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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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Africanus Horton and the Climate of African Nationalism

Africanus Horton and the Climate of African Nationalism

(p.83) Chapter 3 Africanus Horton and the Climate of African Nationalism
Exploring Victorian Travel Literature

Jessica Howell

Edinburgh University Press

Africanus Horton was a writer, army officer and one of the first Africans trained as a doctor in Britain. In contrast to Mary Seacole, whose writing stresses her constitutional hardiness, Horton’s writing offers the opportunity to observe how an African nationalist represented his own illness as a source of first-hand knowledge and authority. Further, Horton’s discussion of native plants offers an alternative to the dynamic often noted by critics of eco-colonialism, whereby indigenous peoples are naturalised and colonists depicted as outsiders who tame the tropical environment. Instead, Horton’s nuanced representation of tropical nature serves to underscore Africans’ authority over their own environment.

Keywords:   eco-colonialism, tropical nature, physician autobiography, African nationalism

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