Date of Award

December 2021

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



Committee Member

Erin Goss

Committee Member

William Stockton

Committee Member

Elizabeth Rivlin


The parts of this thesis work together to understand Walpole’s Prefaces, defend the presence of servants in the novel, and critique Manfred’s dismissal of the servants as merely comedic necessity for the sake of dramatic tension. Ultimately this thesis shows that while servants are comedic, their comedy has the larger function of providing illuminating details and prophetic information to the reader thereby mediating our understanding of key events and characters. This thesis finds that Walpole does not dismiss servants, but rather values them as essential to his design of creating tension intended to boost the reader’s excitement.



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