White Horizon: The Arctic in the Nineteenth-Century British Imagination

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SUNY Press, 08.01.2009 - 246 Seiten
From explorers’ accounts to boys’ adventure fiction, how Arctic exploration served as a metaphor for nation-building and empire in nineteenth-century Britain.

Bridging historical and literary studies, White Horizon explores the importance of the Arctic to British understandings of masculine identity, the nation, and the rapidly expanding British Empire in the nineteenth century. Well before Coleridge’s Ancient Mariner and Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, polar space had come to represent the limit of both empire and human experience. Using a variety of texts, from explorers’ accounts to boys’ adventure fiction, as well as provocative and fresh readings of the works of Mary Shelley, Charlotte Brontë, Charles Dickens, and Wilkie Collins, Jen H ill illustrates the function of Arctic space in the nineteenth-century British social imagination, arguing that the desolate north was imagined as a “pure” space, a conveniently blank page on which to write narratives of Arctic exploration that both furthered and critiqued British imperialism.

Jen Hill is Associate Professor of English at the University of Nevada at Reno and editor of An Exhilaration of Wings: The Literature of Birdwatching.
 

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Inhalt

1 Heart of Whiteness
1
Robert Southeys Life of Nelson and John Franklins Narrative of a Journey to the Shores of the Polar Sea
29
The Arctic of Mary Shelley and Eleanor Anne Porden
53
Arctic Spaces in Jane Eyre
89
5 Arctic Highlanders and Englishmen Dickens Cannibalism and Sensation
113
R M Ballantynes Arctic Adventures
151
Notes
175
Index
231
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Über den Autor (2009)

Jen Hill is Associate Professor of English at the University of Nevada at Reno and editor of An Exhilaration of Wings: The Literature of Birdwatching.

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