Master of Arts (MA)
First Committee Member
Number of Pages
Helen C. White (1896--1967), a long-time professor of English at the University of Wisconsin Madison, was also an accomplished historical novelist. Although her six novels met with popular and critical success on publication, they seem to be largely forgotten today, and all are currently out of print. This study examines four of White's six novels, A Watch in the Night, Not Built with Hands, Dust on the King's Highway, and Bird of Fire, in light of the romance of self-surrender they portray. Each of the novel's protagonists---Jacopone da Todi, Countess Matilda of Tuscany, Father Francisco Garces, and St. Francis of Assisi, respectively---struggles with strong suffering in the context of some of the perennial problems of the human race: the problem of pain, the problem of civilization, the problem of communication, and the problem of inspiration and order, respectively. In the course of this pilgrimage each one gradually attains the romance of self-surrender when at last he learns to surrender his self-will and accept God's will.
Helen; Historical; Novels; Romance; Surrender; White
American literature; Literature, Modern; Biography
University of Nevada, Las Vegas
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Ahn, Joyce, "The romance of self-surrender in four historical novels of Helen C White" (2006). UNLV Retrospective Theses & Dissertations. 2041.