Henry Jenner and the Celtic Revival in Cornwall
Thesis or dissertation
University of Exeter
Reason for embargo
This thesis seeks to explore the influence of Henry Jenner as one of the most prominent figures of the Celtic Revival in Cornwall and in the wider Celtic community. To contextualise this, it will examine the image of the Celts as a people in the first half of the twentieth century and the assertion of Celtic identity in that period through the Celtic Revival. The opening chapter examines the concepts of nations and nationalism, particularly Celtic nationalism. The second chapter focuses on the Victorian era as a motivating force for Henry Jenner and others to ‘write back’ against a long and insidious discourse of discrimination. Chapter Three goes on to look at how the political situation in both Britain and Ireland came to influence the nature of Celtic identity assertion and also the extent to which Jenner’s own political views impacted on the nature of Cornwall’s Celtic Revival. In Chapter Four the impact of tourism on Cornwall, and on Cornish identity, is examined, particularly how the image of Cornwall as a Celtic nation created by Jenner and others was embraced and manipulated by that industry. Chapter Five looks at the consequences of image manipulation on tourist-dependent regions. The final chapter concentrates more specifically on the work of Jenner and the Old Cornwall Societies, and the thesis concludes by appraising the influence of the ideas and beliefs of Henry Jenner on our contemporary vision of Cornwall. It focuses particularly on how the predominance of memory created a haunted identity which was embraced by the burgeoning tourist industry and examines how this identity has subsequently impacted on the economic well-being of the region. But it also concludes that Jenner’s legacy endures in so many of the positive images of, and statements about, Cornwall today.
PhD in English