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Title: The presence of the Shelley's in the Brontës' juvenilia
Author: Young, J. E.
ISNI:       0000 0004 7971 3408
Awarding Body: University of Nottingham
Current Institution: University of Nottingham
Date of Award: 2019
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This thesis examines the juvenilia of the four Brontë siblings. It considers them primarily as readers, whose own work developed through their rewriting of the texts which they read. It proposes that, from 1829 onwards, a narrative about Percy Bysshe and Mary Shelley was available to the Brontë family through the periodicals and newspapers they had access to. It then shows how this narrative informed the writing of the juvenilia. To date, there has been no single, systematic exploration of a Shelleyean presence in the Brontës' work. This thesis brings together scholars' occasional and isolated recognitions of Shelleyean influences, alongside a wealth of new evidence, with the aim of demonstrating that the Brontës' engagement with the Shelleys was more pervasive and significant than has hitherto been realised, and that the Brontës' works should therefore be understood as having both a Shelleyean and also a specifically female literary heritage. Considering examples of well-known textual borrowings in the juvenilia, such as those involving Napoleonic or Byronic narratives, I define a writing framework within which the Shelleys might be placed. This writing model involved borrowing from a source text to create a new work, where those borrowings might be structural, thematic or linguistic. Giving consideration also to wider Romantic writing practices, I explain how this practice of borrowing from, and responding to, certain Shelleyean narratives was intended to be recognised by the reader. Drawing on Helen Small's recognition of a slight linguistic parallel between Mary's The Last Man and Emily's Wuthering Heights, this thesis proposes that the work of all four siblings demonstrates linguistic and thematic similarities with that of the Shelley's published lives, as well as with elements of their work and poetry. As both readers and writers, the Brontës were, it is argued, fully a product of, and fully engaged with, the print culture of their time.
Supervisor: Guy, Josephine ; Green, Matthew Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: PR English literature