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British India and Victorian Literary Culture$
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Máire ní Fhlathúin

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780748640683

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748640683.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM EDINBURGH SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.edinburgh.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Edinburgh University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ESO for personal use.date: 20 September 2021

Romantic Heroes and Colonial Bandits

Romantic Heroes and Colonial Bandits

(p.104) Chapter 5 Romantic Heroes and Colonial Bandits
British India and Victorian Literary Culture

Máire ní Fhlathúin

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter argues that British literary representations of Indian practices (such as banditry) criminalized by the colonial state had the effect of transforming the eighteenth-century stereotype of the ‘mild Hindoo’ into a predatory Indian masculinity formed in opposition to a weak and victimized femininity. It presents an analysis of a series of representations of India developed through the appropriation of British metropolitan forms and texts, in which the potential for threat to the British colonial state implicit in depictions of Indian agency is disabled or negated by the distancing or alienation of Indian figures from British readers. The chapter examines British Indian adaptations of the most important of these nineteenth-century metropolitan models – the works of Byron and Scott – and the ways in which their depiction of the criminal bandit / hero is appropriated and transformed in the Indian context.

Keywords:   Bandit, Criminal, Stereotype, Adaptation, Appropriation, Byron, Scott

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