Rural Scenes and National Representation : Britain, 1815-1850

By: Helsinger, Elizabeth KMaterial type: TextTextSeries: eBooks on DemandPrinceton Legacy Library: Publisher: Princeton : Princeton University Press, 2014Description: 1 online resource (0 p.)ISBN: 9781400864379Subject(s): Art and literature -- Great Britain -- History -- 19th century | English literature -- 19th century -- History and criticism | Landscape painting, British -- 19th century | Literature and history -- Great Britain -- History -- 19th century | National characteristics, British, in literature | Pastoral literature, English -- History and criticism | Rural conditions in literatureGenre/Form: Electronic books.Additional physical formats: Print version:: Rural Scenes and National Representation : Britain, 1815-1850DDC classification: 820.9321734 LOC classification: PR468.R87 -- H45 1997ebOnline resources: Click here to view this ebook.
Cover -- Contents -- Part I: Icons and Audiences -- Part II: Contested Ground -- Notes -- Index
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PR468.R87 -- H45 1997eb (Browse shelf) Available EBL3030780

Cover -- Contents -- Part I: Icons and Audiences -- Part II: Contested Ground -- Notes -- Index

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Helsinger examines rural scenes now "saturated with collective nostalgia and associated with an idea of essential Englishness." She argues that this nostalgia has a history, that the rural was not always so inevitably a repository of knee-jerk nationalism. Her chosen period, between the end of the Napoleonic Wars and the high Victorian mid-century, saw a consolidation of national (and imperial) symbols rooted in an agrarian England that was being displaced both agriculturally (by imports) and industrially (by continued urban migration). Eclectically fashioning a national symbolic by drawing on specialists in American as well as British studies, and on a host of art historians and cultural theorists, Helsinger analyzes two national icons--Constable and Tennyson--in the light of the more contestable Cobbett, Clare, Turner, Emily Bront"e, and George Eliot. Her detailed readings of texts and pictures not so easily assimilated to a national paradigm restore some of the heterogeneity of the past, in the interests of projecting new, less fatally homogenizing images of nation than are currently available. Helsinger says something useful about well-represented figures--especially Cobbett, Clare, and Bront"e--while drawing attention to the comparatively neglected but illuminating, such as Mary Russell Mitford. A sophisticated but readable book for upper-division undergraduates through faculty. D. Landry; Wayne State University

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