An Imaginary England: Nation, Landscape and Literature, by Roger Ebbatson

By Roger Ebbatson

In his hugely theorised and unique booklet, Roger Ebbatson lines the emergence of conceptions of britain and Englishness from 1840 to 1920. His research concentrates on poetry and fiction by way of authors reminiscent of Alfred Lord Tennyson, Richard Jefferies, Thomas Hardy, Q, Rupert Brooke and D.H. Lawrence, examining them as a physique of labor in which a sequence of problematical English identities are imaginatively built. Of specific problem is the best way literary landscapes function symptoms not just of identification but additionally of distinction. Ebbatson demonstrates how a feeling of cultural rootedness is contested in the course of the interval by way of the reviews of these at the societal margins, no matter if sexual, nationwide, social or racial, leading to a sense of homelessness even within the so much self-consciously 'English' texts. within the face of slow imperial and business decline, Ebbatson argues, international and colonial cultures performed a very important function in remodeling Englishness from a sturdy physique of values and reviews right into a even more ambiguous proposal in non-stop clash with components at the geographical or mental 'periphery'.

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