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Literature of the 1900sThe Great Edwardian Emporium$
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Jonathan Wild

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780748635061

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748635061.001.0001

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Department of Internal Affairs: England and the Countryside

Department of Internal Affairs: England and the Countryside

(p.151) Chapter Five Department of Internal Affairs: England and the Countryside
Literature of the 1900s

Jonathan Wild

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter investigates the vexed question of the ‘Condition of England’ via an examination of ‘England’ as an entity in the period's poetry, its non-fiction topographical and nature writing, and lastly in that most Edwardian of literary forms, the country-house novel. It first traces the contested notions of England and Englishness that appeared in Edwardian verse. While the characteristic mode of the era's poetry is pastoral and nostalgic, writers such as Kipling defined a model of England that might provide a rallying cry to stimulate the defence of a battered and vulnerable post-war nation. The chapter then explores the ways in which topographical writers repackaged England for a largely armchair urban audience. Finally, the chapter examines one of those key classes of Englishness: the country house, which was used to explore the question of England's inheritance.

Keywords:   England, Condition of England, Edwardian poetry, non-fiction topographical and nature writing, country-house novel, Englishness, Edwardian verse, country house

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