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postgraduate thesis: The family saga in women's writing between the wars

TitleThe family saga in women's writing between the wars
Authors
Advisors
Advisor(s):Gan, WCH
Issue Date2011
PublisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)
Citation
Tse, H. K. [謝凱琳]. (2011). The family saga in women's writing between the wars. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b4784983
AbstractThis thesis is a study of the family saga in British women’s writing and explores how women writers between the two World Wars and within the context of modernity appropriated the genre. At the turn of the twentieth century social changes in British society led people to a reconsideration of what family and modernity meant. The re-imagining of family experience thus caused a flourishing of family sagas, particularly among women writers, and these sagas enjoyed a widespread readership and sales. Yet, the family saga has attracted little academic interest and criticism, and it has even been pejoratively labeled as ‘middlebrow’ writing, seen as conservative, domestic and feminine. Thanks to the initial male production of the family saga in the early twentieth century, a conservative tradition of the family saga was established: a family saga was a lengthy multi-generational family narrative, written in the realist mode, about the evolution of a family and its family dynamics. However, women writers have made shifts and appropriations of this literary form so as to make the personal world of the family political and open the genre to the discussion of a variety of topics. By tracing the differences in the family sagas written by Rose Macaulay, Vera Brittain and Virginia Woolf from the conventional family saga, this study argues that in the hands of women this feminine and middlebrow genre can be used for a serious consideration of feminism, the institution of the family and questions of history and modernity. I will also overturn the conventional assumption of the conservativeness of the family saga by arguing that the genre opens up space for progressive considerations of the family as well as space for modernist innovation. Thus, Rose Macaulay articulates her unique idea of the ‘indefinite sameness’ in history to dialogue with modern views of the past in Told By An Idiot; Vera Brittain expresses her feminism through her ideal of the ‘companionate marriage’ in Honourable Estate (1936); and Virginia Woolf captures the changes in British families through her modernist portrait of a modern family in The Years.
DegreeMaster of Philosophy
SubjectFamilies in literature.
Dept/ProgramEnglish

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.advisorGan, WCH-
dc.contributor.authorTse, Hoi-lam, Karen.-
dc.contributor.author謝凱琳.-
dc.date.issued2011-
dc.identifier.citationTse, H. K. [謝凱琳]. (2011). The family saga in women's writing between the wars. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b4784983-
dc.description.abstractThis thesis is a study of the family saga in British women’s writing and explores how women writers between the two World Wars and within the context of modernity appropriated the genre. At the turn of the twentieth century social changes in British society led people to a reconsideration of what family and modernity meant. The re-imagining of family experience thus caused a flourishing of family sagas, particularly among women writers, and these sagas enjoyed a widespread readership and sales. Yet, the family saga has attracted little academic interest and criticism, and it has even been pejoratively labeled as ‘middlebrow’ writing, seen as conservative, domestic and feminine. Thanks to the initial male production of the family saga in the early twentieth century, a conservative tradition of the family saga was established: a family saga was a lengthy multi-generational family narrative, written in the realist mode, about the evolution of a family and its family dynamics. However, women writers have made shifts and appropriations of this literary form so as to make the personal world of the family political and open the genre to the discussion of a variety of topics. By tracing the differences in the family sagas written by Rose Macaulay, Vera Brittain and Virginia Woolf from the conventional family saga, this study argues that in the hands of women this feminine and middlebrow genre can be used for a serious consideration of feminism, the institution of the family and questions of history and modernity. I will also overturn the conventional assumption of the conservativeness of the family saga by arguing that the genre opens up space for progressive considerations of the family as well as space for modernist innovation. Thus, Rose Macaulay articulates her unique idea of the ‘indefinite sameness’ in history to dialogue with modern views of the past in Told By An Idiot; Vera Brittain expresses her feminism through her ideal of the ‘companionate marriage’ in Honourable Estate (1936); and Virginia Woolf captures the changes in British families through her modernist portrait of a modern family in The Years.-
dc.languageeng-
dc.publisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)-
dc.relation.ispartofHKU Theses Online (HKUTO)-
dc.rightsThe author retains all proprietary rights, (such as patent rights) and the right to use in future works.-
dc.rightsCreative Commons: Attribution 3.0 Hong Kong License-
dc.source.urihttp://hub.hku.hk/bib/B47849836-
dc.subject.lcshFamilies in literature.-
dc.titleThe family saga in women's writing between the wars-
dc.typePG_Thesis-
dc.identifier.hkulb4784983-
dc.description.thesisnameMaster of Philosophy-
dc.description.thesislevelMaster-
dc.description.thesisdisciplineEnglish-
dc.description.naturepublished_or_final_version-
dc.identifier.doi10.5353/th_b4784983-
dc.date.hkucongregation2012-

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