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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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PRINTED FROM EDINBURGH SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.edinburgh.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Edinburgh University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ESO for personal use.date: 17 May 2022

Emigration Aesthetics: Elizabeth Gaskell, Charles Dickens and Catherine Helen Spence

Emigration Aesthetics: Elizabeth Gaskell, Charles Dickens and Catherine Helen Spence

Chapter:
(p.161) Chapter 5 Emigration Aesthetics: Elizabeth Gaskell, Charles Dickens and Catherine Helen Spence
Source:
Nineteenth-Century Settler Emigration in British Literature and Art
Author(s):

Fariha Shaikh

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9781474433693.003.0006

Chapter Five takes up this reading and interrogates the ways in emigration literature becomes a trope in Charles Dickens’s Martin Chuzzlewit (1844) and David Copperfield (1850), Elizabeth Gaskell’s Mary Barton (1848) and Catherine Helen Spence’s Clara Morison (1854). This chapter asserts that to ask how central or liminal emigration is to the plot of the novel is to miss the point. What is far more interesting is the ways in which the novels discussed here register the effects of emigration. They draw on the familiar tropes of emigration literature, but at the same time, they imagine a world in which emigration literature connects emigrants and their families and weaves them into the larger global network of the British empire. Thus, collectively, the last two chapters of this book demonstrate the hold that emigration literature had over the cultural imagination. Not only does it produce a stock of common tropes that other genres and media drew on, it also becomes a motif in them, a site of interrogation for the interrogation of texts that produced a widening settler world.

Keywords:   Charles Dickens, Elizabeth Gaskell, Catherine Helen Spence, The Novel, Emigration Literature, Spatial Imagination, Geopolitics

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