Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Last men and women : surviving Romantic coteries
Author: Sheridan, Claire Louise
ISNI:       0000 0004 2731 0404
Awarding Body: Queen Mary, University of London
Current Institution: Queen Mary, University of London
Date of Award: 2012
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Full text unavailable from EThOS. Restricted access.
Access from Institution:
This thesis is concerned with the trope of surviving the specially constituted social group. It considers how a loosely connected set of writers addressed this theme in works published between 1798 and 1878. The works – primarily biography and fiction, but also poetry and drama – respond to the era 1790 to 1832, demarcating what we usually term the Romantic period. The thesis begins by focusing on memoirs by William Godwin and Amelia Opie. These texts are read as responses to surviving personal and political relationships associated with radical London in the 1790s. The thesis goes on to consider some of William Godwin and Mary Shelley's novels in terms of their use of the sole survival motif, and the relationship between the idea of being last and the demands of moral and political reform. This brings the thesis into the 1830s, and a new association that arises between the survival of Romantic social networks and authorial self-interest. Texts by survivors of the Shelley circle are shown to exploit this connection, and are read against alternative responses to lastness that use comic and satirical methods to reject it. Finally, the thesis investigates the theme of surviving the coterie as it is treated in a melodrama first performed at the Surrey Theatre in 1833, and argues that this generic departure lends the idea a radically new significance. The changes that the idea of being last of the coterie undergoes, as it is passed between generations, genders, and genres, are seen in the context of wider cultural phenomena, including changing conceptions of reform and individualism. This thesis observes the shifting relationship that the idea of surviving sociability has to these matters.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: English Literature