In Search of Englishness: A Study of the Historical Novel during the Victorian Era

Masoud Farahmandfar1 & Sarah Catherine Household-Ilkhani2

1PhD candidate in English literature at Shahid Beheshti University (Iran). Email:

2Professor of English literature at Shahid Beheshti University (Iran).

Volume 9, Number 1, 2017 I Full Text PDF

DOI: 10.21659/rupkatha.v9n1.06

Received January 21, 2017; Revised March 1, 2017; Accepted April 5, 2017; Published May 7, 2017.


Historical novels are not only the legitimate progeny of a nation’s becoming conscious of its own identity, they also contribute to fortify that nationalist discourse. In a sense, the very beginning of the historical novel is entwined with the emergence of a widespread consciousness about the idea of nation(-hood); nevertheless, studies of the historical novel (and its relation and contribution to national identity) have remained under-investigated. The abiding aim of the present study is thus to examine this relationship, to draw ?attention to historical and cultural dimensions of Englishness. The present paper examines the influence of national ideology on fictional historiography, and focuses on the ways some English novelists, during the Victorian era, have reflected upon their Englishness.

Keywords: Englishness, nation, history, historical novel, Victorian era.

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