The cleanliness of Lord Singelworth

Keywords: imagology, aeronautics, English malady, American Revival


The paper presents an analysis of the protagonist of Tajemnica Lorda Singelworth [Lord Singleworth’s Secret] in terms of the 19th century imagology. The analysis shows that the character was created on the basis of stereotypes of the British that were popular in Europe at that time. They account for Singleworth’s oddities such as flying in a hot air balloon or his obsession with cleanliness. They also explain why the majority of those who observed Lord’s balloon passion unanimously accepted its surprising justification – the need to deal with his gastric problems. This is then complemented by the peculiar arrogance, moral motivation for action, sense of mission and escapism. The author of the paper assumes that the character of an Englishman developed in such a way and placed in Venice on the threshold of historical changes might be a literary self-portrait of Norwid.


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