Date Thesis Awarded
Honors Thesis -- Access Restricted On-Campus Only
Bachelors of Arts (BA)
At the outset of the Victorian Era, a young poet from the north of England composed a provocative and lapidary work of fiction, outfitted with the tempestuousness hinted at in its title. This poet was Emily Brontë; her 1847 masterpiece Wuthering Heights—the only novel she wrote before her death in 1848—is an atmospheric recalibration of ethnic, gender, and social identities in a remote corner of Yorkshire, as well as an extended meditation on unchecked passions. I contend that Wuthering Heights is a revolutionary recasting of the novel of manners, when the genre was nascent and hitherto largely a literary commodity of the south of England. It was Brontë’s innovation to develop a northern novel of manners, in which she envisions characters who are not rejecting social norms so much as instituting new, heretical ones to suit their own claustrophobic context.
Menchel, Cameron I., "The Northern Novel of Manners: Wuthering Heights & The Invention of a Genre" (2017). Undergraduate Honors Theses. William & Mary. Paper 1096.
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