English Research Seminar Series
'The Tiger that Lurks in all of us': Blood Sports and Interwar Women's Writing
As part of the School of Arts and Humanities English Research Seminar Series, Dr Ellen Turner, University of Lund , presents : 'The Tiger that Lurks in all of us': Blood Sports and Interwar Women's Writing.
- From: Wednesday 7 December 2016, 1 pm
- To: Wednesday 7 December 2016, 2 pm
- Location: 101, Mary Ann Evans building, Nottingham Trent University, Clifton Campus, Clifton Lane, Nottingham, NG11 8NS
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As part of the School of Arts and Humanities English Research Seminar Series, Dr Ellen Turner, University of Lund, presents: 'The Tiger that Lurks in all of us': Blood Sports and Interwar Women's Writing.
Prior to the outbreak of the First World War in 1914, hunting to hounds was a mainstay of outdoor leisure in rural England. In many ways, the war marked the turning point that precipitated a gradual change in attitude towards blood sports, eventually culminating in the 2005 fox hunting ban; Though the war meant that resources, and manpower, were diverted away from leisure pursuits such as fox hunting during and immediately after the war, it is my contention that the war hastened a deadlier blow to fox hunting than could be achieved by material means alone. This blow rested in a broader change in public consciousness whereby the savagery of war, and the savagery of the hunt became affiliated in the national psyche. This paper turns to literary representations of hunting in the decades following the First World War as evidence of this distinctive trend in public perceptions on hunting and war. The three texts - Mary Webb's Gone to Earth (1917), Radclyffe Hall’s The Well of Loneliness (1928) and Winifred Holtby’s South Riding (1936) - which constitute the structure of this paper are all united in their condemnation of fox hunting and all, whether implicitly or explicitly, associate the bloodthirstiness of the hunt with the cruelty of the First World War battlefield. Both chronologically speaking, and by virtue of its dominating structural theme of the hunt, Gone to Earth serves as a springboard for the discussion of the latter two novels. Gone to Earth was first published during wartime, and it is not until the later texts by Hall and Holtby that the connection between fox hunting and the First World War is made explicit, as opposed to the more subtly rendered connection in Webb’s text.