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Document Type:Latin Dissertation
Language of Document:English
Record Number:53229
Doc. No:TL23183
Call number:‭3169956‬
Main Entry:Cara Murray
Title & Author:Imperial ways: The Victorians, the Suez Canal, and narrativeCara Murray
College:City University of New York
Date:2005
Degree:Ph.D.
student score:2005
Page No:240
Abstract:“Imperial Ways” pursues the complex relation between narrative practices and imperial ones through an analysis of England's engagement with Egypt in the thirty-year period leading up to England's 1875 purchase of the Suez Canal, an event which led directly to Egypt's colonization in 1882. Although the British had the most to gain by investing in the international canal project, they had nothing to do with it until 1875. I argue that the forces that enabled the British to eschew the project throughout the 1850s and then greet its purchase with jubilation twenty years later are written in the culture. The public embrace of imperialism is articulated in literature before it is expressed through policy. “Imperial Ways” explores the cultural making of the Suez Canal by exposing the cultural adjustments that made imperial projects possible. From the 1840s to the 1870s the Victorians readjusted their notions about character, investments, and technology. I suggest that the concept of character develops its centrality in the Victorian age because of the instability to which the newly globalized market exposed it. Thus, the Victorians not only had to expand their repertoire of characters throughout the century but alter their ideas about what constitutes character—a process which happens primarily through the novel. Related to the reevaluation of character, is an alteration in sentiments about investing. From the domestic speculative boom of the 1840s to the exportation of capital in the 1860s, Victorians gained a new confidence in investing. Technology was the beneficiary. It, in turn, altered Victorians' relation to time/space, bringing the colonies closer to home and the idea of colonization nearer to the heart. I argue that novels and travel narratives are the carriers and promoters of these alterations. The technology of the novel—the work that it does generically—enables change. Using novel theory and postcolonial theory, I examine novels by Charles Dickens, Benjamin Disraeli, and Jules Verne, novelistic travel narratives by Lucie Duff Gordon, Emmeline Lott, and William Simpson, and other cultural productions such as biographies, newspaper articles, and parliamentary reports to suggest that colonizing works at the level of genre itself.
Subject:Language, literature and linguistics; Egypt; Imperial; Narrative; Suez Canal; Travel narratives; Victorians; British and Irish literature; 0593:British and Irish literature
Added Entry:A. Humphreys
Added Entry:City University of New York