The Pre-Raphaelite legacy in modernism

Comer, Hannah (2020). The Pre-Raphaelite legacy in modernism. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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This thesis analyses the Pre-Raphaelite legacy in modernism. It focuses on the works of three modernist writers and artists: W. B. Yeats, D. H. Lawrence and David Jones. The work of Yeats, Lawrence and Jones, as writers and artists, demonstrates key intersections between modernism and their Pre-Raphaelite precursors. Whilst preceding scholarship acknowledges the influence of single figures associated with Pre-Raphaelitism on individual modernist writers, I propose in this thesis that the sustained focus on the Pre-Raphaelite legacy for modernism reveals a rich intertextual connection which has not yet been fully appreciated or expected. This thesis traces biographical and critical interactions between Yeats, Lawrence and Jones and the Pre-Raphaelites, foregrounding lesser-known elements of these associations, revealing an influence which persisted throughout their lives. After establishing Yeats’s connections to the Pre-Raphaelite movement at large, the first chapter examines Yeats’s enduring engagement with William Morris’s ideas across his poetry, drama, critical writings and radio broadcasts. The second chapter evaluates Lawrence’s use of Pre-Raphaelite paintings and figures in the context of women’s emancipation in his fiction and his poetry. The last chapter explores Jones’s engagement with the Pre-Raphaelites through the affiliations between their aesthetic and religious views on art and their shared Arthurianism.

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: N Fine Arts > N Visual arts (General) For photography, see TR
N Fine Arts > NX Arts in general
P Language and Literature > PR English literature


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