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  • Publication
    Accès libre
    Gender, Politics, and the Utopian Impulse in Late Seventeenth-Century English Literature
    This thesis examines the genre of utopian fiction in the context of political and historical developments in England between the Restoration of the monarchy in 1660, the Restoration Crisis of 1678-1685, and its immediate aftermath. My thesis uses and outlines the usefulness of the term ‘utopian impulse’, by which I mean a text which can be seen to consistently turn to and engage with the tropes of the utopian tradition rather than relying on strict and ever-changing genre distinctions of form or content. This allows me to draw on poetic, dramatic and prose texts by canonical and lesser-known male and female writers from across the political spectrum in order to look at how utopian tropes were being negotiated and adapted in response to changing political and social circumstances. I do so in order to address and correct a critical assumption that it is the period up to and surrounding the English Civil Wars and Interregnum which saw the significant bulk of utopian publication, and that the Restoration marks a period of decline. I instead posit that the Restoration period had a significant and profound impact on the utopian tradition, and argue that analysis of the utopian impulse in late seventeenth-century texts provides important insight into relations between the sexes, the position of women in politics and society, the hopes and fears of contemporary authors and citizens, and the development of the genre of utopian literature.