Beyond orientalism: 'The Stranger' and 'Colonial Cosmopolitanism' in the romantic period novel

Morris, James Medley (2016) Beyond orientalism: 'The Stranger' and 'Colonial Cosmopolitanism' in the romantic period novel. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Printed Thesis Information:


Going beyond Orientalism in its examination of novels dealing with British colonisation in the West, as well as the East Indies, the postcolonial frame of my thesis develops recent theorisations of the Romantic ‘stranger’. Analysing a range of novels from the much anthologised Mansfield Park (1814), to less well-known narratives such as John Thelwall’s The Daughter of Adoption (1801) and Sir Walter Scott’s Saint Ronan’s Well (1823), my thesis seeks to account for a model of ‘colonial cosmopolitanism’ within fiction of the period. Considering the cosmopolitan dimensions of the transferential rhetoric of slavery, my thesis explores the ways in which, Jane Austen, Amelia Opie and Maria Edgeworth consider the position of women in domestic society through a West Indian frame. Demonstrating the need for reform both at home and abroad, such novels are representative of a fledgling cosmopolitanism that is often overlooked in current criticism. In seeking to account for ‘colonial cosmopolitanism’ as a new model for reading fiction composed during the Romantic period, my thesis attempts to add further nuance to current understandings of sympathetic exchange during the process of British colonisation. In chapters four and five I will develop my analysis of novels dealing with colonial expansion in the Caribbean to consider novels which deal with the Indian subcontinent. Although stopping short of questioning colonial expansion, discourses of ‘colonial cosmopolitanism’, as my thesis demonstrates, provided a foundation for humanitarian and cultural engagement which was mutually transformative for both the coloniser and the colonised.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Romanticism, romantic-period novel, Jane Austen, Maria Edgeworth, Amelia Opie, John Thelwall, Elizabeth Hamilton, Lady Morgan, Phebe Gibbes, Walter Scott, John Galt, colonialism, Empire, the Stranger.
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PE English
P Language and Literature > PQ Romance literatures
P Language and Literature > PR English literature
Colleges/Schools: College of Arts & Humanities > School of Critical Studies > English Literature
Supervisor's Name: Leask, Prof. Nigel and Pittock, Prof. Murray
Date of Award: 2016
Embargo Date: 22 August 2021
Depositing User: Dr James M. Morris
Unique ID: glathesis:2016-7534
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 07 Sep 2016 11:18
Last Modified: 24 Aug 2020 10:59

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