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Title: Seeing victorian ghosts : spiritualism, metaphors of the occult, and the domestication of the supernatural in the ghost stories of Vernon Lee and Margaret Oliphant
Authors: Wang, Esther Ying Jie
Keywords: DRNTU::Humanities
Issue Date: 2012
Abstract: This dissertation studies the Spiritualist fad that gripped Victorian England in the mid and late-nineteenth-century. It looks at the response generated by Spiritualism – both the fervency of believers newly converted to this alternative religion, and the fears and suspicions of critics. Divided into three chapters, this dissertation first explains the reasons for the conflicted reception of Spiritualism, before demonstrating, through the ghost stories of Vernon Lee and Margaret Oliphant, how this occult can be used not just to transgress boundaries, but to reaffirm them. It looks at Lee’s and Oliphant’s use of the occult as extended metaphors to domesticate the threats associated with Spiritualism and the supernatural, and shows how this alternative religion captured Victorian imagination not just because it was subversive and threatening, but because it reflected and allayed everyday concerns.
Fulltext Permission: restricted
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
Appears in Collections:HSS Theses

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