Last Outpost on the Zulu Frontier
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Last Outpost on the Zulu Frontier : Fort Napier and the British Imperial Garrison

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Small and isolated in the Colony of Natal, Fort Napier was long treated like a temporary outpost of the expanding British Empire. Yet British troops manned this South African garrison for over seventy years. Tasked with protecting colonists, the fort became even more significant as an influence on, and reference point for, settler society. Graham Dominy's Last Outpost on the Zulu Frontier reveals the unexamined but pivotal role of Fort Napier in the peacetime public dramas of the colony. Its triumphalist colonial-themed pageantry belied colonists's worries about their own vulnerability. As Dominy shows, the cultural, political, and economic methods used by the garrison compensated for this perceived weakness. Settler elites married their daughters to soldiers to create and preserve an English-speaking oligarchy. At the same time, garrison troops formed the backbone of a consumer market that allowed colonists to form banking and property interests that consolidated their control.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 320 pages
  • 152 x 229 x 30.48mm | 680.39g
  • University of Illinois Press
  • Baltimore, United States
  • English
  • 025204004X
  • 9780252040047

Review quote

"An engrossing account, vividly illuminating the complexity of life within an imperial garrison and offering valuable insights into the impact of the military on southeast Africa's diverse societies and on Natal's development"--John Lambert, Professor Emeritus of the University of South Africa and author of Betrayed Trust: Africans and the State in Colonial Natal "Quite original. Rather than looking at campaigns and battles, the book shows how issues such as military parades, band performances, social events, marriages between soldiers and local settler women, and soldiers's bad behavior shaped settler society in Natal."--Timothy Stapleton, author of The Military History of Africa "[An] outstanding contribution to our historiography."--Pretoria News Truly places Fort Napier's history within several broader contexts--the settlement of Natal, the response of the indigenous inhabitants, the relationships between 'British' and other settlers, the wider history of the British army in the period, and the novel involvement of women protesting against the British advance. This is far from a narrow 'red coat' history.--Peter Stanley, author of White Mutiny: British Military Culture in India "Dominy's book provides an intimate and indispensable portrait of a colonial society; and one that laid the template for today's South Africa."--The Witnessshow more

About Graham Dominy

Graham Dominy is a Research Fellow of the University of South Africa, former National Archivist of South Africa, and former editor of Natalia: Journal of the Natal Society .show more

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