Representations of Italy and Italians in British Fiction and Travel Writing, 1900-1930

Collins, Sally. 2006. Representations of Italy and Italians in British Fiction and Travel Writing, 1900-1930. Doctoral thesis, Goldsmiths, University of London [Thesis]

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Abstract or Description

Ibis thesis is conceived as a critical exploration of the construction of Italy and
Italians in texts by British writers published between 1900 and 1930. Despite this period
representing the heyday of writers in and writing on Italy, scholarship on the specifically
Italian-centred rhetoric and its significance is sketchy (though advancing): one must look
piecemeal to literature on travel-writing, literary modernism, Englishncss and regionalism,
or on imperialist-colonialist discourse or on the Mediterranean in literature; and to pre-
1900 periods such as Grand Tourism, Romanticism, the rise of mass tourism in the
Victorian age; or the inter-war period. Drawing from this network of scholarship in
detailed analyses of a dozen writers' works, a picture is built up of the principal
characteristics of literary constructions of Italy and Italians in terms of tropes, rhetorical
strategies and themes, accounting for their predominance, while maintaining a sense of
variety and change within the parameters of genre and period.
The selection of writers is based on their high standing in contemporary literary
circles, their personal contact with Italy and the popularity of their texts during the period.
Each chapter examines writing on a particular region of Italy - Capri, Tuscany, the North
and the South - drawing out the specific connotations of place found in and constructed
by the texts.
By scrutffuzing the workings of fiction and travel writing on Italy in the light of
the discourses and contexts outlined above, the thesis will show that literary
representations of Italy provide a window onto the way British writers conceived of
British identity as well as of Italy and its people, during the first three decades of the

Item Type:

Thesis (Doctoral)

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

English and Comparative Literature



Item ID:


Date Deposited:

16 Feb 2016 09:01

Last Modified:

08 Sep 2022 11:37


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