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Locating the Gothic in British Modernity$
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Sam Wiseman

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781942954897

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: January 2020

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781942954897.001.0001

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From the Waste Land to the Dark Tower

From the Waste Land to the Dark Tower

Revitalizing the Rural Gothic in the Interwar Period

(p.153) Chapter Four From the Waste Land to the Dark Tower
Locating the Gothic in British Modernity

Sam Wiseman

Liverpool University Press

This chapter explores the evolution of the rural Gothic following the First World War, noting how the legacy of the conflict is evident in an emphasis, for example, upon violence and trauma within domestic space (E.F. Benson). For some authors of the period, there is a sense of rebirth following the war, linked to a re-enchantment of the British landscape that contains Gothic elements in its focus upon narratives of pagan sacrifice (Mary Butts, Algernon Blackwood) or witchcraft (Sylvia Townsend Warner). Many of these developments come together in depictions of Cornwall, particularly in the novels of Daphne du Maurier or in D.H. Lawrence’s Kangaroo, as a space that is simultaneously English and non-English, liminal, and connected to ancient civilizations and mythologies.

Keywords:   Rural Gothic, Interwar period, Modernity, Re-enchantment, Paganism, Cornwall

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