Folklore in the works of Charlotte Brontë: a new critical approach

Feldman, Ariella (2021). Folklore in the works of Charlotte Brontë: a new critical approach. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

Text - Accepted Version
Available under License All rights reserved.

Download (1MB) | Preview


My key objectives are to establish a new contextual framework of folklore in the realist novel so as to widen current Gothic interpretations of Charlotte Brontë’s uses of the supernatural across her fiction, to provide evidence of local cultural and Romantic literary sources of folklore in her novels, arguing for their relevant influences on Brontë’s narrative and ideological uses, and to connect Brontë’s literary allusions to folk belief to her letters. Firstly, I establish Brontë’s local folklore milieu as a narrative source in Shirley (1849), comparing the material to historical secondary sources. Secondly, I argue for Brontë’s early adaptation of the literary antiquarian Walter Scott’s narrative and thematic uses of folklore in the Glass Town and Angria Tales. Thirdly, with Scott’s Romantic fairy tradition material as a resource, I argue for Brontë’s transformative use of the fairy motif in the study of various socio-cultural issues in Jane Eyre (1847). Lastly, I examine Brontë’s imitation and development of Scott’s rhetoric of scepticism in his Letters on Demonology and Witchcraft (1830) for the study of Enlightenment Rationality and Christian truths, in relation to the ghost motif of Villette (1853).

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
Licence: All rights reserved
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
School or Department: School of English, Drama and Creative Studies
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GR Folklore
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GT Manners and customs
P Language and Literature > PR English literature


Request a Correction Request a Correction
View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year