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Showing posts from March, 2015

Elizabeth Inchbald and A Simple Story

A unfeasibly hectic term is only just drawing to a close and I realise there has been no blogging for a month: oh well! I did jot down some notes after seminars a few weeks ago on Elizabeth Inchbald's curious novel A Simple Story, and I did want to write them up before memories of the classes in question faded altogether from memory...

1. One thing that's quite curious - and was picked up nicely in one seminar discussion - was the hint of incest that runs through the narrative. The strongly 'two-halved' nature of the narrative allows us to set up Miss Milner and Matilda as 'doubles', both involved in intense and melodramatic relationships with the brooding Dorriforth. Yes, they are mother and daughter, but the fact that Dorriforth begins volume I as Miss Milner's guardian, and the sentimental and affective beats of volume III and IV (fainting, palpitating, gasping, panting - all potentially erotic) justify the suggestion.
It also fits rather nicely in terms…