• Ian Seed Takes a Nap

      Chantler, Ashley; University of Chester (Department of English, University of Chester, 2015-12)
      Flash fiction.
    • Identity Papers

      Seed, Ian; University of Chester (Shearsman Books, 2016-02-19)
      The prose poems in Identity Papers seek to construct a living bridge between the self and its shadow, between the self and other, and between present and past. They do so with a vulnerable faith, working with Heidegger's dictum that all things must be allowed their time in darkness. Along the way, their narrators meet a series of disturbing, irresistible strangers. Identity Papers follows on from Makers of Empty Dreams (Shearsman, 2014). It is the second volume in a trilogy of prose poem collections.
    • Images of the witch in nineteenth-century culture

      Wynne, Deborah; Elsley, Susan J. (University of Liverpool (University of Chester), 2012-04)
      This thesis examines the witch imagery used during the nineteenth century in children’s literature, realist and gothic fiction, poetry and art, and by practitioners and critics of mesmerism, spiritualism and alternative spirituality. The thesis is based on close readings of nineteenth-century texts and detailed analysis of artwork, but also takes a long view of nineteenth-century witch imagery in relation to that of preceding and succeeding periods. I explore the means by which the image of the witch was introduced as an overt or covert figure into the work of nineteenth-century writers and artists during a period when the majority of literate people no longer believed in the existence of witchcraft; and I investigate the relationship between the metaphorical witch and the areas of social dissonance which she is used to symbolise. I demonstrate that the diversity of nineteenth-century witch imagery is very wide, but that there is a tendency for positive images to increase as the century progresses. Thereby the limited iconography of malevolent witches and powerless victims of witch-hunts, promulgated by seventeenth-century witch-hunters and eighteenth-century rationalist philosophers respectively, were joined by wise-women, fairy godmothers, sorceresses, and mythical immortals, all of whom were defined, directly or indirectly, as witches. Nonetheless I also reveal that every image of the witch I examine has a dark shadow, despite or because of the empathy between witch and creator which is evident in many of the works I have studied. In the Introduction I acknowledge the validity of theories put forward by historians regarding the influence of societal changes on the decline of witchcraft belief, but I argue that those changes also created the need for metaphorical witchery to address the anxieties created by those changes. I contend that the complexity of social change occurring during and prior to the nineteenth century resulted in an increase in the diversification of witch imagery. I argue that the use of diverse images in various cultural forms was facilitated by the growth of liberal individualism which allowed each writer or artist to articulate specific concerns through discrete images of the witch which were no longer coloured solely by the dictates of superstition or rationalism. I look at the peculiar ability of the witch as a symbolic outcast from society to view that society from an external perspective and to use the voice of the exile to say the unsayable. I also use definitions garnered from a wide spectrum of sources from cultural history to folklore and neo-paganism to justify my broad definition of the word ‘witch’. In Chapter One I explore children’s literature, on the assumption that images absorbed during childhood would influence both the conscious and unconscious witch imagery produced by the adult imagination. I find the templates for familiar imagery in collections of folklore and, primarily, in translations of ‘traditional’ fairy tales sanitised for the nursery by collectors such as Perrault and the Brothers Grimm. I then examine fantasies created for Victorian children by authors such as Mary de Morgan, William Makepeace Thackeray, George MacDonald and Charles Kingsley, where the image of witch and fairy godmother is conflated in fiction which elevates the didactic fairy tale to a level which in some cases is imbued with a neo-platonic religiosity, thereby transforming the witch into a powerful portal to the divine. In contrast the canonical novelists whose work I examine in Chapter Two generally project witch imagery obliquely onto foolish, misguided, doomed or defiant women whose witchery is both allusionary and illusionary. I begin with the work of Sir Walter Scott whose bad or sad witches touch his novels with the supernatural while he denies their magic. Scott’s witch imagery, like that of Perrault and Grimm, is reflected in the witches who represent women’s exclusion from autonomy, education and/or the literary establishment in the works of Charlotte and Emily Brontë, Elizabeth Gaskell and George Eliot. Traditional fairy-tale imagery is particularly evident in Charles Dickens’ use of the witch to represent negative aspects in the development of society or the individual. In contrast Scott’s impulse to distance himself from the pre-urban world represented by his witches contrasts with Thomas Hardy’s mourning of the female earth spirits of Wessex, thereby linking fluctuating and evolving images of nature with images of the nineteenth-century witch. In Chapter Three I explore poetry and art through Romantic verse, Tennyson’s Camelot, Rossetti and Burne-Jones’ Pre-Raphaelite classicism, Rosamund Marriot Watson and Mary Coleridge’s shape-shifting, mirrored women, and Yeats’ Celtic Twilight: in doing so I find representations of the witch as the destructive seductress, the muse, the dark ‘other’ of the suppressed poet, the symbol of spellbinding amoral nature, and the embodiment of the Celtic soul. In the final chapter witch imagery is attached to actual practitioners of so-called ‘New Witchcraft’, yet they also become part of a story which seeks to equate neo/quasi science with the supernatural. I demonstrate a gender realignment of occult power as the submissive mesmerist’s tool evolves into the powerful mother/priestess. I note the interconnectedness of fiction and fact via the novels of authors such as Wilkie Collins and Edward Bulwer-Lytton; and identify the role of the campaigning godmother figure as a precursor of the radical feminist Wiccan. I believe that my thesis offers a uniquely comprehensive view of the use of metaphorical witch imagery in the nineteenth century.
    • In praise of paving

      Chantler, Ashley; University of Chester (The Alternative Press, 2003)
      Ashley Chantler's debut poetry collection. Contents: Part I: Walls, Pirouette, Storm in a Teashop, Secretions, Between Embarrassment and Desire, …giving…taking…over…in…, Lines, The Poet and the Ant, Until Death Them Do Part, Cut Off, Probing, Sketch for a Modern Love Poem, Fragment 1, Fragment 2, Fragment 3, Fragment 4, Fragment 5, Fragment 6, Free. Part II: Lost in the Fun House, Nine Crap Poets in a Lift, Gulf, Gulf (2), Judgements, The Unappreciated, The Bliss of Innocence, Bachelor, Bachelor (2), A Short Story about Borders, …giving…taking…over…in…, Will, Personal Helicon, In Praise of Paving. Reprinted in 2006.
    • Industrial Gentlemanliness: The fin-de-siècle adventure hero in text and image, 1870-1914

      Fegan, Melissa; West, Sally; Hall, Leo J. (University of Chester, 2021-11)
      This thesis identifies and examines representations of English heroic masculinities in imperialist adventure stories at the end of the nineteenth century. It contends that fin-de-siècle adventure stories are products of Victorian industrial, technological, and scientific developments. The chapters trace this context through analysis of Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island (1883), Edgar Rice Burroughs’s Tarzan of the Apes (1912), Jules Verne’s Around the World in Eighty Days (1873), and Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Lost World (1912). A significant aspect of the texts is how their perspectives on the English identities of their heroes are informed by their authors’ ‘outsider’ status, for Stevenson and Conan Doyle were Scottish (the latter of Irish Catholic descent), Burroughs was American, and Verne was French. The Introduction to the thesis argues that central to identifying the relationship between the adventure hero and industrialisation are the original illustrations that were printed with the stories. These create intertextual and paratextual frames, showing how the context of industrial modernity moulds the fin-de-siècle masculine body and mind. The partnership between text and illustrations exposes the complex relationship between industrial modernity and heroic masculinity, particularly, the construction of an idealised gentlemanly identity and gendered performance. Stevenson claimed that penny dreadfuls influenced his development of characters and the action of Treasure Island, and Chapter One traces the impact of nineteenth-century print culture and the growth and dissemination of popular fiction in relation to both Stevenson’s Treasure Island and Burroughs’s Tarzan. Simultaneously, the influence of mid-century discourses regarding ideas of self-help and industriousness are analysed in the portrayals of Stevenson’s characters, especially the pirate Long John Silver. Chapter Two focuses on the topic of mobility and how the industrialised travel space is negotiated by adventurers. Verne’s Around the World demonstrates how international travel became more accessible, and how the speed of travel impacts on the curiosity of the orientalist traveller. Despite Phileas Fogg’s lack of engagement with his journey, a connection is established between the traveller and his immediate industrialised travel space. This is accentuated when Fogg is forced to use ‘exotic’ modes of transport, which ironically serve to delineate his Englishness, especially when placed against the other voices and behaviours of his fellow travel companions. Chapter Three identifies the psychological and physiological impact of science, industrialisation and technology upon Conan Doyle’s adventurers, showing how this is exposed during encounters abroad. The identity of the adventure heroes in these novels is moulded by a Western masculine heteronormative construct that is characterised by a visible gendered performance. This performance includes the body and its clothing and accessories. As the thesis argues, the fin-de-siècle adventure hero has a Janus-faced identity; constructed against a romanticised vision of the past and a nostalgic ideal of gentlemanliness, but also forward-looking in terms of forging a future for Britain through the imperialist dream. The thesis demonstrates that the adventure story is a paradox: an outcome of invention, scientific, technological and industrial progress, yet also a supposed escape from nineteenth-century industrial modernity.
    • Intimacy between men in modern women's writing

      Stephenson, William; Woledge, Elizabeth (University of Liverpool (University of Chester), 2005-08)
      This thesis sets out to investigate, and concludes by defining, a genre of modern women's writing. This genre, which 1 have called 'intimatopia' for its depiction of fictional worlds which centre around intimacy, explores close relationships between men, I use this thesis to elucidate the ideological assumptions which underlie this genre, as well as to consider the textual features which are commonly used to support them. My investigation is facilitated by my choice to focus on the appropriative fictions which form a significant part of the intimatopic genre. The appropriative text is particularly apposite to any project which, like this one, seeks to investigate distinctive ideologies, for in a comparison between the text and its source the ideological perspectives of the writer can be glimpsed. As a result of this approach one of the central features of this thesis is a comparison between hegemonic and intimatopic ideologies, which are found to be markedly different. Central to the intimatopic text, which may be sexually explicit, sexually discreet, or sexually ambiguous, is the assumption that there exists a fluid link between love, friendship and intimacy. This ideological perspective is one which many theoreticians, in fields as diverse as literary criticism, psychology and biology, have connected to feminine, rather than masculine, ways of thinking. Although it is therefore unsurprising to find that this is a feature of a predominantly feminine genre, its application to relationships between men runs counter to ideological assumptions about masculine interaction. From examining a variety of appropriative literature 1 move on to less overtly appropriative texts in which the by now familiar intimatopic features can be identified. Following this, 1 discuss the interpretive communities which produce intimatopic texts, using the example of slash fiction, where the interpretive community is readily accessible, I begin to investigate the ideological assumptions about human interaction which underpin the interpretations typical of intimatopic writing. Finally, I consider the genre's antecedents, and mention other texts which, although they do not take male intimacy as their theme, nonetheless share intimatopic features. Thus this thesis offers an insight into an area of women's writing which has received little critical attention and which I have been able to crystallise into the genre of intimatopia. Whilst it is clearly inaccurate to describe all women's writing as intimatopic, this genre accounts for a significant number of texts by women and should be recognised alongside other feminine genres as part of the varied field of women's literature.
    • Introduction

      Hay, Jonathan; Bonsall, Amy; Ashton, Bodie A.; University of Chester; University of Manchester; University of Adelaide (Palgrave Macmillan, 2020-05-08)
      Bodies occupy a paradoxical space in modern society. On the one hand, the body is the most obvious and visible medium used to represent and express ourselves and our identities. On the other hand, this importance also leaves the body open to being controlled, regulated and interpreted. The result of this uncomfortable balance is that body diversity remains at once embraced and vulnerable, and the expression of that diversity is encouraged by some, while also being the subject of the prejudice of others. This chapter acts as an introduction for nine interdisciplinary, international essays, each engaging with the theme of “the body”, broadly defined. It thus lays the groundwork for a volume in which the body not only speaks but is heard and listened to.
    • An Introduction to Ford Madox Ford

      Chantler, Ashley; Hawkes, Rob; University of Chester. University of Teesside (Ashgate, 2015-12-04)
      For students and readers new to the work of Ford Madox Ford, this volume provides a comprehensive introduction to one of the most complex, important and fascinating authors. Bringing together leading Ford scholars, the volume places Ford’s work in the context of significant literary, artistic and historical events and movements. Individual essays consider Ford’s theory of literary Impressionism and the impact of the First World War; illuminate The Good Soldier and Parade’s End; engage with topics such as the city, gender, national identity and politics; discuss Ford as an autobiographer, poet, propagandist, sociologist, Edwardian and modernist; and show his importance as founding editor of the groundbreaking English Review and transatlantic review. The volume encourages detailed close reading of Ford’s writing and illustrates the importance of engaging with secondary sources.
    • Introduction: Picturing Charlotte Brontë

      Wynne, Deborah; Regis, Amber K.; University of Chester, University of Sheffield (Manchester University Press, 2017-07-24)
      The chapter introduces the edited volume of essays and engages with how Charlotte Brontë's image in the twenty-first century.
    • Introduction: Step Forward, Sidekicks

      Andrew, Lucy; Saunders, Samuel; University of Chester (Palgrave Macmillan, 2021-07-25)
      Saunders and Andrew offer a definition of the sidekick in crime fiction and provide a brief account of the origins and development of this figure from the nineteenth century to the present day. They outline significant moments in the history of the sidekick, establish key trends in the construction of the sidekick, and identify and interrogate widely held views about the sidekick’s function and representation in crime fiction. They make a case for the wider significance of the sidekick beyond the role of help-mate or foil to the infallible detective and point towards the key contributions that the sidekick has made and continues to make to the canon of crime fiction. They also offer a brief introduction to each of the essays and key themes/ideas explored by contributors throughout the collection.
    • Island of the assassins: Cannabis, spectacle, and terror in Alex Garland's The beach

      Stephenson, William; University College Chester (Taylor & Francis, 2005-06)
      This article discusses the use of the cannabis, spectacle, and terror in Alex Garland's novel, The Beach. The author argues that Garland's novel is a most contemporary text, exposing disturbing contradictions in the West's current ideology and behavior.
    • 'Isn't it your own country?': The stranger in nineteenth-century Irish literature

      Fegan, Melissa; University College Chester (Modern Humanities Research Association, 2004-01-01)
      This article discusses the nineteenth-century British obsession with travel in Ireland, and the representation of the stranger in three novels soon after the Union: Owenson's The Wild Irish Girl, Edgeworth's The Absentee, and Banim's The Anglo-Irish of the Nineteenth Century. These Irish writers use the stranger to expose misconception and urge reconciliation, but the stranger undergoes an evolution in their works, from English, to Anglo-Irish, to Irish — from colonizer coming to terms with the actions of his ancestors, to Anglo-Irish landlord taking responsibility for his land and tenants, to Irishman embracing his national identity and forging his own destiny.
    • Italian Lessons

      Seed, Ian; University of Chester (The Fortnightly Review, 2015-09-01)
      Short Story
    • ‘I’m Gonna Be the Best Friend You Could Ever Hope For—And the Worst Enemy You Could Ever Imagine’: Frank Miller’s All Star Batman & Robin, the Boy Wonder and the Problem of the Boy Sidekick in the Twenty-First-Century Superhero Narrative

      Andrew, Lucy; University of Chester (Palgrave Macmillan, 2021-07-25)
      Andrew examines the representation of the boy sidekick/adult detective relationship in Frank Miller’s All Star Batman & Robin, the Boy Wonder (2005–2008). The chapter explores the ways in which Miller’s graphic novel revises, rewrites and problematises the classic Batman/Robin relationship, with particular emphasis on power, violence and abuse. It explores the disturbing parallels that the text draws between the boy sidekick and the love interest, the troubling power imbalance between the adult superhero and his boy sidekick, and the dangers inherent in introducing an innocent and traumatised boy into the violent world of an adult crime fighter. The chapter concludes by identifying how tonal and structural shifts in the comic-book medium have contributed to the growing prevalence of problematised Robin figures in twenty-first-century Batman narratives.
    • John Fowles

      Stephenson, William; Chester College of Higher Education (Northcote House, 2003)
      This book discusses the life of John Fowles, all his works of fiction, and his most important non-fiction works.
    • The Kenneth Williams Diaries

      Chantler, Ashley; University of Chester (Ad Hoc Fiction, 2018-11-30)
      Flash fiction.
    • ‘Killer Consumptive in the Wild West: the Posthumous Decline of Doc Holliday’

      Tankard, Alex; University of Chester (Routledge, 2014-07-08)
      This chapter discusses how representations of consumptive Wild West gunfighter 'Doc' Holliday in life-writing and film have changed since the 1880s, and suggests that this reflects changing attitudes towards tuberculosis and disability over time.
    • Language attitudes and divergence on the Merseyside/Lancashire border

      West, Helen; University of Chester (John Benjamins Publishing Company, 2015-12-16)
      Recent sociolinguistic studies have argued that speaker identity is accentuated in borer regions due to speakers’ desire to project a strong sense of identity (Llamas 2007, 2010; Britain 2010). Following the Local Government Act in 1972, the creation of the administrative county of Merseyside provides us with fertile ground for the study of the relationship between language variation and regional identity. This chapter investigates the diffusion of fronted Liverpool NURSE (Wells 1982), in Southport (Merseyside) and Ormskirk (South Lancashire) demonstrating that, in comparison to Ormskirk, despite the administrative and socioeconomic links with Liverpool, the Liverpool accent is not spreading to Southport as might be hypothesised by existing models of diffusion of linguistic change. I explore possible explanations for the variation between Southport and Ormskirk with particular reference to speaker attitude in relation to the negative perception of the Liverpool accent.
    • The liberal tradition in fiction

      Blair, Peter; University of Chester (Cambridge University Press, 2012-01-12)
      This chapter in the landmark Cambridge History of South African Literature offers a comprehensive discussion of the 'liberal-concerned' tradition in South African fiction, from the late nineteenth century to the early twenty-first century. It comprises five main parts: 'Liberalism in politics and civil society'; 'Classic liberal fiction, 1883-1948'; 'Liberal fiction during apartheid, 1948-70'; 'Post-liberal fiction during apartheid, 1970-90'; '(Post-)liberal fiction after apartheid'.
    • Liberalism

      Blair, Peter; University of Chester (Wiley-Blackwell, 2016-01-25)
      A political philosophy that emerged from the Enlightenment, liberalism has a complex relationship with democracy, colonialism, postcolonialism, globalization, and literature. Democracy has been shaped by a tension between “classical liberalism”, which prioritizes liberty, and “modern liberalism”, which emphasizes equality. Liberalism also moulded the informal empire of free trade, and the “liberal imperialism” that devised a “civilizing mission” to justify formal empire. The development of liberalism has been vital in the anglophone settler colonies, particularly the USA; often, especially in South Africa, it has been focused on racial justice. The neo-liberalism that emerged in the late twentieth century advocates the globalization of unfettered capitalism and personal liberty. Many postcolonialists consider neo-liberalism a reprise of liberal imperialism, with “human rights” replacing the “civilizing mission” as a cultural-imperialist pretext for economic exploitation.