The English country house makes frequent appearances in early-twentieth-century fiction. As the focus of Christian feudalism, a repository for artistic achievements, a symbol of continuity, it was an embodiment of traditional civilised ideals which lent itself to both nostalgia and defiance. The literary handling of it by Forster’s contemporaries and their successors is varied and frequent. As Bladesover in Wells’ Tono-Bungay (1909) for example, and as the Tolbrook of Joyce Cary’s To Be a Pilgrim (1942), we find it used both to record and to assess the process of social change. In the novels of Lawrence, on the other hand, it tends to be an embodiment of social oppression — Shortlands in Women in Love (1920) and Wragby Hall in Lady Chatterley’s Lover (1928) provide variants on this theme. Then there is the subject of class.
KeywordsSpiritual Owner Imaginative World Practical Moralist Social Oppression Country House
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