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Title: Beyond borders : war and nation in the novels of Storm Jameson, 1937-1961
Author: Cooper, Katherine
Awarding Body: University of Newcastle Upon Tyne
Current Institution: University of Newcastle upon Tyne
Date of Award: 2013
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This thesis investigates war and nation in Margaret Storm Jameson’s novels, paying close attention to those relating to World War Two. While building on recent work, which has aimed to revive Jameson’s literary reputation, this project concentrates not on her marginalisation but on her place within the wider literary landscape as a war writer. It argues that Jameson’s novels of this period speak to the evolution of nation and national identities during World War Two, but also that they constitute an important deviation from literary trends prevalent during this period: Jed Esty and Marina MacKay have observed that the beginning of World War Two marked a point when English writers sought to focus inward in their writing, prioritising ideas of Englishness and English identity. I argue that Jameson’s work during this time represents a move away from this tendency and instead constitutes a widening of vision and a deliberate focus away from England onto the continent. Reading novels from The Moon Is Making (1937) to Last Score (1961) alongside Jameson’s political essays, letters and critical work, I look at her presentations of nation and of Europe, arguing that Jameson’s desire to focus on European experiences of war at this time is symptomatic of her desire for an improved and united Europe after the war. This thesis is comprised of four chapters. The first chapter is an account of the evolution of Jameson’s thought and outlook in the 1930s, from an inward-looking isolationist pacifism in The Moon Is Making to a more expansive view of Europe under threat in later novels such as Europe to Let (1940). Chapter Two looks at the changing presentations of two nations, Czechoslovakia and Germany, at times of occupation and defeat in Then We Shall Hear Singing (1942) and The Other Side (1946), tracing the movement of Jameson’s attitudes to each nation at different stages of the war. Chapter Three moves to consider Jameson’s presentation of the stateless or those who can be understood as outside the nation during times of threat and occupation, from Jews and refugees to women, in novels such as Cloudless May (1943) and The Black Laurel (1947). Chapter Four examines the end of the war and the shift of international power represented by the Cold War, in The Moment of Truth (1949), The Hidden River (1955) and Last Score (1961). The thesis places these novels within their historical context, using contemporary and more recent theories of nation to identify their engagement with evolving discourses around both nation and Europe during World War Two. In doing so, I position Jameson as a key European writer of this period.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: AHRC ; S.Y. Killingley Trust ; Faculty of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences, Newcastle University
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available