Author's School

Graduate School of Arts & Sciences

Author's Department/Program

English and American Literature


English (en)

Date of Award

January 2011

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Chair and Committee

Marina MacKay


Although indebted to scholars whose work has illuminated the distinctiveness of 1930s Britain, "National History and the Novel in 1930s Britain" argues that rather than seeking distinction, writers of the period were more concerned with the task of contextualizing their decade and their own position within a national historiography from which they felt the Great War and military masculinities had excluded them. Focusing on the novelists Christopher Isherwood, Evelyn Waugh, and Virginia Woolf, and the philosopher of history, R. G. Collingwood, I describe how the 1930s inheritors of British cultural privilege found themselves symbolically disenfranchised from a national identity inextricably linked to war, imagining alternative national stories outside the prevailing imperial and military mythologies.


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