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Title: The Life and Poetry of Richard Realf 1832 - 1878
Author: Realff, Carole
ISNI:       0000 0001 3510 4991
Current Institution: University of Sussex
Date of Award: 2007
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The Life and Poetry of Richard Realf 1832 -1878 is the first full-length study of the literary work and cultural impact of Richard Realf. There are two major justifications for writing this thesis. Firstly it provides a detailed and authoritative account of Realfs fascinating biography, a biography that had previously only been fragmentarily and inaccurately addressed. Secondly the thesis provides the first detailed analysis of Realfs major poetry, and places that poetry within the context of its cultural and literary reception in the nineteenth and twentieth . centuries. Realf wrote powerful social and satiric verse confronting several of the major issues thrown up by the political environment surrounding slavery in ante bellum America. The processes of reaction and acculturation which Realfs work generated have never been addressed before. ChaptE?r one sets out Realfs biography. It begins by tracing Realfs juvenile attempts to write in England, and the responses of the literary establishment of Victorian England to these. The main part of the account however concerns Realfs remarkable activities in America before and during the Civil War. Chapter two concentrates on Realfs Free-State poems written from the time he arrived in Kansas in 1856 and subsequently joined John Brown's crusade, up to and including the commencement of hostilities in the Civil War in 1861. Chapter three examines Realfs poetry written during his active service as a soldier in the Union Army redefining the definition of 'war Poet'. Later as an officer in a 'Colored' regiment and also working for the Freedmen's Bureau Realf had unique insights into a war that was for him always a fight against slavery. Chapter four concerns the cultural legacy Realf left behind after his suicide. The chapter examines the impact which Realfs life and work had on a succession of different writers, including Ambrose Bierce and Jack London.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available