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The Sexual Imperative in the Novels of Sir Henry Rider Haggard


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A detailed study of the development of the sexual imperative in the works of Sir Henry Rider Haggard

The Sexual Imperative in the Novels of Sir Henry Rider Haggard is a detailed study of the development of the theme of the sexual imperative primarily through the prism of ten of Haggard’s novels, a largely unexplored area of his fiction, and also through some of his contemporary romances. Filling an important gap in Haggard scholarship, which has traditionally tended to focus on his early romances and their political and psychological resonances, the book contributes to wider current debates on Victorian and turn-of-the-century literature. This volume explores the relationship between Haggard’s fictional rendition of the sexual imperative and aspects of his personal history, proposing that his preoccupation with the subject constitutes, in significant part, an outworking of deeply personal sexual and emotional issues. Relating Haggard’s fiction to the literary and social context in which he wrote, Richard Reeve contends that although Haggard’s treatment of this theme is not nearly as adventurous as that of some of his literary contemporaries, his repeated consideration of what he regarded as the most important human driver lends his fiction a strength and integrity which has not been fully recognized.

Acknowledgements; Introduction; Chapter One: The Sexual Imperative; Chapter Two: The Origins of Haggard’s Fictional Writing; Chapter Three: The Early Novels (1884-1895): Youthful Anger; Chapter Four: The New Woman, Female Self-Sacrifice and Spirituality (1887-1901); Chapter Five: Spiritual Love and Sexual Renunciation (1899-1908); Chapter Six: The Final Fiction: Spiritual Consolation and the Dictates of the Sexual Imperative (1909-1930); Chapter Seven: Summation: A Personal Odyssey; Appendix: Plot Summaries; Notes; Bibliography; Index.



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Published 15 February 2018
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EAN13 9781783087655
Language English

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