Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: 'The sphinx will speak at last' : theology and Egypt in nineteenth-century fiction
Author: Brio, Sara Nicole
ISNI:       0000 0004 8510 5126
Awarding Body: University of Leeds
Current Institution: University of Leeds
Date of Award: 2020
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Full text unavailable from EThOS. Thesis embargoed until 01 Jun 2025
Access from Institution:
Nineteenth-century fiction participated in a wider cultural discourse through which a constructed spectacle of Egypt came to be understood as true. Each literary view of ancient Egypt was created and recreated by authors in the period, building a body of texts which reproduced ancient Egypt as exotic Other. There has been a recent rise in publications exploring the ways in which nineteenth-century British, French, and American authors used ancient Egypt in their texts to assert the West’s imperial authority. However, there remains a persistent gap in this scholarship on how these Western literary creations of ancient Egypt as a land of mystical power contributed to broader debates concerning the religious beyond. I call these texts ‘Egyptianising fiction’, a term that builds on the work of authors such as Maria Fleischhack, Roger Luckhurst, and James Curl. My definition of this term also develops the analyses of ancient Egypt and Western esotericism by Antoine Faivre, Olav Hammer, and Erik Hornung. Through my analysis of nineteenth-century Egyptianising fiction, I explore concerns about the effect of evolutionary theory on Christianity, mid nineteenth-century religious debates about atonement, understandings of spiritualism and occultism in the period, and the effect of cemetery reform on representations of death in order to locate each piece of Egyptianising fiction within its wider nineteenth-century historical context. I suggest that nineteenth-century Egyptianising fiction ultimately leaves the entrance to the tomb slightly ajar, allowing a tantalizing glimpse at the prospect of secrets to the unanswered questions and mysteries of the grave lingering within the pyramid.
Supervisor: Mussell, James Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available