Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Framing Guinevere: Gender, Nation, and Myth-Making in Jessie M. King's Illustrations of The Defence of Guenevere and Other Poems
by Dailey, Shannon Lee, M.A., University of California, Riverside, 2019, 149; 13897130
Abstract (Summary)

This thesis examines the representation of the character Guinevere in Jessie Marion King’s illustrations of the 1904 edition of The Defence of Guenevere and Other Poems, by William Morris, and the ways in which King’s illustrations can be read within intersecting frameworks of nationalism and gender in fin-de-siècle Scotland. The purpose of this analysis is to facilitate a better understanding of changing concepts of nineteenth-century and fin-de-siècle Scottish national identity in dialogue with gendered conventions of femininity and how gender operates within concepts of nationalism. King’s Defence of Guenevere illustrations can be interpreted according to concepts of multi-nationalism, pan-Britishness, and consanguinity that were promulgated in Great Britain at the turn of the century, as well as within the heteronormative gender binary system and its effect on typologies of femininity and conventions of sexuality. The illustrations can be read within such frameworks through the application of theories of nationhood, gender, semiotics, and post-structuralist inquiry, as well as comparative analyses with the works of contemporaneous artists and book illustrators. King’s Guinevere denies existing conceptualizations of femininity and the illustrations’ visual aesthetic evokes an image of a modern Scotto-British national identity. King’s Defence of Guenevere illustrations explore a revision of myths of femininity and myths of nationality, and offer new modern myths of “Scottishness.”

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Endres, Johannes
Commitee: Laxton, Susan, Baker, Malcolm
School: University of California, Riverside
Department: Art History
School Location: United States -- California
Source: MAI 81/2(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Art history, European history
Keywords: Book illustration, British art, Gender, Nationalism, Scottish art, Women artists
Publication Number: 13897130
ISBN: 9781085727556
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