Trading Mythologies: Russian Folklore in late Victorian Circulation

This presentation, adapted from a portion of my dissertation, explores the specific scholarly interest in late Victorian Britain towards Russian mythology. In particular my research investigates the corpus of figures like William Ralston in what approaches, citation and specific conclusions they had concerning the function of the supernatural in Russian folklore and fairytales. My work explores in particular such issues as the British conceptions of race, class and gender in these perceptions, and draws parallels between such views and other components of nineteenth century imperialism. In a related issue my work evaluates how the British in turn projected elements reminiscent of mythology onto the ostensibly secular portrayal of Russia in wider periodicals and scholarship.

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