Introversion and extroversion in certain late Victorian writers
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This thesis deals with three writers, George Gissing, Edmund Gosse and Robert Louis Stevenson. I use the words "introversion" and "extroversion" partly in a geographical sense. George Gissing, for example, in spite of Continental influences remained a very English (in some ways almost insular) novelist, and in that sense an introvert. Edmund Gosse, on the other hand, was a very cosmopolitan critic although his style was typically English. Robert Louis Stevenson provides a third angle. Having been born in Edinburgh he was forced into exile for most of his life, and obviously this had a great effect on his writings. Of the three writers most weight is given to Edmund Gosse. In my analysis of George Gissing I concentrate on some of his best known novels, The Unclassed, The Nether World, New Grub Street and Born in Exile. The Emancipated and By the Ionian Sea deal specifically with Italy. There are four chapters on Edmund Gosse. The first concentrates on the early part of his long career when his main interest was Scandinavian literature. The next two chapters give an account of his impressions of and writings on America and France. In the fourth chapter on Edmund Gosse I concentrate on the part of his career when he had become an established authority on his own country's literature. Robert Louis Stevenson, too, is dealt with in four chapters. First I write briefly about his Scottish works, all inspired by his childhood and youth. Next I deal with his two favourite countries, France and the United States, both associated with his Wife, Fanny. The last chapter follows Stevenson to the South Seas where he spent the last few years of his life and wrote some of his best books. The three writers are compared from time to time. Robert Louis Stevenson and Edmund Gosse knew each other well; George Gissing is the odd man out. But his reaction to foreign influences differs from that of the other two and this makes a comparison very interesting.
Thesis, PhD Doctor of Philosophy
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