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Title: Mathilde Blind's 'The Ascent of Man' : a case study of the intellectual history, composition, publication, reception history and recovery of a late nineteenth-century volume of poetry
Author: Kuharenoka, Maija
ISNI:       0000 0004 7968 8978
Awarding Body: De Montfort University
Current Institution: De Montfort University
Date of Award: 2017
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This thesis is a case study of Mathilde Blind's (1841-1896) volume of poetry The Ascent of Man (1889) which focuses on the volume's intellectual history, composition, publication, and reception history, including its recent recovery by critics and scholars. Its aim is to ascertain the extent to which this kind of approach, usually reserved for canonical male writers, can produce new insights into the work of late-nineteenth-century women poets. It relies heavily on previously unpublished archival material held at the British Library, the Bodleian Library, the library of the University of Reading, and the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center of The University of Texas at Austin, which together shed light on previously unknown aspects of Blind's work in general and The Ascent of Man in particular. The introduction to the thesis provides an overview of recovery studies and related issues, archival sources, the current state of research on Blind and The Ascent of Man, as well as explaining the reasons for the decision to focus on this volume. The first chapter dwells on the intellectual origins of the volume, including the ideas that shaped Blind's worldview, affected her poetical sensibilities and had a direct effect on the ideas expressed in the volume. Chapter two looks at the material relating to the composition, production and advertising of the volume, establishing a timeline for The Ascent of Man and, where possible, the sequence of changes to the text between manuscript and publication, as well as exploring Blind's working relationship with her publisher, Chatto and Windus. The final chapter investigates the reception of the volume, including posthumous reviews, with the aim of tracing the changes in its reputation and determining the reasons for Blind's disappearance for most of the twentieth century.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available