Dark Victorians illuminates the cross-cultural influences between white Britons and black Americans during the Victorian age. In carefully analyzing literature and travel narratives by Ida B. Wells, Harriet Martineau, Charles Dickens, Frederick Douglass, Thomas Carlyle, W.E.B. Du Bois, and others, Vanessa D. Dickerson reveals the profound political, racial, and rhetorical exchanges between the groups. From the nineteenth-century black nationalist David Walker, who urged emigrating African Americans to turn to England, to the twentieth-century writer Maya Angelou, who recalls how those she knew in her childhood aspired to Victorian ideas of conduct, black Americans have consistently embraced Victorian England. At a time when scholars of black studies are exploring the relations between diasporic blacks, and postcolonialists are taking imperialism to task, Dickerson considers how Britons negotiated their support of African Americans with the controlling policies they used to govern a growing empire of often dark-skinned peoples, and how philanthropic and abolitionist Victorian discourses influenced black identity, prejudice, and racism in America.
- Hardback | 176 pages
- 154.94 x 231.14 x 20.32mm | 430.91g
- 01 Apr 2008
- University of Illinois Press
- Baltimore, United States
"A valuable addition to Victorian scholarship."--Journal of Southern History "Illustrates the links forged between two unlikely groups of Victorians `who continue to speak to each other' today."--American Historical Review "[Dark Victorians'] sustained focus on the fluid nature of cultural exchange between Victorian Britain and African America offers a significant addition to the field by providing a more comprehensive view of transatlantic authorship on slavery and race in the antebellum period."--Journal of American History
About Vanessa D. Dickerson
Vanessa D. Dickerson is a professor of English at DePauw University and the author of Victorian Ghosts in the Noontide: Women Writers and the Supernatural.