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Dorothy Richardson’s Pilgrimage: the superficial or the profound?

Morrall, Heather (2011)
M.Phil. thesis, University of Birmingham.

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Abstract

Dorothy Richardson’s Pilgrimage (1915-­‐1938), presents an introspective view of Miriam Henderson’s life during the early 1900s. Richardson developed an unusual writing style similar to that of James Joyce which became known as ‘stream of consciousness’. It was a term she disliked and disputed, even though the term conveys the immediacy of the thoughts and impressions that the reader has to assimilate through her character Miriam Henderson. Previous literary readings of Pilgrimage have typically analysed this literary focus and style in relation to the feminine consciousness, cinematography, and the workings of memory. This thesis examines the responses of Richardson’s contemporaries: Virginia Woolf, May Sinclair, and Katherine Mansfield. Their reviews and comments of Pilgrimage are interesting to analyse as they reveal very different responses. Woolf and Mansfield suggest that the volumes are superficial and fail to achieve the aims that Richardson intended, while May Sinclair believes that they demonstrate considerable depth. I have taken these differing opinions as the premise of this thesis. I shall explore the depth versus the superficial by exploring different aspects of Miriam’s life in the volumes. I have identified key parts of Miriam’s life and self in order to explore this further: sensory life; social life; relationships.

Type of Work:M.Phil. thesis.
Supervisor(s):Longworth, Deborah
School/Faculty:Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
Department:Department of English
Subjects:PN0080 Criticism
PN Literature (General)
PR English literature
Institution:University of Birmingham
ID Code:1571
This unpublished thesis/dissertation is copyright of the author and/or third parties. The intellectual property rights of the author or third parties in respect of this work are as defined by The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 or as modified by any successor legislation. Any use made of information contained in this thesis/dissertation must be in accordance with that legislation and must be properly acknowledged. Further distribution or reproduction in any format is prohibited without the permission of the copyright holder.
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