This dissertation argues that the question of what equality means is a significant subject of debate in early- to mid-nineteenth century Britain; and moreover, that the problem of equality, of what kind of human commonality could underpin democracy, is a shaping force in novels of this period, as well as to the emergent form of the realist novel. In particular, this dissertation traces figures of levelers and metaphors of leveling, arguing that these figures of speech reveal the persistent pressure anxiety about and optimism in equality puts on print culture, especially the novel, in this period. Major authors considered in this project include Mary Shelley, William Godwin, Thomas Paine, William Hazlitt, Charles Kingsley, Anna Barbauld, Charlotte Bronte and Feargus O'Connor.
|Advisor:||Chandler, James K.|
|Commitee:||Hadley, Elaine, Makdisi, Saree|
|School:||The University of Chicago|
|Department:||English Language and Literature|
|School Location:||United States -- Illinois|
|Source:||DAI-A 70/08, Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||British and Irish literature|
|Keywords:||Britain, Equality, Leveling, Novel, Romantic, Victorian|
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