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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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Emigration Paintings: Visual Texts and Mobility

Emigration Paintings: Visual Texts and Mobility

(p.130) Chapter 4 Emigration Paintings: Visual Texts and Mobility
Nineteenth-Century Settler Emigration in British Literature and Art

Fariha Shaikh

Edinburgh University Press

Chapter Four looks at representations of emigration in narrative paintings. The chapter explores how even in the visual realm, emigration is rendered into its textual components. It focusses in particular on five paintings of the mid-century: Ford Madox Brown’s The Last of England (1855), Richard Redgrave’s The Emigrant’s Last Sight of Home (1858), Thomas Webster’s A Letter from the Colonies (1852), James Collinson’s Answering the Emigrant’s Letter (1850) and Abraham Solomon’s Second Class–the Parting (1854). In each of the paintings, emigration manifests itself through the texts of emigration literature, be it an emigrant’s letter, a map, a shipping advertisement or the name of the ship. However, the chapter argues that these emigration paintings eschewed the standard emigrant success story that circulated in print. Instead, these paintings construct a dynamic between image and text in order to emphasise the pain and uncertainty of emigration.

Keywords:   Ford Madox Brown, Richard Redgrave, James Collinson, Thomas Webster, Abraham Solomon, Emigration Literature, Narrative Paintings, Domesticity, Mobility

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