Hayleyworld: a zoeography of William Hayley (1745-1820)

Gee, L (2018) Hayleyworld: a zoeography of William Hayley (1745-1820). PhD thesis, Bath Spa University.


In contrast to the creative work it accompanies, this contextual thesis is structured chronologically. It tells Hayleyworld's backstory, explores its theoretical and historical contexts, and reflects on the development process. Chapter 1 traces the project's genealogy, the collaborative and connective thinking behind it. It outlines how my decision to create a new form of digital biography was driven by the realisation that the story I wanted to tell did not fit a traditional print book, and enabled by the increasing adoption of new digital technologies, discussions with, and the encouragement of others, and a collaboration with a developer. It covers the inception of the idea to the start of my PhD. Chapter 2 opens with a critique of the only previous biography of Hayley, then explores the conceptual and philosophical issues inherent in writing and reading life stories. It looks at theories of life-writing and biography, discusses the nature of narrative, and investigates how writers and readers approach texts that sit astride the boundaries between history, fiction, and opinion. It pays particular attention to authors who, like Hayley, chose to write their autobiographies or memoirs in the third person, exploring the motivations for and effects of this choice. In the process, it showcases the theories, debates, and opinions that informed the structuring, writing and development of Hayleyworld. The final chapter address the practicalities and challenges involved in that writing and development. It outlines the processes through which I organised the content I edited form Hayley's Memoirs, configured the reader journey algorithm and wrote the commentaries, reader questionnaires and personalised content. It includes the original research I conducted to check my underlying assumptions about why people read life-writing and details of how I dealt with significant omissions in Hayley's Memoirs. It finishes with the example of personalised material that concludes my reading of Hayleyworld.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: William Hayley, life writing, biography, digital biography, digital writing, nonfiction narrative, memoir, third person memoir, reader journey algorithm
Divisions: School of Writing, Publishing and the Humanities
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Date Deposited: 15 Oct 2018 14:18
Last Modified: 07 Jan 2022 19:48
URI / Page ID: https://researchspace.bathspa.ac.uk/id/eprint/11552
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