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Retreating to the Country: R.C. Sherriff's Rural Interwar Novels & Environmental Politics

Retreating to the Country: R.C. Sherriff's Rural Interwar Novels & Environmental Politics This essay contextualizes two of R.C. Sherriff's inter-war novels, Greengates (1936) and The Hopkins Manuscript (1939), within modernist debates about countryside preservation as well as noting their ongoing relevance to contemporary environmental politics. By creating characters who are both sympathetic war veterans and easily satirized figures of patriarchy and privilege, Sherriff engages complex themes of capitalist consumerism, ‘us’ and ‘them’ attitudes about land policy, and fraught impulses of pastoral nostalgia. These novels resist facile diatribe; instead, they force the reader to inhabit the emotional swings inherent in the lived experience of love and sacrifice required for environmental preservation. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Modernist Cultures Edinburgh University Press

Retreating to the Country: R.C. Sherriff's Rural Interwar Novels & Environmental Politics

Modernist Cultures , Volume 16 (1): 24 – Feb 1, 2020

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Publisher
Edinburgh University Press
Copyright
Copyright © Edinburgh University Press
ISSN
2041-1022
eISSN
1753-8629
DOI
10.3366/mod.2021.0320
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

This essay contextualizes two of R.C. Sherriff's inter-war novels, Greengates (1936) and The Hopkins Manuscript (1939), within modernist debates about countryside preservation as well as noting their ongoing relevance to contemporary environmental politics. By creating characters who are both sympathetic war veterans and easily satirized figures of patriarchy and privilege, Sherriff engages complex themes of capitalist consumerism, ‘us’ and ‘them’ attitudes about land policy, and fraught impulses of pastoral nostalgia. These novels resist facile diatribe; instead, they force the reader to inhabit the emotional swings inherent in the lived experience of love and sacrifice required for environmental preservation.

Journal

Modernist CulturesEdinburgh University Press

Published: Feb 1, 2020

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