School of English

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Amber Williams

Research Student,

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Research Summary

Current Status:

PhD currently registered

Research Topic:

The Romantic Duellist: Exploring honour, masculinity and the demise of the duelling tradition in the long 18th century.

Research Summary:

My project is the first in-depth exploration of representations of duelling in British literature of the long 18th century. A decline in the tradition was seen in this period; the last fatal duel in Britain taking place in 1845. Simultaneously, representation of duels featured in the works of writers such as Austen, Byron, Godwin and Scott, to name a few. My study will address the following research questions: How and why did the practice and literary representation of duelling change in between 1780-1845; How does the decline in duelling connect to wider social and cultural phenomena: e.g. changing views of masculinity and 'honour'; How do practices and representations of duelling in the wider British Empire diverge from and shed light on what was happening in Britain itself?

This research will contribute to knowledge and understanding of Romanticism. It will also impact on scholarly understanding of the relationship between masculine identities and violence/conflict in metropolitan and colonial contexts, both in the Romantic period and beyond. The latter is achievable because the Romantic period saw a crucial shift to more recognisably 'modern' views of individual and collective identities and therefore laid the foundations for views and values that are still with us today. The focus on British and imperial representations will add to understanding of the intersections between early nineteenth century Britain and its nascent empire.

Research Interests:

Romantic Poetry

Female Authored Romantic Novels

Byron/Shelley Circle

19th Century French Literature

Supervisors:

Professor Lynda Pratt

Professor Máire Ní Fhlathúin

School of English

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