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Locating Ireland in the fantastic fiction of Lord Dunsany

Scott, Tania (2011) Locating Ireland in the fantastic fiction of Lord Dunsany. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

Due to Embargo and/or Third Party Copyright restrictions, this thesis is not available in this service.

Abstract

This thesis will locate the fantastic fiction of Lord Dunsany in a tradition of Irish writing, while simultaneously examining representations of Ireland within the texts themselves. Dunsany has been regarded – until now – as a marginal figure in Irish literature, but this study will show that he deserves a place in the canon. My research will demonstrate that, from his early involvement in the Abbey Theatre through to his late introspective novels set in Ireland, Dunsany throughout his life engages with Irish literary and cultural traditions. The first chapter will focus on Lord Dunsany’s theatrical writings which have been rarely staged since his death and have attracted little attention from scholars. By examining performances of the plays in Ireland and beyond, the links between the playwright and the national theatre will become clear. Building on this work on the plays, Chapter Two and moves on to an analysis of Dunsany’s novels – including The King of Elfland’s Daughter, his best known work – and places them within a historical context of conflict both at home in Ireland and throughout Europe. The next chapter looks at Dunsany’s later novels set in Ireland and questions why it is at this point in the 1930s, after decades of writing fantastic fiction, that the author chooses to locate his works in his own land. The same themes and ideas found in the novels are also prominent in Dunsany’s short stories which form the focus of chapters four and five. Chapter Four examines the stories set in Pegāna, the first tales he wrote and those which made Dunsany’s reputation as a writer of high fantasy, and locates their other-worldliness within the real world of twentieth-century Ireland. The last chapter deals with the later short stories, and brings Dunsany’s work up to date by using recent work on Irish postcolonialism and theories of Empire to analyse these narratives. The conclusion will consider Dunsany’s work overall, by way of close readings of texts from the beginning and end of his career which will allow us to trace the development of Ireland as a concept and as a literary influence throughout his writings.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Dunsany,Lord Dunsany,Ireland,Irish,fantasy,literature,celtic revival,abbey theatre,drama,English,Yeats
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PR English literature
Colleges/Schools: College of Arts > School of Critical Studies > English Literature
Supervisor's Name: Maslen, Dr. Robert
Date of Award: 2011
Embargo Date: 28 June 2014
Depositing User: Miss Tania Scott
Unique ID: glathesis:2011-2630
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 28 Jun 2011
Last Modified: 10 Dec 2012 13:58
URI: http://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/2630

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