Documenting settler emigration: Jude Piesse, British Settler Emigration in Print, 1832-1877, Oxford University Press, 2015

20Jan16

Description: An unprecedented number of emigrants left Britain to settle in America, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand during the Victorian period. Utilizing new digital resources and methodologies alongside more traditional modes of scholarship, British Settler Emigration in Print, 1832-1877 presents the first book-length study of the periodical print culture that imagined, mediated, and galvanized this important stage of empire history. It presents extensive new research on how settler emigration was registered within Victorian periodicals and situates its focus on British texts and contexts within a broader, transnational framework. The book argues that the Victorian periodical was an inherently mobile form which had an unrivalled capacity to both register mass settler emigration and moderate its disruptive potential. Part one focuses upon settler emigration genres that featured within mainstream, middle-class periodicals, incorporating the analysis of emigrant voyage texts, emigration themed Christmas stories, and serialized novels about settlement. These genres are cohesive, domestic, and reassuring, and thus of a different character from the adventure stories often associated with Victorian empire. Part two examines a feminist and radical periodical emigration literature that often challenged dominant settler ideologies. Alongside its examination of ephemeral emigration texts, the book offers fresh readings of key works by Charles Dickens, Anthony Trollope, Edward Bulwer-Lytton, Thomas Martin Wheeler, and others. Ultimately, the book shows how periodical settler emigration literature transforms our understanding of both the culture of Victorian empire and Victorian literature and culture as a whole. It also makes significant intersections into debates about periodical form and the role of digitization within Victorian Studies.



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