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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Searching for Identity and Truth: How Letter Writing Creates Identity in Victorian Literature
by Johnson, Sarah, M.A., Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville, 2017, 97; 10615924
Abstract (Summary)

The nineteenth century brought to Great Britain the height of its colonial empire. With the advent of the Penny Post, it also brought a large increase in letter writing. Cheaper and more effective postage allowed citizens from all corners of the British Empire to stay connected. The connection established by letters, between the letter writer and the letter reader, allowed for identities to be constructed. Elizabeth Gaskell’s Cranford, Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre, and H. Rider Haggard’s She uncover the ways in which letter writing aids in identity construction but also illustrate that as men travel to the edges of Britain’s empire they are “othered”. Letters act as the only method through which they construct and perceive identity when they are far from Britain’s mainland.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Gurfinkel, Helena
Commitee: Cali, Elizabeth, Skoblow, Jeffrey
School: Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville
Department: English Language and Literature
School Location: United States -- Illinois
Source: MAI 56/06M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: British and Irish literature
Keywords: Creates, Identity, Letter, Searching, Truth, Victorian, Writing
Publication Number: 10615924
ISBN: 978-0-355-22964-6
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