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

Morrall, Heather (2011). Dorothy Richardson’s Pilgrimage: the superficial or the profound? University of Birmingham. M.Phil.


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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: Thesis (Masters by Research > M.Phil.)
Award Type: Masters by Research > M.Phil.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
School or Department: School of English, Drama and American & Canadian Studies, Department of English Literature
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN0080 Criticism
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General)
P Language and Literature > PR English literature


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