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Ruby Hawley-Sibbett

Research Student,

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Research Summary

Current Status: PhD (full-time) - currently registered

Research Topic:

Women writers' use of English and Welsh regional spaces in prose fiction, 1810-1820

Research Summary:

My research analyses the use of space in female-authored Romantic-period prose fiction set in Wales and a selection of English regions, including the West Country. My thesis is a bibliographical project: I aim to provide a comprehensive overview of female-authored novels published in the 1810s which use settings in Wales and the West Country. This includes observing trends in geographical representation of these spaces, but also discussion of key themes including female freedom.

My thesis will discuss a multitude of female authors, whose work continues to be overlooked by critics at present, despite recent advances in feminist literary history. Welsh novels are particularly under-studied, in contrast to their Scottish and Irish counterparts. My thesis will begin the recovery of these novels and explore what they can reveal about regionality in the Romantic period.

I will also undertake a reassesment of Jane Austen's use of regional settings, in the light of these observations I will make on her forgotten contemporaries. My research will therefore provide a new impetus for the discussion of regionality and a reassessment of the "four nations" framework, as well as a new reading of Austen's regionality. ​

This research builds on my MA dissertation 'Extending Domesticity Within and Beyond the Home in the Novels of Susan Ferrier' and my BA dissertation on food in Austen's juvenilia.

Research Supervisors:

Primary Funding Source:

AHRC Midlands 3 Cities Doctoral Training Partnership (full scholarship)

School of English

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