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dc.contributor.advisorNewman, Steven
dc.creatorKropp, Colleen Mary
dc.date.accessioned2020-11-04T16:09:57Z
dc.date.available2020-11-04T16:09:57Z
dc.date.issued2017
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12613/3142
dc.description.abstractThis dissertation explores the relationship between the ‘rise’ of the British novel and the critical changes happening in contemporary English marriage law from early eighteenth-century to the end of the nineteenth-century. While citing landmark legal treatises and acts and positioning these novels as the medium through which to see the way these legal moments significantly shaped British culture and society, equity is ultimately at the heart of this study, with equity functioning as part of law but a corrective to it. Running parallel to this protocol of reading through equity is a reading informed through moral philosophy, drawn predominantly from the work of Adam Smith and other thinkers from the Scottish Enlightenment. They encourage us to think about obligation, and the relationship between intentions, expectations, and consequences on the point of promise and contract. Beginning with Daniel Defoe’s Moll Flanders (1722), I show the moral and legal difficulties that arise when promises are based purely on verbal contracts. I then move to Samuel Richardson’s Pamela (1740) and Pamela in Her Exalted Condition (1741) to address the importance and utility of contract, but also the need to outline and endorse a system—introduced through Hardwicke’s Act (1753)—that would provide a more reliable structure for the marriage narrative. Mary Wollstonecraft’s Maria (1798) and Sir Walter Scott’s The Bride of Lammermoor (1819), both of which I call historical novels, pinpoint legal structures that are both oppressive and obsolete, and those who fall victim to the insufficient common law require a more equitable judgment. George Eliot’s Daniel Deronda (1876) encourages readers to think about the potency behind intentions, both expressed and implied, and how resulting consequences can often run counter to the original intentions and expectations. I posit each text as a ‘case’ warranting treatment and judgment in a court of equity, where the particular details are judged in and of themselves but then stand as an offering for ways to continue to think about the general pattern and evaluation of human nature and morals.
dc.format.extent266 pages
dc.language.isoeng
dc.publisherTemple University. Libraries
dc.relation.ispartofTheses and Dissertations
dc.rightsIN COPYRIGHT- This Rights Statement can be used for an Item that is in copyright. Using this statement implies that the organization making this Item available has determined that the Item is in copyright and either is the rights-holder, has obtained permission from the rights-holder(s) to make their Work(s) available, or makes the Item available under an exception or limitation to copyright (including Fair Use) that entitles it to make the Item available.
dc.rights.urihttp://rightsstatements.org/vocab/InC/1.0/
dc.subjectLiterature, English
dc.subjectEquity
dc.subjectHistory of the Novel
dc.subjectLaw and Literature
dc.subjectMarriage
dc.subjectMoral Philosophy
dc.titleCourting Equity; or Moral Sentiments in the Law and British Fiction
dc.typeText
dc.type.genreThesis/Dissertation
dc.contributor.committeememberO'Hara, Daniel T.
dc.contributor.committeememberSinger, Alan
dc.contributor.committeememberGanz, Melissa
dc.description.departmentEnglish
dc.relation.doihttp://dx.doi.org/10.34944/dspace/3124
dc.ada.noteFor Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) accommodation, including help with reading this content, please contact scholarshare@temple.edu
dc.description.degreePh.D.
refterms.dateFOA2020-11-04T16:09:57Z


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