• ‘The Madman out of The Attic’ Gendered Madness in Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights, Villette, and The Tenant of Wildfell Hall

      Bury, Hannah (University of ChesterUniversity of Chester, 2019-12)
      The nineteenth-century ‘madwoman’ is critically established, but not always contentiously questioned or repudiated, within Brontë scholarship. This dissertation will therefore explore the possibility that the quintessentially ‘mad’ female can be replaced by the heavily flawed, and often equally ‘mad’ man, who continuously controls and represses her. Through a diachronic analysis of Bertha Mason and Lucy Snowe in Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre and Villette, Catherine Earnshaw in Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights and Helen Graham in Anne Brontë’s The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, this project will demonstrate how and why the middleclass, ‘sane’ and respectable man can be met with character divergences and vices of his own. This undermines his credibility as a ‘doctor’ or a dictator in his treatment of women, which in turn vindicates and questions the validity and the ultimate cause of female ‘madness’ in the first instance. Chapters One and Two will trace Bertha and Catherine’s respective downfalls to death through ‘madness’, and their connecting relationships with both Rochester and Edgar. Chapter Three will examine how Lucy does manage to survive her mistreatment; yet, she is left without purpose or a definitive identity of her own as a result. In contrast to the preceding chapters, Chapter Four will inverse and redeem the trends of the nineteenth-century woman, ones which so heavily affected Bertha, Catherine and Lucy, as Helen survives her unfavourable experience. While Bertha, Catherine and Lucy react and succumb to their patriarchal repression in different ways, only Anne Brontë offers a solution to the polemical issues which all three authors raise. As she emancipates her heroine Helen, in contrast to repressing her further, she negotiates how an alternative and a more optimistic fate potentially awaits women who are entrapped within the rigid patriarchal systems of nineteenth-century literature and culture.
    • Makers of Empty Dreams

      Seed, Ian; University of Chester (Shearsman Books, 2014-05-15)
      With a sparse, haunting, often playful lyricism, the makers of empty dreams emerge like figures in the reels of an old, almost abandoned film. Their stories, often set in different countries which we may or may not know, tell of loss and estrangement, of betrayal and reconciliation, and of a search for the possibilities of renewal along the way.
    • Makers of Empty Dreams

      Seed, Ian; University of Chester (Shearsman, 2014-05-09)
      Collection of prose poems
    • Making History Otherwise: Learning to Talk and The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher

      Pollard, Eileen J.; Carpenter, Ginette; University of Chester; Manchester Metropolitan University (Bloomsbury, 2018-06-09)
      This chapter will explore ambiguous representations of history in Hilary Mantel’s two short story collections to date, Learning to Talk (2003) and The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher (2014). The chapter will consider the figure of the ellipsis, which is traced metaphorically and literally in the stories, as a pertinent means by which to read them, including the titular ‘The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher’ in Mantel’s more recent collection. Despite the media furore that followed the publication of this book, this chapter will argue that it is less the fantasy of the shooting of the premier that disturbed, but rather the pervasive sense of ambiguity. The uncertainty of individual biographies in Learning to Talk develops into an unsettling national narrative in her 2014 collection. For example, as stated in the titular story concerning Thatcher, ‘note the cold wind that blows through [the door] when you open it a crack. History could always have been otherwise’ (2014: 239-40).
    • Manscaping

      Chantler, Ashley; University of Chester (University of Chester, 2014-12)
    • Margaret Cavendish: Gender, genre, exile

      Rees, Emma L. E.; Chester College of Higher Education (Manchester University Press, 2004-01-29)
      Margaret Cavendish was the most extraordinary seventeenth-century Englishwoman, refusing to be silent when exiled by the Crowmellian regime, she fought to make her voice heard through her fascinating publications.
    • Material Culture

      Wynne, Deborah; University of Chester (Oxford University Press, 2017-11-29)
      An annotated bibliography evaluating publications and online resources relating to Victorian material culture.
    • The materialisation of the 'Austen World': Film adaptations of Jane Austen's novels

      Wynne, Deborah; University of Chester (Chester Academic Press, 2009-08-22)
      This chapter considers the transformation of Jane Austin's novels to film adaptations. It examines the power and limitations of film in matching the descriptive nature of the novel.
    • McEWAN. The Strange Case of the Resurrected Penis in ‘Solid Geometry’

      Alsop, Derek; University of Chester (Oxford University Press, 2015-05-05)
      The article draws attention to a narrative anomaly in Ian McEwan's short story 'Solid Geometry'.
    • Media 'militant' tendencies; how strike action in the news press is discursively constructed as inherently violent

      Davies, Matt; Nophakhun, Rotsukhon; University of Chester (Edinburgh University Press, 2018-11-30)
      Trade union endorsed strike action is systematically demonised in reports in the popular mainstream UK press (see for example Davies 2014), despite public opinion not reflecting this level of antagonism towards industrial action. One consistent strategy used to (mis)represent strikers is to habitually relate this form of protest to threats of intimidation and violence by using militarised discourse. We assert that a key word in the discursive construction of strikes is ‘militant’ and its variant forms (e.g. ‘militants’ and ‘militancy’) which is routinely used to express a negative attitude towards strikes in an attempt to smear them as a legitimate form of protest. We draw on the theory of semantic prosody to show that the sense of ‘militant’ is tarnished through its repeated use in reports of terrorism, often in the same edition used to report on strike action (for instance, the junior doctors’ strike in the UK). We use the WMatrix corpus tool to show that in the 21st Century, ‘militant’ unequivocally appears in semantic domains of violence and aggression in a 274,122 word corpus of news articles from 2000-2015, and therefore this sense is carried over to trade activity when used to report on strike action. This strategy contributes to a neoliberal ideology which promotes individualism, competition and the free market, at the expense of collective action and protection of workers’ rights.
    • Media, power and representation

      Neary, Clara; Ringrow, Helen; University of Chester; University of Portsmouth (Routledge, 2018-06-20)
      As the ubiquity and potential influence of the media increase, the language and imagery used to create meaning in this domain are of continued and enhanced interest to English Language researchers. While ‘the media’ or even ‘the English-speaking media’ is not one homogenous entity, the term is used throughout this chapter to refer broadly to a collection of media types such as newspapers, television, radio and so on. Media English can be understood as referring to the ways in which reality is linguistically constructed through these platforms. Additionally, media institutions play a significant role not only in terms of communication but also by way of ‘mediating society to itself’ (Matheson 2005: 1) in that the media helps to construct societal norms and values. Media language is distinctive because media discourses can be ‘fixed’ (i.e. recorded for posterity) as well as being interactive (people can react to subject matter, often using media forms to publically share their response(s), themselves becoming producers of media content). In investigating Media English, scholars analyse overall styles or genres in order to explore and challenge particular choices of language and/or imagery within a given media text.
    • ‘Mind what gap?’: an interview with Hilary Mantel

      Pollard, Eileen J.; Manchester Metropolitan University (Routledge, 2015-04-02)
      Hilary Mantel is a contemporary British writer who has published eleven novels, one memoir and two collections of short stories. A relatively unknown and under-researched author, she shot to fame in 2009 by winning the Booker Prize for her historical novel Wolf Hall – an intelligently sensitive account of Thomas Cromwell’s spectacular rise from black- smith’s son to right-hand man of Henry VIII. I interviewed Mantel at her Devon home in September 2012, just one month prior to her making literary history by winning the Booker Prize for a second time for her follow-up to Wolf Hall. This staggering achievement made her the first woman to win the prize twice, the first British author to gain a double, with Bring Up the Bodies becoming the first sequel to ever receive the award. She remarked on accepting the prize: ‘Well I don’t know, you wait twenty years for a Booker Prize . . . Two come along at once!’ A characteristically humorous and self-deprecating response that she qualified by saying she had no expectations of standing at the podium for a third time when the final instalment of her Tudor trilogy, The Mirror and the Light, is published. We pursued an engaging, vivid and wide-ranging conversation in the sitting room of her top floor flat, which overlooks the bay. Mantel and I discussed her roots in the Derbyshire village of Hadfield where I also grew up and where there is now a blue plaque marking her childhood home. In particular, we considered the figure of the ellipsis, since the ambiguities inherent to elliptical thinking seem so to suit the uncertain bases of her writing, as I hope this interview helps to illustrate.
    • Miss Havisham’s dress: Materialising Dickens in film adaptations of Great Expectations

      Regis, Amber K.; Wynne, Deborah; University of Sheffield ; University of Chester (2012-12)
      This essay focuses on the neo-Victorian materialisation of Dickens’s vision through the costuming of the Miss Havisham figure in three film adaptations of Great Expectations: David Lean’s Great Expectations (1946), Billy Wilder’s Sunset Boulevard (1950), and Alfonso Cuarón’s Great Expectations (1998), a modern updating. The distinct film language which emerges from the costume designs in each of these films enables cinema audiences to re-read and re-imagine the novel’s portrayal of perverse and uncanny femininity. As a result, the disturbing and enduring ambiguity of Havisham’s clothing establishes her as a figure of resistance to modernity, and as an embodiment of decline, signalling youth and age by means of a robe which is at once wedding gown, unfashionable garment and shroud.
    • Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi: An Autobiography, or The Story of My Experiments with Truth (1940)

      Neary, Clara; University of Chester (The Literary Encyclopedia, 2014-05-31)
      Entry on ‘Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi's Autobiography called 'An Autobiography, Or The Story of My Experiments with Truth (1940)’.
    • The Moral Economy of the Irish Hotel From the Union to the Famine

      Fegan, Melissa; University of Chester (Routledge, 2017-08-29)
      This chapter examines the peculiar characteristics of the Irish hotel in the period between the Act of Union and the Great Famine, when tourism was newly established in Ireland. The ‘moral economy’ of the inn or hotel was perceived as an extrapolation of that of the estate, or of Ireland itself. Viewed by many guests as primitive, lacking the neatness, cleanliness, and order they expected in British hotels, the Irish hotel functioned with double responsibilities: to the comfort of their guests, but also to the weal of the local community, providing work, relief, and begging opportunities for the poorest.
    • The Moral Realism of Beppe Fenoglio's Appunti Partigiani

      Seed, Ian; University of Chester (Italica, 2015-12-15)
      Abstract: This essay conducts a reappraisal of Beppe Fenoglio’s Appunti partigiani, a work which has been unjustly neglected. It discusses the relationship of the Appunti to neorealist memorialistica and to Fenoglio’s later fiction such as Il partigiano Johnny, in terms of attitudes to the Resistance, literary technique, and the aesthetic of remaining true to experience without embellishment. The essay demonstrates how Appunti partigiani raises profound moral questions in its depiction of civil war, for example in the story of the execution of a spy, yet without necessarily condemning the Resistance itself. Finally, the essay examines the role of the narrator/protagonist “Beppe” in creating an intimate rapport with the reader, so that we trust him as someone with moral integrity and live through the experience of being a partisan with him. In conclusion, the essay argues that Appunti partigiani offers one of the most revealing accounts of the Resistance.
    • The Motto of the Mollusc: Patricia Highsmith and the Semiotics of Snails

      West, Sally; University of Chester
      Patricia Highsmith, who generally preferred animals to people, was particularly fascinated by snails. In her novels and short stories, Highsmith uses snails, and her characters’ attitudes towards them, to register a range of responses to American capitalist culture in the mid twentieth century. In Deep Water, Vic Van Allen is horrified when it is suggested that his pet snails should be eaten, rejecting the commodification of the creatures as things to be consumed. ‘The Snail Watcher’ concludes with its ‘vicious’ protagonist, Peter Knoppert, consumed by his pet gastropods; Avery Clavering in ‘The Quest for Blank Claveringi’ meets a similarly unfortunate end, eaten by the giant snail through which he had hoped to establish his own posterity. Gaston Bachelard regards the snail as a symbol of reciprocity between self and environment; the motto of the mollusc, he says, is that ‘one must live to build one’s house, and not build one’s house to live in’. In Highsmith’s fiction, the crimes committed by her characters are frequently driven by a repressed fury with a capitalist culture which severs the link between self and social habitat; in Bachelard’s terms, her characters aspire to ‘the motto of the mollusc’. This chapter will argue that a significant and recurring site for this conflict is Highsmith’s juxtaposition of human behaviours with those of the non-human animal, in particular, the snail. In doing so, it seeks to read this aspect of Highsmith’s work as part of a continuum in detective fiction’s treatment of animals and to demonstrate how far her ‘suspense fiction’ can be situated within that genre. In Poe’s ‘The Murders in the Rue Morgue’ for instance, the orang-utan’s murderous spree is precipitated by its abstraction from its natural environment and its exposure to human behaviours. In The Hound of the Baskervilles, the hound is placed in an alien environment and weaponised by Stapleton. Both of these texts use animals to present nineteenth-century anxieties regarding atavistic degeneration, fears of the beast within the human form. Highsmith’s representations of animals partake of this tradition: the human and the non-human animal worlds are compared, with the beast repeatedly located in the former. In her representation of human/animal relationships, Highsmith is both conducting a searing critique of her specific culture and placing her work firmly in the traditions of detective fiction.
    • My Friend, the Queen, an historical novel, with an accompanying Critical Commentary, Historical Fiction in the 21st Century: its Purpose and Practice

      Rees, Emma; Wall, Alan; Jones, Sheila (University of Chester, 2022-04)
      1509. On the day of the Coronation of the new young King and his Spanish Queen, eight-year-old Kat Champernowne goes to live and work at Hever Castle. There she strikes up a friendship with the family’s middle child, Anne: it is a lifelong bond that will take her to France, to London, to the birth of a Princess, and to the execution of a Queen. My Friend, the Queen is a feminist novel in the historical literary fiction genre, which presents the story of Anne Boleyn from an original perspective. Its protagonist, Kat Champernowne, more familiarly known by her married name of Ashley, is a real person whose early life has not previously been voiced. Throughout the substantive part of my thesis - the novel - she narrates her own story, closely intertwined with that of Anne Boleyn, from their imagined first meeting at Hever to Anne’s beheading in 1536. My Critical Commentary begins by tracing the trajectory and evolution of historical fiction from 1971. Drawing on the experience of undertaking a practice-based PhD, I then examine the relationship between history and fiction, linking my analysis of historical fiction’s current purpose and practice to the research and methodologies I employ in synthesising ‘fact’ and ‘fiction’ into a cohesive whole. I incorporate both critical and theoretical issues, as well as drawing on the works and methodology of other novelists, to delineate the role and status of historical fiction in the twenty-first century from the viewpoints of both a practitioner and a theorist.
    • Myth, metaphor and science

      Wall, Alan; University of Chester (University of Chester Press, 2009)
      This book explores the way in which language is used in fiction, poetry and science. It examines the role of metaphor in structuring our thought, and questions any simplistic notion of creativity. There is an enquiry into the significance of myth for the modern writer. Why do our earliest narratives return to haunt us at the end of history? The final essays ask what it means to attempt scientific descriptions of reality in words. Can language here ever be anything more than a clumsy approximation of mathematics? The book ends with a paper written jontly by the particle physicist Goronwy Tudor Jones and Alan Wall, exploring the meaning of complementarity in modern physics, by describing in detail the double-slit experiment.
    • Names

      Chantler, Ashley; University of Chester (Departement of English, University of Chester, 2015-12)
      Flash fiction