The purpose of this dissertation is to explore the use of cricket in English literature as a means of articulating shifting cultural perceptions of class, gender, and nationality, especially in relation to the often fluid definition of the English gentleman. Chapter 1 examines the earliest known references to cricket in literature from the fourteenth to the early eighteenth century to show how cricket grew from a rural pastime into a respectable sport of leisure and a recognizable cultural symbol. Chapter 2 examines what have come to be known as the first great canonical works of cricket-lit, which further facilitated the acceptance of cricket by blending Romantic ideals with early-nineteenth-century validated norms of masculinity. In Chapter 3, the rise of cricket celebrities---both amateurs and professionals---is shown to be a product of a specialized rhetoric which perpetuated the gentleman's traditionally superior role while an opposing development of that rhetoric partially diminished that convention through the promotion of an increasingly popular professional model of the emerging entrepreneurial ideal. Chapter 4 furthers this discussion by looking specifically at the use of the cricket motif in schoolboy literature of the mid-to-late nineteenth century. As the cricket match became a virtual necessity in the schoolboy story, the ethos of the gentleman-amateur effectively became dependent upon the qOld Boyq cricketer myth as a means of separating and legitimizing that social archetype. Chapter 5 examines how, in the years leading up to the early twentieth century, a growing skepticism concerning the meaning and value of the term gentleman was both reflected and propagated in works which used the language and symbolism of cricket heavily to satirize long-established constructions of social and masculine authority.As the cricket match became a virtual necessity in the schoolboy story, the ethos of the gentleman-amateur effectively became dependent upon the aquot;Old Boyaquot; cricketer myth as a means of separating and legitimizing that social archetype.
|Title||:||Howzat...cricket Or Not? The Language and Literature of Cricket and the English Gentleman Mythos|
|Author||:||Jeremy Saint Larance|
|Publisher||:||ProQuest - 2008|