Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Authorship, imperial masculinity, and parody in the works of Jerome K. Jerome, 1886-1902
Author: Ibitson, David Alexander
Awarding Body: University of Leeds
Current Institution: University of Leeds
Date of Award: 2013
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
This thesis demonstrates that Jerome K. Jerome's Three Men in a Boat functions as a parody of an Imperial adventure narrative, mimicking Henry Morton Stanley's How I Found Livingstone, as well as works by H. Rider Haggard and G. A. Henty. It acts to critically disfigure its literary source texts, as well as to question tenets of heroic masculinity. This primary parody in turn suggests how Jerome's wider body of work acts on other more social source texts which are bound up with ideas of Imperial adventure. Jerome's writing acknowledges and undermines contemporary ideas of urban enervation and declining national fitness, proposing instead a valid office clerk masculinity in opposition to an Imperial one. His protagonists evoke and undermine contemporary urban escape programmes and boys organizations, such as the Boys' Brigade. Similarly, Jerome also targets the efforts of social reformers who carry out urban exploration, while using and endorsing the site of the music hall to argue for a type of urban masculinity. He brings together ideas of urban degeneration, imperial travel and sexual danger to portray the practice of urban exploration as a parodic corruption of explorative heroism. Jerome's work also demonstrates an attempt to resolve notions of clerkish enervation with authorship as a career, His novels express an authorial anxiety about the suitability of writing as a masculine profession, which is comparable with George Gissing's New Grub Street. Jerome is revealed to be a crucial focal point which brings together intersecting fin de siecle ideas of masculinity, heroism, class and national fitness, and fully explicates how these interact. These concerns anticipate preoccupations of modernist texts.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available