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Exploring Victorian Travel LiteratureDisease, Race and Climate$
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Jessica Howell

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780748692958

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: January 2015

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748692958.001.0001

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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: 14 April 2021

Mrs Seacole Prescribes Hybridity: Climate and the Victorian Mixed-race Subject

Mrs Seacole Prescribes Hybridity: Climate and the Victorian Mixed-race Subject

Chapter:
(p.26) Chapter 1 Mrs Seacole Prescribes Hybridity: Climate and the Victorian Mixed-race Subject
Source:
Exploring Victorian Travel Literature
Author(s):

Jessica Howell

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9780748692958.003.0002

This chapter examines the Wonderful Adventures of Mrs Seacole in Many Lands (1857). A Jamaican doctress and hotelier, Seacole implies that her mixed race lends her a stronger constitution than her white patients and readers. In this sense, racialised narratives of illness form the foundation for her autobiographical authority. As support, this chapter outlines relevant theories of racial hybridity and health from the mid nineteenth-century. It also draws upon theories of women’s autobiography and gender and empire to show that Seacole consistently blends medical and maternal discourses when she describes nursing white British men abroad. It concludes that Seacole’s widespread acceptance during her own time should cause us to reconsider the role of mixed-race subjects in Victorian British culture.

Keywords:   war nursing, hybridity, women’s autobiography, Caribbean, Mary Seacole, indigenous remedies

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