Literature, Immigration, and Diaspora in Fin-de-Siecle England : A Cultural History of the 1905 Aliens Act
The 1905 Aliens Act was the first modern law to restrict immigration to British shores. In this book, David Glover asks how it was possible for Britain, a nation that had prided itself on offering asylum to refugees, to pass such legislation. Tracing the ways that the legal notion of the 'alien' became a national-racist epithet indistinguishable from the figure of 'the Jew', Glover argues that the literary and popular entertainments of fin de siecle Britain perpetuated a culture of xenophobia. Reconstructing the complex socio-political field known as 'the alien question', Glover examines the work of George Eliot, Israel Zangwill, Rudyard Kipling and Joseph Conrad, together with forgotten writers like Margaret Harkness, Edgar Wallace and James Blyth. By linking them to the beliefs and ideologies that circulated via newspapers, periodicals, political meetings, Royal Commissions, patriotic melodramas and social surveys, Glover sheds new light on dilemmas about nationality, borders and citizenship.
- Electronic book text
- 17 Sep 2012
- CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY PRESS
- Cambridge University Press (Virtual Publishing)
- Cambridge, United Kingdom
- 2 b/w illus.
Table of contents
List of illustrations; Acknowledgments; Introduction; 1. Messianic neutrality: George Eliot and the politics of national identity; 2. Palaces and sweatshops: East End fictions and East End politics; 3. Counterpublics of anti-Semitism; 4. Writing the 1905 Aliens Act; 5. Restriction and its discontents; Afterword; Notes; Index.
'A painstakingly researched study.' The Times Literary Supplement
About David Glover
David Glover is Senior Lecturer in English at the University of Southampton, where he teaches courses on cultural theory, Irish literature, and Victorian and Edwardian literature and culture. He is the author of Vampires, Mummies, and Liberals: Bram Stoker and the Politics of Popular Fiction (1996) and Genders (2000 and 2009) and has recently co-edited The Cambridge Companion to Popular Fiction.