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Women’s writing and political activism in the 1930s
St Hilda’s College University of Oxford.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-3065-1341
2008 (English)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This thesis explores the formative relationship between the writing and political activism of leftist women writers in Britain in the 1930s. It is divided into three parts, structured around investigations of Winifred Holtby, Sylvia Townsend Warner and Storm Jameson. Methodologically, the thesis is historico-biographical, drawing on biographical and historical material to inform a contextual reading of the primary texts and their authors. It documents a wide range of hitherto unexplored archival material—including unpublished correspondence, holograph drafts, lecture notes and recently released MI5 personal files—to show the attempts by Holtby, Warner and Jameson to establish new modes of writing which addressed both aesthetic and political issues.

The study is divided into three parts, each covering one writer. The first part explores Holtby’s construction of herself as a professional woman writer in the early 1930s. It then traces the deep impact of race and class relations on Holtby’s writing, which arose largely from her work for black workers’ rights in South Africa. I conclude by exploring Holtby’s redefinition of the middlebrow mode of novel writing to incorporate radical politics. Part 2 investigates Warner’s conversion to Communism during the early years of the 1930s and the impact this had on redefining her engagement with the pastoral tradition. I go on to investigate the significance for Warner’s writing of her activism during the Spanish Civil War. The third part explores Jameson’s earlyattempts at socialist writing alongside her commitment to pacifism. Considering Jameson’s contempt for both modernism and popular literature, I then investigate her conception of what it is to be an ethical writer. Finally, I explore Jameson’s disillusionment with pacifism in light of the growing threat of Hitler and her tireless work to save refugee writers from persecution in continental Europe.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Avhandlingen finns inte i tryck och därför saknas förlag , 2008. , p. 284
National Category
General Literature Studies
Research subject
English
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-29632OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-29632DiVA, id: diva2:630640
Available from: 2013-09-09 Created: 2013-06-19 Last updated: 2017-10-17Bibliographically approved

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Ewins, Kristin

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CiteExportLink to record
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Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf