Writing the Colonial Adventure

Writing the Colonial Adventure : Race, Gender and Nation in Anglo-Australian Popular Fiction, 1875-1914

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This book is an exploration of popular late nineteenth-century texts that show Australia - along with Africa, India and the Pacific Islands - to be a preferred site of imperial adventure. Focusing on the period from the advent of the new imperialism in the 1870s to the outbreak of World War I, Robert Dixon looks at a selection of British and Australian writers. Their books, he argues, offer insights into the construction of empire, masculinity, race, and Australian nationhood and identity. Writing the Colonial Adventure shows that the genre of adventure/romance was highly popular throughout this period. The book examines the variety of themes within their narrative form that captured many aspects of imperial ideology. In considering the broader ramifications of these works, Professor Dixon develops an original approach to popular fiction, both for its own sake and as a mode of cultural history.show more

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Table of contents

Introduction; 1. The romance of property: Rolf Boldrewood and Walter Scott; 2. Outlaws and lawmakers: Boldrewood, Praed and the ethics of adventure; 3. Israel in Egypt: the significance of Australian captivity narratives; 4. Imperial romance: King Solomon's Mines and Australian romance; 5. The new woman and the coming man: gender and genre in the 'lost-race' romance; 6. The other world: Rosa Praed's occult novels; 7. The boundaries of civility: Australia, Asia and the Pacific; 8. Imagined invasions: The Lone Hand and narratives of Asiatic invasion; 9. The colonial city: crime fiction and empire; 10. Beyond adventure: Louis Becke; Conclusion.show more

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