Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://hdl.handle.net/1959.11/8813
Title: A Lady of Conscience: Reformist Thought in the Fiction of Eleanor Dark
Contributor(s): Doyle, Honoria Mary (author); Ryan, John S  (supervisor); McDougall, Russell J (supervisor)
Conferred Date: 1999
Copyright Date: 1997
Open Access: Yes
Handle Link: https://hdl.handle.net/1959.11/8813
Abstract: The general aim of this study is to throw new critical light on Eleanor Dark's work by proving her to be a more consistent, serious and complex writer than has been appreciated previously. It demonstrates that she was essentially a vigorous social reformer with both a romantic sensibility and a convinced utopian outlook who yet tempered her idealism with practical commonsense. In giving voice to her protests, Dark's novels accepted human existence as a journey, and human beings as questers, with the goal a progressive, humane society in which the individual could develop to full potential. In a world dominated by reason, the leaders of society have placed along the way various historical and social impediments which hinder the questers, while certain spiritual factors which are capable of acting as supporting agents are all too often ignored. These obstacles and aids are the subject of the recurring themes which the study traces across the ten novels. Chapter 1 consists of a brief overview of the novels. The major portion of the thesis is contained in Chapters 2-12. Chapter 2 discusses the journey. Chapters 3-7 examine the obstacles to progress and Chapters 8-11 deal with the aids, as indicated in the Chapter headings. Chapter 12 is concerned with the goal of the quest. The study concludes with the proposition that Eleanor Dark's fiction, with both its creative and socio-historical content, has contributed to Australian literature a body of reflective and significant prose which is still relevant to our own times.
Publication Type: Thesis Doctoral
Rights Statement: Copyright 1997 - Honoria Mary Doyle
HERDC Category Description: T2 Thesis - Doctorate by Research
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