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Title: Cornwall : an alternative construction of place
Author: Goodman, Gemma
ISNI:       0000 0004 2693 6173
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2010
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This thesis examines representations of Cornwall in literature from 1880 to 1940. It identifies alternative literary ‘Cornwalls’ and seeks to understand their relationship to the predominant ways in which Cornwall has been culturally produced. The Cornwalls identified are all influenced by a nineteenth century seismic shift from mining to tourism. Until its catastrophic collapse mining dominates how Cornwall is represented within and without of the county. Its replacement by tourism gives impetus to different ways of representing Cornwall in literature and other cultural mediums. Touristic friendly Cornwalls – Celtic, exotic, Arthurian – dominate. Economic necessity requires that these Cornwalls persist to radiate an enticing version of Cornwall to potential visitors. Some authors seize upon these dominant images and develop them, but there exists other literary Cornwalls – voices lost, hidden, subsumed –which counter hegemonic representation. Chapter One provides a cultural geography of Cornwall and discusses the dominant constructions of Cornwall in their historical and literary context. Chapter Two examines literature of Cornish mining. Salome Hocking’s novel focuses on the balmaiden, the female mine surface worker, while other mining texts adhere to a narrative of masculine achievement and toil. Chapter Three examines how visiting writers Dinah Craik and Edith Ellis negotiate established constructions of Cornwall. While Craik is unable to imagine a Cornwall uncoupled from Arthurianism, Ellis disengages from dominant representations of place in order to produce a form of literary anthropology. Chapter Four begins by positioning Jack Clemo and Daphne du Maurier as contrasting inheritors of the period of study. Du Maurier’s literature forms part of Tourist Cornwall while Clemo’s novels of the china clay region embrace an antitouristic, bleak, harsh, industrial world. Their literary worlds, however, though disparate, are in dialectic with each other. There can be identified, therefore, connections between the dominant and alternative versions of place under exploration.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: DA Great Britain ; PR English literature