The hotel in fiction from Henry James to Henry Green
University of Cambridge
Faculty of English
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
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Moore, R. (2012). The hotel in fiction from Henry James to Henry Green (Doctoral thesis). https://doi.org/10.17863/CAM.11724
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This dissertation argues for the central importance of the industrial luxury hotel from the Second Industrial Revolution to the Second World War, charting its exuberant and anxious rise in the novels of Henry James and the decline of its cultural pre-eminence in Henry Green's Party Going. It argues that the hotel constituted corporate space, financed by limited liability companies and operated by an alienated workforce. Hotels offered a rare and often troubling experience: the possibility of living inside a corporation. The aim of this study is twofold: to examine the radical effects of these intimate encounters with the impersonal on daily life; and to examine their effect on the construction and the texture of the novel as a literary form. The dissertation follows the arc of history from early to late James, through F Scott Fitzgerald, Elizabeth Bowen and Henry Green, charting a series of shifting representational strategies as writers grappled with the hotel's increasing abstraction and fluidity. The hotel became, for these writers, a laboratory for the representation of milieu, and a means of concretely exploring the relations of individuals within a cellular network. With a particular emphasis on material history and the representation of space and spatiality, this dissertation takes its cue from theorists of material culture and sociologists of everyday life, while also exploring cinema, economic history, and architectural history.
This record's DOI: https://doi.org/10.17863/CAM.11724