Arthur's Court and Gothic Spaces in E. L. Hervey's The Feasts of Camelot

Ward, Renée (2023) Arthur's Court and Gothic Spaces in E. L. Hervey's The Feasts of Camelot. In: What is Medieval. Decoding Approaches to the Medieval and Medievalism in the 21st Century. Brepols. ISBN UNSPECIFIED

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Arthur's Court and Gothic Spaces in E. L. Hervey's The Feasts of Camelot
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Abstract

This article examines Eleanora Louisa Hervey’s King Arthur’s Court: The Feasts of Camelot, with the Tales that Were Told There (1863, 1877), arguing that, through her text, Hervey manifests the Gothic both as a type of racialized topography and as a state of being, ultimately creating a contrast between the idealized (medieval) world of Arthur, his rule, his court, and his kingdom — all avatars for England and Victorian rule — and foreign lands and peoples from beyond the borders of the empire. Hervey’s vision of the Arthurian world endorses the primacy of Victorian culture, which likewise racializes cultural others and reinforces the patriarchal social structures that Arthur and his court epitomize. Yet, simultaneously, it questions these very systems, especially when they are shown wanting by the women who are subject to them. Hervey’s blending of the medieval and the Gothic in Feasts also facilitates explorations of the condition of women, with specific emphasis on the key social roles of wifehood and motherhood, juxtaposing the conservative values of patriarchal society with forms of female agency and expressions of discontent about the condition of women within traditional structures.

Keywords:King Arthur, E. L. Hervey, the Gothic, victorian women writers, Victorian Literature, Children's literature, Medieval Literature, Medievalism
Subjects:Q Linguistics, Classics and related subjects > Q323 English Literature by topic
Q Linguistics, Classics and related subjects > Q322 English Literature by author
Q Linguistics, Classics and related subjects > Q321 English Literature by period
Divisions:College of Arts > School of English & Journalism > School of English & Journalism (English)
ID Code:49941
Deposited On:29 Jun 2022 14:44

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