Browsing Faculty of Humanities by Publisher "Open Library of Humanities"
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‘Equivocal Objects: The Problems of Property in Daniel Deronda’Written between the passing of the first Married Women's Property Act in 1870 and the second Act of 1882, Eliot's final novel, Daniel Deronda (1876), offers a powerful depiction of the social and legal disabilities faced by women. Her representations of objects and objectification centre on the concept of property, not only portable property such as jewellery and clothing, but also the idea of women themselves as property to be exchanged within the Victorian social system. This essay suggests that Eliot's awareness of the anomalies of the law and the equivocal positions held by women in terms of property ownership informs her depictions of the things women possess, and the sorts of meanings generated by objects. The essay argues that in Daniel Deronda Eliot offers a powerful critique of women's exclusion from the patriarchal processes of primogeniture, and that her ironic use of terms such as 'own' and 'self-possession' in relation to her female characters helps to emphasise her need to move beyond the heroine who renounces the things of this world.
‘When the reservoir comes’: Drowned Villages, Community and Nostalgia in Contemporary British FictionA ‘drowned’ or flooded village describes the destruction of a settlement or community to make way for a reservoir; as a practice, it most commonly occurred in Britain during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries when the need for fresh water in growing industrial cities was at its height. This essay will explore three different representations of the ‘drowned village’ in contemporary British fiction. Reginald Hill’s On Beulah Height (1992), Hilary Mantel’s short story ‘The Clean Slate’ (2001) and Sarah Hall’s Haweswater (2002) will all be considered in terms of how the drowned village is presented and described, and what this representation suggests about the ways nostalgia, ritual and ruin impact upon notions of community and place.