Carnage, medicine and "The Woman Question" : representations of the Crimean war in neo-Victorian fiction

Title: Carnage, medicine and "The Woman Question" : representations of the Crimean war in neo-Victorian fiction
Source document: Brno studies in English. 2022, vol. 48, iss. 1, pp. 175-186
  • ISSN
    0524-6881 (print)
    1805-0867 (online)
Type: Article

Notice: These citations are automatically created and might not follow citation rules properly.

The aim of this article is to analyse and compare representations of the Crimean war in three neo-Victorian novels, Beryl Bainbridge's Master Georgie (1998), Julia Gregson's The Water Horse (2004) and Katharine McMahon's The Rose of Sebastopol (2007), with reference to the commonly established view of this historical event. The novels foreground the experience of civilians who found themselves on the periphery of the battlefields, caring for the casualties of the war. As the course of history and private lives intersect, the main characters undergo a personal transformation; for the female protagonists, the experience leads to liberation from conventional gender roles. It is argued that by focusing on civilians rather than soldiers the novels offer a new perspective on the war; nonetheless, they uphold its overwhelmingly negative image in British collective memory.
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