H.D. and the shore: an ecocritical study

O'Connor, Elizabeth Rose (2020). H.D. and the shore: an ecocritical study. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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This thesis explores the significance of littoral imagery in the poetry and prose of the American modernist H.D. (1886-1961), and asserts the shore and its ecology as a central, unexplored aspect of her work. Over the course of H.D.’s career, the shore is used to explore palimpsests of landscape, ecology, identity and myth over European and U.S. shorelines, reflecting on our own cultural understanding of the shore and modern conceptualisations of these mutable and now extremely vulnerable landscapes.

An ecocritical approach is used to situate H.D.’s poetic shores within the coastal places she knew and visited during her life, highlighting her close engagement with specific littoral places, flora and fauna. It also considers H.D.’s investment in littoral ecology and wildlife, namely jellyfish, molluscs, sea-birds, migratory flocks and coastal flora. As well as documenting H.D.’s naturalistic observation of particular shores, this thesis also explores the interaction of mythology and nature in H.D.’s work, and examines the shore’s symbolic significance to H.D. within a larger network of cultural associations with the shore.

The thesis also suggests further opportunity in considering how modernist writers engaged with ecology, animals and landscapes, and explores how this legacy reflects our own contemporary environmental concerns.

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, Department of English Literature
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PR English literature
URI: http://etheses.bham.ac.uk/id/eprint/10471


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