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Prose fiction in the 1930's: a study of Elizabeth Bowen, Rex Warner and Patrick Hamilton

posted on 29.11.2010, 09:40 authored by Andrew Cramp
The works of Elizabeth Bowen, Rex Warner and Patrick Hamilton are studied separately, and therefore this thesis is in three parts. Each part has its own introduction which deals with some general aspects. The studies themselves concentrate on novels published immediately before, during, or just after the thirties. The work of Elizabeth Bowen (1899-1973) is re-examined with emphasis upon its involvement with the public crisis of the thirties. The study argues that her novels are not indifferent to contemporary circumstances, but in fact, perspicuous and often satirical representations of stagnancy in the English upper middle classes. This characteristic is frequently accompanied by a sense of threat which increases as the decade progresses, thus emphasising Bowen's concern for events in the external world. Rex Warner (1905- ) published two allegories in the thirties: The Wild Goose Chase and The Professor. Both are either ignored or misjudged as plagiaristic responses to the first translations of Kafka's novels. This study however, closely examines the texts and argues that whether influenced by Kafka or not, Warner's work is fundamentally, and most importantly, an experimental attempt to write Marxist fiction. Next to nothing has been written about the novels of Patrick Hamilton (1904-1962), and therefore the third part of this study looks at his early work for its own sake, and because these early developments of certain themes and ideas later help form one of the most important novels of the thirties and forties: Hangover Square (1941). This thesis also contains interviews with Rex Warner, Edward Upward and the documentary film director, Basil Wright.



  • The Arts, English and Drama


  • English and Drama


© Andrew Cramp

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A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University. If you are the author of this thesis and would like to make it openly available in the Institutional Repository please contact:

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