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Special relationships: Anglo-American love affairs, courtships and marriages in fiction, 1821-1914

Woolf, Paul Jonathan (2007)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.

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Abstract

Special Relationships examines depictions of love affairs, courtships and marriages between British and American characters in nineteenth-century and early twentieth-century American short stories and novels. I argue that these transatlantic love stories respond to shifting Anglo-American cultural, political, and economic exchanges during the period. In some cases, texts under consideration actually helped shape those interactions. I also suggest that many authors found such transnational encounters a useful way to define ideal versions of American national identity, and to endorse or challenge prevalent attitudes regarding class, race, and gender. Special Relationships begins with Cooper’s The Spy (1821), which I discuss in the Introduction. Part One examines works published by Cooper, Irving, Frances Trollope, Lippard, Warner, and Melville during the 1820s, 30s and 40s, and traces the emergence of the “fairytale” of the American woman who marries into English aristocracy. Part Two places works by Henry James, Burnett, and several other writers in the context of a real-life phenomenon: the plethora of American women who between 1870 and 1914 married into European nobility. I conclude by discussing the Anglo-American political rapprochement of the 1890s and the use by Jack London and Edgar Rice Burroughs of Anglo-American love stories to promote racial ‘Anglo-Saxonism.’

Type of Work:Ph.D. thesis.
Supervisor(s):Gair, Christopher (1961-)
School/Faculty:Schools (1998 to 2008) > School of Historical Studies
Department:Department of American and Canadian Studies
Keywords:19th-century literature Alcott, Louisa May American literature Anglo-American marriage Anglo-American relations Atherton, Gertrude Burroughs, Edgar Rice Citizenship and Gender Cooper, James Fenimore Hawthorne, Nathaniel Irving, Washington James, Henry Lippard, George London, Jack Marriage Melville, Herman Trollope, Fanny Transatlantic Studies Warner, Susan Wharton, Edith
Subjects:PR English literature
PS American literature
Institution:University of Birmingham
Library Catalogue:Check for printed version of this thesis
ID Code:73
This unpublished thesis/dissertation is copyright of the author and/or third parties.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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