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Nineteenth-Century Settler Emigration in British Literature and Art$
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Fariha Shaikh

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781474433693

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474433693.001.0001

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Introduction

Introduction

Chapter:
(p.1) Introduction
Source:
Nineteenth-Century Settler Emigration in British Literature and Art
Author(s):

Fariha Shaikh

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9781474433693.003.0001

During the nineteenth century hundreds of thousands of men, women and children left Britain in search of better lives in the colonies of Canada, Australia and New Zealand and in North America. This demographic shift was also a textual enterprise. Emigrants wrote about their experiences in their diaries and letters. Their accounts were published in periodicals, memoirs and pamphlets. The Introduction argues that emigration literature set into circulation a new set of issues surrounding notions of home at a distance, a mediated sense of place, and the extension of kinship ties over time and space. Emigration produced a monumental shift in the way in which ordinary, everyday people in the nineteenth century, regardless of whether or not they emigrated, thought about relationships between text, travel and distance. Emigration literature has contributed to the shape of the modern world as we know it today, and it provides a rare insight into Victorian conceptualisations of globalization.

Keywords:   Settler Emigration, Migration, Emigration Literature, Textual Materiality, Distance, Globalization, Print culture, Global circulation, Spatial Imagination

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