Catalogue


Myth and national identity in nineteenth-century Britain : the legends of King Arthur and Robin Hood /
Stephanie L. Barczewski.
imprint
Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, 2000.
description
viii, 274 p.
ISBN
019820728X
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, 2000.
isbn
019820728X
general note
Enlargement of author's thesis (Ph. D.)--Yale University.
catalogue key
3553815
 
Includes bibliographical references (p. [247]-267) and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2000-11-01:
Barczewski (Clemson Univ.) argues that legends of King Arthur and Robin Hood provide excellent and contrasting views of British culture. Diametrically opposed in terms of class and ideology, the king and the outlaw functioned as national heroes, an indication that British nationalism did not represent a single set of values but instead assimilated competing points of view--a Middle Age portrait of a single nation marching toward greatness or warring against itself. Barczewski observes that 19th-century "British" history focused on English accomplishments though race was increasingly important for national identity: Britons came to see themselves as destined to dominate the world. The author discusses the contrast between Arthur ("the defender of the idyllic social and political world") and Robin ("the social rebel"): the Arthur stories tended to appear in situations favorable to imperial aims; Robin Hood stories tended to point out the folly of neglecting the home front for distant lands. Barczewski also discusses the complex role of female characters in the legends: Guinevere bore the burden for the fall of Camelot, but Maid Marion was a positive character--untraditional, but a model for 19th-century views of young ladies. Interesting and informative for students of both literature and history, from lower- division undergraduates on up. A. F. Erlebach; Michigan Technological University
Reviews
Review Quotes
'an impressive range of sources, both primary and secondary, to display how the images of King Arthur and Robin Hood are evoked in response to British concerns, and how they move from Britishness to Englishness.'Clare A.Simmons, Wordsworth Circle
'an impressive range of sources, both primary and secondary, to displayhow the images of King Arthur and Robin Hood are evoked in response to Britishconcerns, and how they move from Britishness to Englishness.'Clare A.Simmons, Wordsworth Circle
'Barczewski is most successful in historical contextualization, and in linking the legends with the broader issues of race, identity, and nationalism ... strong treatment of the history of ideas ... wide-ranging survey of national identity in nineteenth-century thought.'Carolyne Larrington, TLS
'Barczewski is most successful in historical contextualization, and inlinking the legends with the broader issues of race, identity, and nationalism... strong treatment of the history of ideas ... wide-ranging survey ofnational identity in nineteenth-century thought.'Carolyne Larrington, TLS
'interesting and fresh treatment of the uses of the Robin Hood myth and in its thoughtful comparisons between the two.'Journal of Modern History, vol.73, no.3
'interesting and fresh treatment of the uses of the Robin Hood myth and inits thoughtful comparisons between the two.'Journal of Modern History, vol.73, no.3
'Interesting and informative.' A.F. Erlebach, CHOICE Nov. 2000, Vol.38, No.3.
'Interesting and informative.'A.F. Erlebach, CHOICE Nov. 2000, Vol.38, No.3.
'loaded with learning and yet sparkling with life'V. G. Kiernan, EHR
'Professor Barczewski's erudite yet immensely readable book ... is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand the rise of English nationalism and the subjugation of Celtic culture.'Brendan McMahon, The Cornish Banner Aug 2000, No.101.
'Professor Barczewski's erudite yet immensely readable book ... isessential reading for anyone who wants to understand the rise of Englishnationalism and the subjugation of Celtic culture.'Brendan McMahon, The Cornish Banner Aug 2000, No.101.
'provides a practical framework for thinking about other King Arthur and Robin Hood reworkings.'Clare A. Simmons, Wordsworth Circle
'The pairing of the dichotomous figures of Arthur and Robin Hood is an ingenious and fruitful basis for Stephanie Barczewski's wide-ranging survey of national identity in nineteenth-century thought.'Carolyne Larrington, Times Literary Supplement, Friday 16th March 2001.
'The pairing of the dichotomous figures of Arthur and Robin Hood is aningenious and fruitful basis for Stephanie Barczewski's wide-ranging survey ofnational identity in nineteenth-century thought.'Carolyne Larrington, Times Literary Supplement, Friday 16th March 2001.
'this work's extensive use of literary sources, even very "uncanonical" ones, valuably introduces a broad range of hitherto-ignored sources and affords greater access to the cultural work done by imaginative writing, however humble its literary merits.'Journal of Modern History, vol.73, no.3
'this work's extensive use of literary sources, even very "uncanonical"ones, valuably introduces a broad range of hitherto-ignored sources and affordsgreater access to the cultural work done by imaginative writing, however humbleits literary merits.'Journal of Modern History, vol.73, no.3
'interesting and fresh treatment of the uses of the Robin Hood myth and in its thoughtful comparisons between the two.'Journal of Modern History, vol.73, no.3'this work's extensive use of literary sources, even very "uncanonical" ones, valuably introduces a broad range of hitherto-ignored sources and affords greater access to the cultural work done by imaginative writing, however humble its literary merits.'Journal of Modern History, vol.73, no.3'provides a practical framework for thinking about other King Arthur and Robin Hood reworkings.'Clare A. Simmons, Wordsworth Circle'an impressive range of sources, both primary and secondary, to display how the images of King Arthur and Robin Hood are evoked in response to British concerns, and how they move from Britishness to Englishness.'Clare A.Simmons, Wordsworth Circle'The pairing of the dichotomous figures of Arthur and Robin Hood is an ingenious and fruitful basis for Stephanie Barczewski's wide-ranging survey of national identity in nineteenth-century thought.'Carolyne Larrington, Times Literary Supplement, Friday 16th March 2001.'Barczewski is most successful in historical contextualization, and in linking the legends with the broader issues of race, identity, and nationalism ... strong treatment of the history of ideas ... wide-ranging survey of national identity in nineteenth-century thought.'Carolyne Larrington, TLS'loaded with learning and yet sparkling with life'V. G. Kiernan, EHR'Interesting and informative.'A.F. Erlebach, CHOICE Nov. 2000, Vol.38, No.3.'Professor Barczewski's erudite yet immensely readable book ... is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand the rise of English nationalism and the subjugation of Celtic culture.'Brendan McMahon, The Cornish Banner Aug 2000, No.101.
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, November 2000
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Summaries
Bowker Data Service Summary
This study examines the complex nature of 19th-century British national identity through the legends of King Arthur and Robin Hood, two very different national heroes. It examines a variety of issues, including the rise of Englishness.
Long Description
Scholars continue to find that fictional narratives provide rich insight into the historical development of a modern national consciousness. In nineteenth-century Britain, the legends of King Arthur and Robin Hood played an important role in construction of contemporary national identity. These two legends provide important windows on British culture and draw from very different perspectives. King Arthur and Robin Hood have traditionally been diametrically opposed in their ideological orientation, with Arthur at the pinnacle of the social and political hierarchy and Robin Hood completely outside conventional hierarchical structures. The fact that two such different figures could simultaneously function as British national heroes suggests that nineteenth-century British nationalism did not represent a single set of values and ideas, but rather that it was forced to assimilate a variety of competing points of view.
Long Description
Scholars have become increasingly interested in how modern national consciousness comes into being through fictional narratives. Literature is of particular importance to this process, for it is responsible for tracing the nations evolution through glorious tales of its history. In nineteenth-century Britain, the legends of King Arthur and Robin Hood played an important role in construction of contemporary national identity. These two legends provide excellent windows through which to view British culture, because they provide very different perspectives. King Arthur and Robin Hood have traditionally been diametrically opposed in terms of their ideological orientation. The former is a king, a man at the pinnacle of the social and political hierarchy, whereas the latter is an outlaw, and is therefore completely outside conventional hierarchical structures. The fact that two such different figures could simultaneously function as British national heroes suggests that nineteenth-century British nationalism did not represent a single set of values and ideas, but rather that it was forced to assimilate a variety of competing points of view.
Main Description
'Barczewski is most successful in historical contextualization, and in linking the legends with the broader issues of race, identity, and nationalism... strong treatment of the history of ideas... wide-ranging survey of national identity in nineteenth-century thought.' -Carolyne Larrington, TLSThis study examines the complex nature of nineteenth-century British national identity through the legends of King Arthur and Robin Hood, two very different national heroes. It examines a variety of issues, including the rise of Englishness over the course of the nineteenth century, race, gender and imperialism.
Main Description
Scholars have become increasingly interested in how modern national consciousness comes into being through fictional narratives. Literature is of particular importance to this process, for it is responsible for tracing the nations evolution through glorious tales of its history. Innineteenth-century Britain, the legends of King Arthur and Robin Hood played an important role in construction of contemporary national identity. These two legends provide excellent windows through which to view British culture, because they provide very different perspectives. King Arthur andRobin Hood have traditionally been diametrically opposed in terms of their ideological orientation. The former is a king, a man at the pinnacle of the social and political hierarchy, whereas the latter is an outlaw, and is therefore completely outside conventional hierarchical structures. The factthat two such different figures could simultaneously function as British national heroes suggests that nineteenth-century British nationalism did not represent a single set of values and ideas, but rather that it was forced to assimilate a variety of competing points of view.
Table of Contents
Introduction: King Arthur, Robin Hood, and British National Identityp. 1
'These two names are national inheritances': The Emergence of King Arthur and Robin Hood as National Heroesp. 11
'Sung of throughout the length and breadth of the land': The Popularity and Meaning of the Legends of King Arthur and Robin Hood in the Nineteenth Centuryp. 45
'The love of our own language': The Legends of King Arthur and Robin Hood and the Rise of English Studiesp. 81
'Our fathers were of saxon race': Robin Hood, King Arthur, and the Rise of Anglo-Saxon Racialismp. 124
'I have made his glory mine': Women and the Nation in the Legends of King Arthur and Robin Hoodp. 162
'Why must we haunt to them foreign parts?': The Legends of King Arthur and Robin Hood and British Imperialismp. 201
Conclusion: 'We shall be one people': King Arthur and Robin Hood in the First Half of the Twentieth Centuryp. 231
Bibliographyp. 247
Indexp. 269
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

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