Literature in a Time of Migration: British Fiction and the Movement of People, 1815-1876

ISBN : 9780192895752

Josephine McDonagh
352 Pages
156 x 234 mm
Pub date
May 2021
Send mail

Literature in a Time of Migration offers a profound rethinking of British fiction in light of the new practices of human mobility that reshaped the nineteenth-century world. Building on the growing critical engagement with globalization in literary studies, it confronts the paradox that at a time when transnational human movement occurred globally on an unprecedented scale, British fiction appeared to turn inward to tell stories of local places that valorized stability and rootedness. In contrast, this book reveals how literary works, from the end of the Napoleonic Wars to the advent of the New Imperialism, were active components of a culture of colonization and emigration. Fictional texts, as print commodities, were enmeshed in technologies of transport and communication, and innovations in literary form were spurred by the conditions and consequences of human movement. Examining works by Scott, Charlotte Bronte, Dickens, and George Eliot, as well as popular contemporaries, Mary Russell Mitford, John Galt, and Thomas Martin Wheeler, this volume demonstrates how literary texts overlap with an agenda set in public discussions of colonial emigration that they also helped to shape. Debates about assisted emigration, 'forced' and 'free' migration, colonization, settlement, and the removal of native peoples, figure in fictions in complex ways. Read alongside writings by emigration theorists, practitioners, and enthusiasts for colonization, fictional texts reveal a powerful and sustained engagement with British migratory practices and their worldwide consequences. Literature in a Time of Migration is a timely reminder of the place and importance of migration within British cultural heritage.


Introduction: Fiction in a Time of Migration
Part One: Experiments in Fiction and Space, 1810s to 1840s
1 Walter Scott's Long-Distance Fiction: Guy Mannering and the Gypsy
2 John Galt's 'Whole Art of Colonization': Sound, Voice, Space
3 Transported! Edward Gibbon Wakefield and Charlotte Bronte Imagine a Colony
4 'Infinite Kindness': Distant Intimacy in the Transatlantic Print Worlds of Mary Russell Mitford and James T. Fields
Part Two: The Mid-Century Novel
5 The Political Picaresque: Thomas Martin Wheeler's Sunshine and Shadow
6 Dickens's National Novel: On Settling and Being Unsettled in Bleak House
7 George Eliot's Provincial Novels: 'Another Great Migration' in Daniel Deronda
Conclusion: Moving On: 'Amy Foster' and 'Uncompromising Exile'

About the author: 

Josephine McDonagh is Professor of English at the University of Chicago. She has taught at several British universities, most recently King's College London. Her books include De Quincey's Disciplines (1994), and Child Murder and British Culture 1720-1900 (2003).

The price listed on this page is the recommended retail price for Japan. When a discount is applied, the discounted price is indicated as “Discount price”. Prices are subject to change without notice.