Date of Graduation

5-2012

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in English (PhD)

Degree Level

Graduate

Department

English

Advisor

David A. Jolliffe

Committee Member

Danny Sexton

Second Committee Member

Amy Witherbee

Keywords

Language, literature and linguistics; Communication and the arts; British; Identity; Landscape; National; National identity; Nineteenth-century

Abstract

This project examines how nineteenth-century landscape theories shaped national identity and were influenced by it. Predominant is an investigation of how the desire for a more egalitarian class structure underlies the changes in British landscape design from an attachment to classical exclusivity through pastoral tropes to a limited acceptance of middle and working classes within public landscapes that represented patriotic values. Although poetic works inform the study, novel-length fiction and non-fiction prose and periodicals are also a primary source of consideration. Novels demonstrate how fictional geography generates the constructs of national ideology, and although canonical works typically referenced in studu of nineteenth-century landscape and the development of urban centers drive the discussion, other, less canonical novels and non-fiction historical texts contribute to the study's approach, which diverges from the rich history of literary criticism involving landscape and urban development in this respect. In addition to adding to the established criticism on landscape and literature, this study traces chronologically the changing attitudes of private and public ownership toward the land and physical environment. Conducting the study through the lens of Marxist economic considerations extends the reach of this research beyond literary scholarship - particularly Victorianist scholarship - to scholars of post-colonial studies, cultural studies, leisure theory, city planning, and the study of the history of public parks.

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