“Ghosts within us”: a study of women writers of gothic modernism

PhD Thesis

Laouar, N. 2019. “Ghosts within us”: a study of women writers of gothic modernism. PhD Thesis Canterbury Christ Church University Faculty of Arts and Humanities
AuthorsLaouar, N.
TypePhD Thesis

This thesis offers a reading of Modernist narratives by British women writers through Gothic lens. The ostensible archaic mode of the Gothic that Modernism endeavoured to throw away returns from the repressed to haunt Modernist fiction. Women writers that this thesis examines, show the importance of this writing mode. Through its elastic elements, the Gothic continues to live in the early twentieth century. This thesis shows how women writers adapt Gothic tropes to engage with their own and their age’s anxieties between the fin de siècle and the 1930s.

This study shows how the Gothic communicates historical and gender concerns from women’s perspective with the aim to establish a women’s voice within the field of Gothic Modernism. The Gothic, in the works of Vernon Lee, E. Nesbit, May Sinclair, Virginia Woolf, Rebecca West, Daphne du Maurier and Jean Rhys, evolves and responds. This means that the Gothic transforms from the fin de siècle to become more psychological in later works of these writers from the 1910s to the inter-war period. In other words, the Gothic evolves as it responds to the varying anxieties, affecting women across these periods.

This thesis aims to add a unified study of Modernist women writers to the field of Gothic Modernism. By unified, I mean that this study produces a sense of the continuity to the Gothic. It highlights the Gothic’s revival in the 1890s and its subsequent re-invention in the Modernist period at the hands of Modernist women writers.

KeywordsWomen writers; Gothic modernism
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Deposited27 Jan 2020
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