• Waking the bones: The return of the famine dead in contemporary Irish literature

      Fegan, Melissa; University of Chester (Peter Lang, 2014-12-22)
    • Walter Benjamin: An Arcade of Reflections

      Wall, Alan (Fortnightly Review, 2018-06-02)
      Book of essays about Walter Benjamin
    • War and the mind: Ford Madox Ford's Parade's End, modernism, and psychology

      Chantler, Ashley; Hawkes, Rob; University of Chester ; University of Teesside (Edinburgh University Press, 2015-06-30)
      Features new critical essays illuminate Ford Madox Ford's First World War modernist masterpiece Parade's End. This is the first full length critical study of Parade's End to focus on the psychological effects of the war. Originally published in 4 volumes between 1924 and 1928, Parade's End has been described as "the finest novel about the First World War." (Anthony Burgess). "the greatest war novel ever written by an Englishman." (Samuel Hynes). "a central Modernist novel of the 1920s, in which it is exemplary." (Malcolm Bradbury). "possibly the greatest 20th century novel in English." (John N. Gray). These 10 newly commissioned essays focus on the psychological effects of the war, both upon Ford himself and upon his novel: its characters, its themes and its form. The chapters explore: Ford's pioneering analysis of war trauma, trauma theory, shell shock, memory and repression, insomnia, empathy, therapy, literary Impressionism and literary style. Writers discussed alongside Ford include Joseph Conrad, Siegfried Sassoon, May Sinclair, and Rebecca West, as well as theorists Deleuze and Guattari, Michel Foucault, Sigmund Freud, William James, and W H R Rivers. A long overdue examination of Ford's First World War modernist masterpiece Parade's End. It focuses on psychology and the effects of war on the minds of those who fought and those at home; adds to writing about First World War writers, war trauma and trauma theory as well as modernism, and literary Impressionism and contributes to the burgeoning fields of medical humanities and disability studies by reconsidering Parade's End in terms of the various mental and psychological disorders represented within its pages.
    • A well-spun yarn: Margaret Cavendish and Homer's Penelope

      Rees, Emma L. E.; Chester College of Higher Education (Ashgate, 2003)
    • ‘What cannot be fixed, measured, confined’: The mobile texts of Hilary Mantel

      Pollard, Eileen J.; Carpenter, Ginette; University of Chester; Manchester Metropolitan University (Bloomsbury, 2018-09-06)
      ‘I don’t know, you wait twenty years for a Booker prize, two come along at once!’ was Hilary Mantel’s laconic response to winning for the second time. A respected, if critically neglected, British author, she had in fact been writing and publishing for over twenty years when she won the Booker prize in 2009 for her tenth novel, Wolf Hall. She then made literary history by winning for a second time in 2012 with the sequel, Bring Up the Bodies, an unprecedented achievement that catapulted her into the realms of global stardom. The Tudor novels have since been adapted for the stage by Mike Poulton and have been performed to much critical acclaim in Stratford, London and Broadway. Similarly, the 2015 BBC dramatization has aired in both the UK and the US to glowing reviews. Yet, despite Mantel’s renown and popularity at home and abroad, there remains surprisingly little critical material interpreting the rich and varied content of her work. As a result, this collection of essays aims to introduce students, scholars and general readers of Mantel’s writing to the diversity of her texts in order to showcase the extraordinary range and reach of this contemporary British author, currently at the peak of her writing life. The essays will explore the recurring themes of ambiguity, ghosts, trauma, childhood and memory that both trace and, in many ways, define Mantel’s oeuvre. The collection will also examine the challenge to conventional evocations of the past that underpins Mantel’s historical novels, from A Place of Greater Safety (1992) through to Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies, as well as the complex experimentation with perspective and tense that really sets apart her later work on Thomas Cromwell. The main objective of this book is to provide a wide-range of readers with a guide to Mantel’s historical fiction, autobiographical writing and short stories, as well as some of her more experimental early novels, that will help explain those most ambiguous elements of her corpus while demonstrating her fearlessness and breadth as a writer.
    • What’s a Little Monotony?

      Hay, Jonathan
      As this article demonstrates, the characteristic focus within Asimov scholarship exclusively upon the technological aspects of his robot stories and novels has meant that the importance of their mundane components have been systematically overlooked. By shifting critical focus to the mundane aspects of these works, it becomes newly apparent that Asimov uses a mundane foundation to problematise humanistic constructs of the human. These mundane components comprise an essential cognitive foundation of known phenomena, via which the comprehension of Asimov’s profoundly novel robots becomes plausible contextually. By readily anticipating and demonstrating the phenomenological impact of the everyday positionality of technology in the contemporary world, Asimov’s robot stories and novels recode the outdated signifier of the ‘human’ in a posthumanistic paradigm.
    • ‘When the reservoir comes’: Drowned Villages, Community and Nostalgia in Contemporary British Fiction

      Pollard, Eileen J.; University of Chester (Open Library of Humanities, 2017-12-08)
      A ‘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.
    • Who? What?

      Chantler, Ashley; University of Chester (National Flash-Fiction Day and Gumbo Press, 2016-06-15)
      Flash fiction.
    • Why Flash Fiction? Because of a Parrot and a Porn Star, Of Course

      Chantler, Ashley; University of Chester (2016-08-19)
      Article on flash fiction.
    • William Carleton, Folklore, the Famine, and the Irish Supernatural

      Fegan, Melissa; University of Chester (Supernatural Studies Association, 2015-09-31)
      This article examines the significance of the supernatural in the works of the nineteenth-century Irish author William Carleton, and in particular the ways in which his grounding in folklore and his reflection of the Great Famine are important in his work.
    • ‘With, all down darkness wide, his wading light?’: Light and Dark in Gerard Manley Hopkins’s ‘The Candle Indoors’ and ‘The Lantern out of Doors’

      Leahy, Richard; University of Chester (Göteborg University, 2018-06-30)
      Gerard Manley Hopkins was a poet inspired by, and very much interested in, processes of light and vision. Within his works he presents a flexible structure of metaphor that is based on the relationship between light and dark. These interchangeable elements come to symbolise Hopkins’s spirituality and religion, as well as the challenges his beliefs were subjected to, while also outlining a very nuanced interest in perception and the principles of sight. Dennis Sobolev identifies what he terms ‘the split world’ of Hopkins as he explores the ‘semiotic phenomenology’ of his writing: ‘To put it briefly “semiotic phenomenology” as it is understood here–proceeds from the grounds that are transcendent to the distinction between the subject and the object, the physical and the imaginary, nature and culture, or any other metaphysical distinctions of the “kind”’ (Sobolev 2011: 4). What Sobolev suggests is the dichotomous liminality of Hopkins’s ideas and poetry. The most prominent example of this may well be Hopkins’s own notion of the ‘inscape’: the term, itself a portmanteau of words connoting the inner being (in, inside, interior) and the outer experience (scape, landscape, escape), attempts to address what Hopkins saw as reconcilable differences between the inner character or ‘essence’ of something and the object itself (Philips 2009: xx). Also, his use of the term ‘instress’ crosses similar binaries, as it is most commonly associated with the impression, or feeling, something may relate to the careful observer.
    • Woman and personal property in the Victorian novel

      Wynne, Deborah; University of Chester (Ashgate, 2010-11-28)
      This book discusses female possession of property in the works of Charles Dickens, George Eliot, and Henry James.
    • The woman author-editor and the negotiation of professional identity, 1850-1880

      Hill, Georgina E. O. (University of Liverpool (University of Chester), 2009-12)
      This thesis examines the professional identities of three Victorian novelists, George Eliot (1819-1880), Charlotte Yonge (1823-1901) and Florence Marryat (1837-1899), all of whom worked as editors between 1850 and 1880. I explore the practices that these women adopted as journalists in order to survive, and indeed thrive, within a male-dominated literary marketplace, revealing a number of strategies in common as well as some important differences. I also consider how these author-editors represented the experience of the female artist-professional in their fiction, demonstrating that each woman figured the mid-Victorian ideal of domesticity as useful when seeking to negotiate a public identity within a challenging professional climate. Working in the press during a period which has been described as a ‘golden age of women’s journalism,’ these writers nevertheless faced numerous challenges. The purpose of this thesis is to examine why George Eliot, Charlotte Yonge and Florence Marryat found useful the particular practices they chose when editing and writing fiction within the context of this rapidly changing climate. By examining this very diverse sample of writers, I demonstrate how women responded to the demands of the mid-Victorian periodical press, and their role within it, through the practices of anonymity, male pseudonyms, signature and posing as amateurs. The Introduction examines the nature of the professional/amateur divide at mid-century, and demonstrates how women could usefully subvert domestic ideology to position themselves as amateurs and thus covertly enter the public sphere. I offer an overview of research into the periodical press, as well as the position of the woman journalist. In the second part of my Introduction, I introduce the magazines that Eliot, Yonge and Marryat edited, describing a typical issue and offering important contextual information. Chapter One looks at George Eliot’s editorship of The Westminster Review (1852-1854), arguing that while Eliot adopted the tactic of anonymity and pseudonymity she nevertheless developed the persona of an ‘editress’ through her private correspondence. Chapter One examines the ideal of women’s literary professionalism that Eliot developed through the articles she published in The Westminster Review, based upon the values of hard work, training and excellence, and how this was then reflected in her representation of the female artist-professional in her fiction in texts as diverse as Scenes of Clerical Life (1858) and Daniel Deronda (1876). Chapter Two explores Charlotte Yonge’s editorship of The Monthly Packet (1851-1899) and the lesser-known privately circulated magazine The Barnacle (1863-1867). I examine Yonge’s practice of signature and posing as an amateur, as well as her editorial character of ‘Mother Goose,’ arguing that Yonge shared many of Eliot’s ideals of literary professionalism and that this is reflected in novels such as Dynevor Terrace (1857) and The Clever Woman of the Family (1865). In Chapter Three, I examine Florence Marryat’s editorship of London Society (1872-1876). I explore Marryat’s practice of signature, posing as an amateur when new to her profession and her editorial character of the ‘spiritualist editress,’ arguing that like Yonge, Marryat’s vision of women’s professionalism was similar to that of Eliot and that this was reflected in her representation of the female artist-professional in texts such as Her World Against a Lie (1878) and My Sister the Actress (1881). Despite writing for very different markets, what emerges from the fiction of all three author-editors is an idealised combination of posing as an amateur and skilful performance as an artist. Drawing on original archival research, this thesis recovers their hitherto under-researched editorial work, prompting a reconsideration of the canonical work of George Eliot, stressing the significance of the more familiar work of Charlotte Yonge and introducing Florence Marryat as an important but neglected literary figure.
    • Women and Personal Property in the Victorian Novel

      Wynne, Deborah; University of Chester (Ashgate, 2010-11-28)
      How key changes to the married women’s property laws contributed to new ways of viewing women in society are revealed in Deborah Wynne’s study of literary representations of women and portable property during the period 1850 to 1900. While critical explorations of Victorian women’s connections to the material world have tended to focus on their relationships to commodity culture, Wynne argues that modern paradigms of consumerism cannot be applied across the board to the Victorian period. Until the passing of the 1882 Married Women’s Property Act, many women lacked full property rights; evidence suggests that, for women, objects often functioned not as disposable consumer products but as cherished personal property. Focusing particularly on representations of women and material culture in Charles Dickens, George Eliot and Henry James, Wynne shows how novelists engaged with the vexed question of women’s relationships to property. Suggesting that many of the apparently insignificant items that ‘clutter’ the Victorian realist novel take on new meaning when viewed through the lens of women’s access to material culture and the vagaries of property law, her study opens up new possibilities for interpreting female characters in Victorian fiction and reveals the complex work of ‘thing culture’ in literary texts.
    • A “WomEsanist” Theory: Autoethnography of Triads of Familial Generations of Nigerian Esan Women’s Perceptions of Body Size and Image

      Rees, Emma; Ugege, Elsie O. (University of Chester, 2021-06)
      I consider the under-theorised genre of less powerful cultures, like my Esan culture, as a site for the subversion of dominant discourses. Espousing a novel feminist theoretical framework – “WomEsanism”, in combination with autoethnographic research methodology, I aim to advance the understanding of Nigerian Esan women’s constructions of ideal body size and image while reflecting on my own status as an Esan woman. My research trajectory was constantly characterised by self-interrogation and self-analysis, while relating my personal experience to wider cultural, political, and social meanings and understandings articulated by other Esan women participants of my study. I recruited 16 sets of triads of familial generations of Esan women from all five local government areas of Esanland. A triadic family set comprised of daughter, mother, and grandmother. The total number of individual participants were 48. I used the snowballing sampling technique to locate families that met my inclusion criteria. I collected data from myself through introspection and from my participants via one-to-one in-depth interview using semi-structured questions, and real-life observations. Then, I conducted a thematic analysis on all data types I collected. “Being beyond body in bodies” emerged as my overarching interpretation of my findings. Two complementary but inter-related themes supported the articulation of this interpretation and are: “being beyond body” and “being in bodies”. “Being beyond body” was expressed through three analytical sub-themes namely, “abilities”; “circumstance”; and “essence”. Esan women’s abilities in terms of body responsiveness, connectedness to body, and comfort in body, influence their innate image that transcends corporeal representations. In addition, they expressed their innate beliefs of how life circumstances, like nature events and socio-economic events, rationalise their views of being beyond body. Still, they derived an innate essence from both spirituality, mostly demonstrated through religion; and being human. “Being in bodies” echoed the body as a social phenomenon described as “slim”, “average” and “fat” by my participants. These are socially-fluid categorisations of body size. Furthermore, four analytical sub-themes created contexts for understanding these body sizes and are: “nourishment and youthfulness”; “health and wellbeing”; “attractiveness”; and “respect and personality”. Together, these cultural perceptions of body size and image by my participants are embedded in the intersections of the multiple social spaces which they occupy. I conclude that my study is beneficial to the academic discipline of Public Health for understanding the connections between socio-political locations, resultant cultures, and body image. This research was also an opportunity for me to gain skills relevant for my learning how to learn about the diverse world via discourses of gender constructs; culture and bodies; politics of knowledge; sociology of health; and the autoethnographic research methodology as a critical social research approach.
    • World of Rich Water

      Stephenson, William; University of Chester (Butcher's Dog, 2017-06-01)
    • The writing of a historical novel (entitled Chimera), together with an analytical commentary

      Wall, Alan; Rees, Emma L. E.; Simon, Christine A. (University of Chester, 2011-08)
      Chimera is set in England and France in the present day and at the turn of the nineteenth century. Henri de Saint-Gilles was executed as a spy in London in 1813 on the evidence of his friend Richard Turnbull. Two hundred years later the novel’s twenty-first-century protagonists, Julia Dalton and Peter Marchmont, are both researching the events surrounding this incident. Marchmont, a delusional café-owner, is convinced that his ancestor Saint-Gilles was wrongly accused and that Turnbull was in fact the spy; since there is no evidence for this version of events, Marchmont has decided to produce it through an elaborate forgery. Dalton, an ambitious postgraduate student who has run out of leads in her research, agrees to pool resources with Marchmont. Her research takes her to Paris, where she meets the eccentric academic Mathias Fournier; together they visit the Château Ruffec, the Saint-Gilles family seat, in the Charente. Here and at the university of Poitiers, they discover documents written by Saint-Gilles’s sisters, Rosine and Manon, concerning a visitor to the château in the summer of 1794. This visitor, who is also the father of Rosine’s illegitimate son, is subsequently discovered to be Richard Turnbull, a fact which has dramatic implications for Marchmont’s understanding of his ancestry. Dalton’s boyfriend Miles Carter, a police detective, has meanwhile become suspicious of her relationship with Marchmont and begins his own investigations, looking into Marchmont’s past and his connection with the career criminal Drue Paulin whom he has employed to steal documents to order. In this novel, past and present are interwoven. The historical narrative proceeds through fictional fragments of varying length, such as diaries, letters and memoirs, many of them written by Turnbull. These alternate with the twenty-first-century narrative and occur in the order of their discovery; thus the historical story is not presented chronologically but jumps around in time. It is also incomplete: there are hiatuses in the narrative, some of which are not explained. Running through the novel, but separate from the main narrative, are the sections of Saint-Gilles’s trial; these provide an official version of events which is complicated, and in places contradicted, by the rest of the narrative. A significant element of the plot concerns Turnbull’s hunt for the French spy in 1812. This is narrated in a journal purloined by Dalton early in the novel, but most of which she is unable to decipher until much later. (Her possession of this journal eventually enables her to detect a factual error in Marchmont’s forgery which would otherwise have gone unnoticed.) The concept of the past is here complicated by the fact that the events of 1812 are linked in Turnbull’s eyes with two significant episodes in his past: the death of his mother in 1788 following her entry into an extreme religious community run by the eccentric preacher Ezekiel Juggins; and an episode of both personal and political significance, only partially explained, which took place in Paris in 1793-94. All the characters involved in these earlier incidents (Juggins, Saint-Gilles and the American John Newman) happen to be in London in the summer of 1812 and are investigated by Turnbull; it is not entirely clear, however, to what extent his official remit masks a personal one. The open-ended nature of research and the relative nature of time are emphasized by the novel’s coda, which takes place in 2028; Dalton receives from Mathias Fournier a copy of two letters written by Richard Turnbull from Paris detailing his meeting in 1825 with the son whom he had believed, on Saint-Gilles’s word, to have died at the age of fourteen. Ambiguity is a major theme in this novel, and to express this the wave-particle complementarity of light has been used, both thematically and as a metaphor. Much of the plot of Chimera rests on Turnbull’s identity: was he a government agent, a French spy or a mere wandering scholar? Dalton considers the idea that Richard Turnbull might best be understood, like light, in terms of a ‘both/and’ paradigm rather than an ‘either/or’ one. The purpose here has been to link forms of duality and ambiguity which have long been recognized in literature (paradox, spying and betrayal, for example) with what appears to be a fundamental ambiguity at the heart of the material universe. One of the intentions underlying this novel was to produce a work which combines plot and suspense with intellectual weight. Through its use of subjective narrative as the means by which the historical plot is advanced, Chimera foregrounds the process of research and the slipperiness of narrative, whether historical or fictional. It is meant to raise questions surrounding the nature of textual evidence: the way in which it influences our view of history; the tension between subjectivity and objectivity; the sometimes tenuous relationship between ‘truth’ and ‘fiction’. The accompanying analytical commentary consists of five essays. The first examines various aspects of the writing of the novel; it discusses the origins of Chimera, some of the influences on it and the narrative techniques and decisions which informed it, including the ways in which the quantum theory of light has been incorporated into the narrative. The remaining four chapters discuss the main areas of research which contributed to the writing of the novel. First, two key texts are analyzed: Thomas Mann’s Doctor Faustus, a polyphonic novel which examines the rise of Nazism in Germany, and John Banville’s The Untouchable, a roman à clef based on the life of Anthony Blunt. These untypical examples of the amorphous genre of historical fiction share features, both with each other and with Chimera; in addition, they demonstrate how history may be incorporated into fiction in an intelligent and imaginative way. Chapter IV, ‘Conventicles and Politics’ discusses some of the essential historical research necessary for the writing of Chimera. The themes of dissenting religion and political radicalism are central to this novel (they are brought together in the opposition of Richard Turnbull and Ezekiel Juggins); the complex relationship between them in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries was a defining feature of this period and provided a focus for the historical research carried out during the writing of the novel. Chapter V of the commentary combines a discussion of both history and science. First, it examines the historical controversy surrounding the nature of light in the early nineteenth century, a controversy touched on by Richard Turnbull in his account of Thomas Young’s lecture on light at the Royal Society in 1803. Young’s double-slit experiment is then compared with that of Richard Feynman in the twentieth century, and the implications of wave-particle complementarity are discussed.
    • Wuthering Heights: Character studies

      Fegan, Melissa; University of Chester (Continuum, 2008-02-21)
      This book discusses the characters of Mr Lockwood, Nelly Dean, Mr and Mrs Earnshaw, Mr and Mrs Linton, Joseph, Hindley Earnshaw, Edgar Linton, Isabella Linton, Heathcliff, Catherine Earnshaw, Hareton Earnshaw, Linton Heathcliff, and Catherine Linton.
    • Young Ireland and Beyond

      Fegan, Melissa; University of Chester (Cambridge University Press, 2020-02-28)
      This chapter examines the ideology, aspirations, and political and literary legacy of the Young Ireland group.