Show simple item record

Files in this item


Item metadata

dc.contributor.advisorMallett, Phillip
dc.contributor.authorDillion, Jacqueline Marie
dc.description.abstractThis thesis examines a range of folkloric customs and beliefs that play a pivotal role in Hardy’s fiction: overlooking, sympathetic magic, hag-riding, tree ‘totemism’, skimmington-riding, bonfire nights, mumming, May Day celebrations, Midsummer divination, and the ‘Portland Custom’. For each of these, it offers a background survey bringing the customs or beliefs forward in time into Victorian Dorset, and examines how they have been represented in written texts – in literature, newspapers, county histories, folklore books, the work of the Folklore Society, archival documents, and letters – in the context of Hardy’s repeated insistence on the authenticity of his own accounts of these traditions. In doing so, the thesis both explores Hardy’s work, primarily his prose fiction, as a means to understand the ‘folklore’ (a word coined in the decade of Hardy’s birth) of southwestern England, and at the same time reconsiders the novels in the light of the folkloric elements. The thesis also argues that Hardy treats folklore in dynamic ways that open up more questions and tensions than many of his contemporaries chose to recognise. Hardy portrays folkloric custom and belief from the perspective of one who has lived and moved within ‘folk culture’, but he also distances himself (or his narrators) by commenting on folkloric material in contemporary anthropological terms that serve to destabilize a fixed (author)itative narrative voice. The interplay between the two perspectives, coupled with Hardy’s commitment to showing folk culture in flux, demonstrates his continuing resistance to what he viewed as the reductive ways of thinking about folklore adopted by prominent folklorists (and personal friends) such as Edward Clodd, Andrew Lang, and James Frazer. This thesis seeks to explore these tensions and to show how Hardy’s efforts to resist what he described as ‘excellently neat’ answers open up wider cultural questions about the nature of belief, progress, and change.en_US
dc.publisherUniversity of St Andrews
dc.rightsCreative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International
dc.subjectThomas Hardyen_US
dc.subjectFolklore Societyen_US
dc.subjectSkimmington ridingen_US
dc.subject.lcshHardy, Thomas, 1840-1928--Knowledge--Folkloreen_US
dc.subject.lcshDorset (England)--Social life and customs--Historyen_US
dc.titleThomas Hardy : folklore and resistanceen_US
dc.type.qualificationnamePhD Doctor of Philosophyen_US
dc.publisher.institutionThe University of St Andrewsen_US
dc.publisher.departmentSchool of Englishen_US

The following licence files are associated with this item:

  • Creative Commons

This item appears in the following Collection(s)

Show simple item record

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International
Except where otherwise noted within the work, this item's licence for re-use is described as Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International