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Distant Fields Essays in Eighteenth Century Fictions of Wales by Moira Dearnley

Distant Fields Essays in Eighteenth Century Fictions of Wales


Distant Fields Essays in Eighteenth Century Fictions of Wales by Moira Dearnley

Eighteenth-century English fictions are full of stereotypical images of Wales and the Welsh, from the popular lampooning of the Welsh as dishonest, credulous and superstitious to the idealisation of Wales as the home of the noble savage and a place of natural virtue and innocence. The Wales of these fictions is an imagined nation, rarely brought into being by the Welsh themselves. Moira Dearnley explores a selection of eighteenth-century texts that have received little critical attention in Wales, even as they record a part of the history of the Welsh people. She looks at both familiar and less well-known authors, from Tobias Smollett to Mary 'Perdita' Robinson, and traces the varied ways in which 'that principality contiguous to England' was represented. Distant Fields: Essays on Eighteenth-Century Fictions of Wales is a pioneering book dealing with a little-explored subject and will appeal to all those interested in questions of nation and narration, the cultural and national contexts of eighteenth-century fiction, and the history and development of fictions of Wales.


'Moira Dearnley ... makes full use of contemporary developments in criticism where these are relevant and revealing, but she brings to them a very sharp eye which often enables her to pinpoint the weaknesses (usually careless reading of the text) which invalidate other critics'
arguments. Her reluctance to use fashionable jargon and the careful elegance of her style bring a refreshing clarity to her writing and will certainly increase its shelf


...The University of Wales Press can be justly proud of this book:it exhibits the highest standards of scholarly research and yet it is also written in a lively, approachable style which betrays the author's own entghusiasm for her material. New Welsh Review

About the Author

Moira Dearnley is a teacher and writer. She is the author of The Poetry of Christopher Smart (1968) and Margiad Evans (1982), as well as That Watery Glass (1973) and Icarus and Other Stories (1981).

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Book Info

Publication date

21st September 2001


Moira Dearnley

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University of Wales Press


304 pages


Literary studies: c 1500 to c 1800
Literary studies: fiction, novelists & prose writers
Social & cultural history



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