Visions of the Teuton
: Perceptions of Germany and the German in mid-nineteenth century England

  • T Tai

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy (PhD)


This thesis examines mid-nineteenth century perceptions of Germany in the minds of English thinkers, writers, and journalists. At the time, Germany received increasing attention from the English, in no small part due to an exploration of their own national character. This exploration led them to the shared Anglo-Saxon heritage in order to explain their own understanding of the peculiarities and nuances of the English national character. By examining reactions to the myriad events that took place in the burgeoning German nation, the thesis aims to provide insight into the role of national character in shaping perceptions of other nations. It will also observe the change in attitudes towards Germany as the nineteenth century progressed, and Germany became an ascendant Great Power, capable of challenging France in terms of military might, and England in terms of industrial capability. It further aims to demonstrate that the Anglo-German antagonism started some decades prior to the fin de siècle, but that, alongside a growing suspicion of German, and particularly Prussian, expansionism, there remained an admiration for German culture, in this thesis, focusing on the sphere of German literature. Via these observations, the thesis will aim to shed more light on the importance of national character and nationhood to mid-nineteenth century English thinkers.
Date of Award28 Nov 2019
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Bristol
SupervisorJames Thompson (Supervisor) & Hugh Pemberton (Supervisor)

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