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Date Permissions Signed

5-13-2011

Date of Award

2011

Document Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

English

First Advisor

Mahoney, Kristin Mary

Second Advisor

Giffen, Allison

Third Advisor

Laffrado, Laura

Abstract

Historically, Marie Corelli's popular 1890s fiction has been considered lowbrow. Contemporary scholarship has attempted to recuperate her work by aligning her texts with high art movements of the nineteenth-century. The two Corelli novels that this thesis examines, The Sorrows of Satan (1895) and Wormwood (1890), construct idealized gender representations through a combination of low and high art stylistics and subject matter. These novels critique modes of consumption that cause characters to deviate from the ideal behavior represented within the text. These characters" deviations from idealized conceptions of masculinity and femininity endanger national identity. This thesis considers the utility of the term middlebrow as a way to reconfigure the divide between low and high art. Furthermore, it argues that Corelli's construction of a gendered national identity reflects the dominant conception of Englishness, providing Victorian studies with a more nuanced distinction between popular nineteenth-century texts. Middlebrow fiction reflects and solidifies national identity, thus offering a lens through which to view Corelli's project.

Type

Text

Publisher

Western Washington University

OCLC Number

733829646

Digital Format

application/pdf

Subjects – Names (LCNAF)

Corelli, Marie, 1855-1924

Geographic Coverage

England

Genre/Form

Academic theses

Language

English

Rights

Copying of this thesis in whole or in part is allowable only for scholarly purposes. It is understood, however, that any copying or publication of this thesis for commercial purposes, or for financial gain, shall not be allowed without the author's written permission.

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