Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Leveling aims: Equality and the novel in Britain, 1790–1850
by Strang, Hilary Ashton, Ph.D., The University of Chicago, 2009, 154; 3369462
Abstract (Summary)

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.

Indexing (document details)
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
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: British and Irish literature
Keywords: Britain, Equality, Leveling, Novel, Romantic, Victorian
Publication Number: 3369462
ISBN: 978-1-109-31572-1
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