the novels all prize some kind of peaceful retreat—a space of reflection, emotional tranquillity, intimacy, or physical rest. I interrogate how and why fictional narratives condone or condemn particular strategies of suburban space-making in order to elaborate on wider cultural implications.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Warwick Postgraduate Research Scholarship
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID: uk.bl.ethos.582240  DOI: Not available
Keywords: PN Literature (General)
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