From dissent to diselief : Gaskell, Hardy, and the development of the English social realist novel

Authors: Pedersen, Susan
Advisor: Kent, Brad
Abstract: As a progressive Unitarian, Elizabeth Gaskell rejected the Anglican doctrines that would later alienate Thomas Hardy from his religion. She also championed many of the thinkers who would exert a strong influence on Hardy’s beliefs. The connection between Gaskell’s religion and Hardy’s worldview is evident in their personal writings and in their novels. The authenticity of voice that both Gaskell and Hardy give to marginalized characters, specifically to women, also springs from their common Christian-based values. Both authors’ religious convictions and the influence of religion on their works have been extensively studied, but a comparison between them has yet to be undertaken. After examining the links between Gaskell’s Unitarianism and Hardy’s beliefs, I compare the two authors’ attitudes towards class in North and South and The Woodlanders and their sympathies with the fallen woman as expressed in Ruth and Tess of the d’Urbervilles to demonstrate their intellectual and artistic affinities.
Document Type: Mémoire de maîtrise
Issue Date: 2010
Open Access Date: 16 April 2018
Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11794/21605
Grantor: Université Laval
Collection:Thèses et mémoires

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