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Title: Robert Louis Stevenson : identity and ideology in the late Victorian British Empire
Author: Stevenson, Phillip
ISNI:       0000 0004 2710 4061
Awarding Body: University of Kent
Current Institution: University of Kent
Date of Award: 2011
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This thesis examines Robert Louis Stevenson's engagement with issues of cultural identity across a wide range of his writings, published as well as unpublished: romance narratives, historical novels, essays, letters, memoirs, neo-Gothic short stories, and Pacific travel writing and fiction. Beginning with a close examination of Stevenson's representation and interrogation of Scottish identities in domestic and British imperial contexts it expands outwards to show how Stevenson engaged with issues of identity within the late Victorian British Empire. This study challenges the compartmentalisation of Stevensonian criticism, and offers a detailed and holistic reading of his body of work, contextualising it within the social and ideological climate of the late Victorian era. It explores issues of cross-cultural contact and processes of negotiation and hybridisation, drawing upon colonial discourse and postcolonial theory. In addition it examines how Stevenson's own literary identity was formed, how Stevenson, coming from a position outside the prevailing stylistic 'schools' of Victorian literature, created, bulwarked, and argued his literary position, and how in so doing established a theoretical basis for the revival of Romance fiction. Further to that it explores the consistency of and changes to that identity over the course of his literary career and how Stevenson revisited, unsettled, and interrogated the themes and tropes of his own writing.
Supervisor: Edmond, Roderick S. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: PN Literature (General)