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Permanent link (DOI): https://doi.org/10.7939/R31D22

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The "Nightmare" of Collecting Egyptian Antiquities in Late-Victorian Gothic Fiction Open Access

Descriptions

Other title
Subject/Keyword
Collecting in Literature
Victorian Gothic Fiction
Egyptian Antiquities
Type of item
Thesis
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Dyrda, Leigh
Supervisor and department
Sinnema, Peter (English and Film Studies)
Examining committee member and department
Simpson, Mark (English and Film Studies)
Burch, Robert (Philosophy)
Binhammer, Katherine (English and Film Studies)
Bruhm, Steven (Western University)
Department
Department of English and Film Studies
Specialization
Victorian Literature
Date accepted
2012-03-30T16:50:50Z
Graduation date
2012-06
Degree
Doctor of Philosophy
Degree level
Doctoral
Abstract
This dissertation examines a selection of Gothic fiction published in Britain between roughly 1880 and 1910 that portrays the collection of Egyptian antiquities. Using the methodologies of new historicism, Gothic literary criticism, and critical museum studies, I argue that these late-Victorian representations of collecting Egyptian objects dramatize displaced cultural anxiety about the Empire during the phase of New Imperialism. The mummies and antiquities in these texts are threatening, supernaturally live, and dangerous; I read their violence against British collectors and museums as a strategy of negotiating late-century imperial anxiety about the longevity of Britain’s Empire and the strength of “Britishness” as represented through Gothic house-museums, knowledge production, immunity to foreign “contagion,” and sexual dominance and “purity.” Ultimately, I suggest, these texts together demonstrate an intense fictional expression of Victorian cultural disenchantment.
Language
English
DOI
doi:10.7939/R31D22
Rights
Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of these terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis and, except as herein before provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
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