Cold Comfort Farm, D. H. Lawrence, and English literary culture between the wars

Hammill, F. (2001) Cold Comfort Farm, D. H. Lawrence, and English literary culture between the wars. MFS: Modern Fiction Studies, 47(4), pp. 831-854. (doi:10.1353/mfs.2001.0086)

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Abstract

Stella Gibbons's Cold Comfort Farm (1932) has been an incredibly popular novel. Its most famous line, "I saw something nasty in the woodshed," has become a catchphrase, and the book has sold in large numbers since its first publication in 1932. It has been adapted as a stage play, a musical, a radio drama, and two films, thereby reaching a still larger audience. However, its status within the academically-defined literary canon is comparatively low. One full article on Cold Comfort Farm was published in 1978, and since then, only a few paragraphs of criticism have been devoted to the novel. Critics apparently do not consider Cold Comfort Farm to be properly "literary," and it is rarely mentioned in studies of the literature of the interwar years. This is curious because Cold Comfort Farm is an extremely sophisticated and intricate parody whose meaning is produced through its relationship with the literary culture of its day and with the work of such canonical authors as D. H. Lawrence, Thomas Hardy, and Emily Brönte. The novel's engagement with the gender issues of the 1930s also repays detailed examination.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Hammill, Professor Faye
Authors: Hammill, F.
College/School:College of Arts > School of Critical Studies > English Literature
Journal Name:MFS: Modern Fiction Studies
Publisher:John Hopkins University Press
ISSN:1080-658X
ISSN (Online):1080-658X
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2001 Purdue Research Foundation
First Published:First published in MFS: Modern Fiction Studies 47(4): 831-854
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the publisher copyright policy

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