The French Colonial Imagination

The French Colonial Imagination : Writing the Indian Uprisings, 1858-1859, from Second Empire to Third Republic

By (author) 

Free delivery worldwide

Available. Dispatched from the UK in 10 business days
When will my order arrive?


The French Colonial Imagination examines France's critical response to the Indian uprisings of 1857-58 and their brutal suppression by the British. Drawing from texts produced during the Second Empire and the early Third Republic, Nicola Frith foregrounds the extent to which British India acted as a counter-narrative in the construction of France's rival colonial discourse and its emerging "civilizing mission" alongside France's persistent desire to compensate for its "loss" of India at the end of the Napoleonic Wars.
show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 228 pages
  • 154.94 x 231.14 x 20.32mm | 453.59g
  • Lexington Books
  • Lanham, MD, United States
  • English
  • 0739180002
  • 9780739180006

Review quote

This highly readable and meticulously documented study is the first to offer an analysis of French perspectives on a pivotal event in Indian history: the widespread uprisings of 1857-58, which the British imperial establishment termed the 'Indian Mutiny'. Examining how the events were represented across a range of texts, it charts how French writers used a serious threat to the empire of France's frere ennemi to reflect upon French conceptualizations of colonialism. By exploring how the eighteenth-century 'loss' of French influence in India could be deployed during subsequent periods of colonial expansion, the monograph significantly augments scholarship on a period until recently dismissed in the historiography of the French empires as a lapse in activity between two more significant waves of expansion, the first under the Ancien Regime and the second under the Third Republic. The French Colonial Imagination: Writing the Indian Uprisings, 1858-1859, from Second Empire to Third offers valuable insights into French and British encounters with India in the nineteenth century, into imperial rivalries, and into colonial discourses more generally. It should appeal not only to those interested in French expansion but also to all scholars of nineteenth-century European imperialisms. -- Kate Marsh, University of Liverpool Carrying the inquiry into a barely studied field-the effect of France-England rivalry in the making of French colonial civilizing mission-Nicola Frith provides a new reading of French republican colonialism. She offers an invaluable resource for academics and students of European colonialism. -- Francoise Verges, Goldsmiths College
show more

About Nicola Frith

Nicola Frith is lecturer in French at Bangor University, UK, and is a specialist in Francophone Postcolonial Studies.
show more

Table of contents

Table of Contents Acknowledgments 1. Introduction: Beyond the Binary-Triangulating Colonial Discourse 2. A War of Words: The Politics of Nomenclature 3. Villains and Heroes: Ventriloquizing the "Revolutionary' 4. Massacring the Myth: Telling Tales of Revenge 5. Compensating for l'Inde perdue: France's "Civilizing Mission" Conclusion: From Empire to Republic Glossary Bibliography Index About the Author
show more