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Title: Born into a large connection : Virginia Woolf's legacies from three nineteenth-century forebears : Julia Margaret Cameron, Anny Thackeray Ritchie and Julia Prinsep Stephen
Author: Dell, Marion
ISNI:       0000 0004 2740 6078
Awarding Body: Open University
Current Institution: Open University
Date of Award: 2012
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In this thesis I explore the nineteenth-century legacies which inform Woolfs work, with specific reference to those of three of her forebears: Julia Margaret Cameron, Anny Thackeray Ritchie and Julia Prinsep Stephen. I analyse lines of descent to show that the work of these women are textually, artistically, biographically and genealogically embedded in Woolfs own; thus shaping Woo If as a writing woman. Woolfs complex, paradoxical, relationship with Cameron, Ritchie and Stephen in particular, reveals her conflicted relationship with her past in general. Each relationship is characterised by inconsistency and ambivalence. Woo If s lack of overt acknowledgement of the achievements of these forebears, and of her debt to them, does them a disservice. It contradicts her avowed intention to value and retrieve the work of earlier women writers. However, ambivalence is also part of their legacy to her. It is a creative aesthetic in the artistic work of all four women. Ambivalence allows Woo If to recycle and renegotiate narratives of her past; to explore different angles of vision; and to create boundaries as porous. Woolfs writing reveals her life-long engagement with her past and with Cameron, Ritchie and Stephen. Their lives and art are integrated into Woolf s own through her transmission of their photographs, her fictional portraits of them, resonances of their work, and their symbolic association with her iterated tropes. Cameron, Ritchie and Stephen are significant intertexts in the novels which frame this thesis: Night and Day and The Years. Woo If structures each novel through polarities but ultimately she disrupts all fissures; privileging wholeness, and cycles. Cameron, Ritchie and Stephen become part of this continuity from past to present and into the future, which Woolf proposes.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available