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Title: The Willow Pattern Bridge: a novel and a critical study of three contemporary British historical novelists
Author: O'Riordan, Adam
ISNI:       0000 0004 8499 4355
Awarding Body: Royal Holloway, University of London
Current Institution: Royal Holloway, University of London
Date of Award: 2017
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The thesis consists of a novel (The Willow Pattern Bridge) and a critical study of historical novels by three contemporary British novelists; Alan Hollinghurst (b.1954), William Boyd (b. 1952) and Adam Foulds (b.1974). The novel, The Willow Pattern Bridge, is work of historical fiction set in Manchester in 1890s and tells the story of a young family who travel together to America to begin a new life. It is concerned with the transmission of identity and the experience of industrialised space. The critical part of the thesis explores the writing of historical fiction by three contemporary British novelists. It consists of three chapters. The first chapter looks at the uses of objects in the work of the three writers as a way of negotiating the pastness of the past. The use of objects in these historical novels is explored by reference to focalisation, defamiliarisation and improvisation across the work of the three. The focus of the chapter is different uses of objects in constructing the past in contemporary fiction. The second chapter examines the use of space in the work of the same three novelists. The focus of the chapter is how the idea of the garden and the larger landscape figures and recurs in the work of each and plays a role in constructing the identity of their characters. The third chapter examines some of the issues around the use of speech in recreating the past in historical fiction. These issues are explored across the work of the same three novelists. The conclusion looks at the way these three novelists have influenced the construction of the past in my own novel, with particular focus on the aspects examined in the preceeding three chapters.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available