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Visions and Revisions

Studies in Literature and Culture

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Edited By Grzegorz Czemiel, Justyna Galant, Anna Kędra-Kardela, Aleksandra Kędzierska and Marta Komsta

Collected under the theme of Visions and Revisions, the papers included in this volume examine different aspects of literature and culture of the Anglophone world. The first part gathers articles dealing with poetry of such epochs as the seventeenth century, the Victorian era and the modern times. Part two focuses on prose works representing such conventions and modes as the romance, the Gothic novel, the condition of England novel, Victorian and neo-Victorian fiction, the science fiction novel and gay fiction. Part three concerns various aspects of British and American culture, including the new media, drama and journalism, and advertising. In its diversity the volume reflects the dynamics of change in literature and culture, enabling the readers to investigate the multifaceted canon.
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Mother London: Peter Ackroyd’s Three Brothers

← 190 | 191 →Marta Komsta

Extract

[A]nd now he returned to that time when he wept for his mother under the cover ofLondon fog and darkness. He sat by the window all that afternoon, looking into the street,caught between fear and indecision. To whom could he turn?Peter Ackroyd, Three Brothers

Ackroyd’s latest novel, Three Brothers (2013), is an urban journey through the contemporary Londonscape which becomes a powerful presence in the lives of the narrative’s protagonists. The eponymous siblings, Harry, Daniel and Sam Hanway, born in Camden at the same hour, on the same day and month in three successive years, remain connected with one another through a series of events that reveals a distinct spatiotemporal pattern in Ackroyd’s narrative. Subsequently, the three lives delineated in the intertwining chapters are rooted in three distinct visions of the capital as the novel follows the Hanway brothers from childhood until death (with the exception of Sam, the youngest of siblings) against the multilayered background of the great city.2 Owing to his innate ruthlessness and unwavering ambition, Harry Hanway, the eldest of the siblings, becomes a successful London journalist and managing editor of an influential London newspaper, The Morning Chronicle.3 A born opportunist, Harry rises to the top of his profession by means of manipulation and hypocrisy as well as personal connections – he marries Guinevere Flaxman, the daughter of Martin Flaxman, the owner of The Morning Chronicle. Daniel Hanway, the middle of the three brothers, chooses a life in academia, first as a student...

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