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Title: The New Forest : setting, sanctuary & the supernatural
Author: Barton, Kathryn Wendy
ISNI:       0000 0004 6500 7289
Awarding Body: University of Southampton
Current Institution: University of Southampton
Date of Award: 2017
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This project began with a love for the New Forest and a wish to understand the ways in which writers utilise it as location. It was asked how writers capture, convey and utilise this particular place and whether intimate knowledge of it can enhance their work. An analysis was made of the impression of the New Forest given by writers, whether as a setting, as sanctuary, or by utilising its supernatural effects. The knowledge gained from such research enabled the production of 23 short stories of varying lengths, entitled Haunts & Shades, with the New Forest as their linking location. Research was conducted into both fiction and non-fiction writing featuring the New Forest, ranging from Daniel Defoe in 1724 to writers of the 21st century. Specific writers were then chosen and analysed in more depth. The effect of location on a writer was evaluated. Professional writers’ advice on the use of location was studied. The New Forest itself was explored, historically and physically. Residents of the Forest, some of whom can trace their ancestry for several hundred years, were used as character studies in the story collection. Analysis revealed the advantages of a ‘total immersion’ approach and showed the pitfalls of relying on research alone for details of location. The short stories benefitted from the application of knowledge gained from such research. Each use of location in Haunts & Shades was influenced by awareness of its particular ambience, gained by the writer in a unique way. A first-hand knowledge of a location helps to provide a particular literary effect, an intimacy to the work. The thesis acknowledges that a writer, by meticulous research, can produce a valid and popular work. However, in order to convey a sense of a chosen location, a writer benefits from being immersed in its sights and sounds, myths and facts.
Supervisor: Smith, Rebecca ; Hanson, Sheila Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available