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Melodramatic Imperial Writing: From the Sepoy Rebellion to Cecil Rhodes

Hultgren, Neil Emory

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ISBN 10: 0821420852 / ISBN 13: 9780821420850
Published by Ohio University Press
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Melodrama has long been criticized for its reliance on improbable situations and overwhelming emotion. These very aspects, however, made it a useful and appealing literary mode for British imperial propagandists in the late 19th century. This book locates the melodramatic mode within a new and considerably nuanced history of British imperialism. Num Pages: 256 pages. BIC Classification: 1FKA; 2AB; DSBF; DSBH. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 236 x 196 x 22. Weight in Grams: 530. . 2014. 1st Edition. Hardcover. . . . . Books ship from the US and Ireland. Bookseller Inventory # V9780821420850

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Synopsis:

Melodrama, as an aesthetic, has long been criticized for its reliance on improbable situations and overwhelming emotion. These very aspects, however, made it a useful and appealing literary mode for British imperial propagandistrs in the late nineteenth century. Though stage melodrama may have been declining in prominence, the melodramatic style influenced many late-Victorian genres outside of the theater—for example, imperialist ballads, detective novels, travel narratives, and romances—and developed a complicated relationship with British imperial discourse.

Melodramatic Imperial Writing: From the Sepoy Rebellion to Cecil Rhodes locates melodrama within a new and considerably more complicated history of British imperialism: beyond its use in constructing imperialist fantasies or supporting unjust policies, the melodramatic style also enabled writers to upset narratives of British imperial destiny or racial superiority. This book examines works by both canonical and lesser-known authors writing after the Sepoy Rebellion, including Wilkie Collins, Marie Corelli, Charles Dickens, H. Rider Haggard, W. E. Henley, Rudyard Kipling, Olive Schreiner, and Robert Louis Stevenson, and encompasses representations of British imperialism from India, to South Africa and the South Seas.

Product Description: Melodrama is often seen as a blunt aesthetic tool tainted by its reliance on improbable situations, moral binaries, and overwhelming emotion, features that made it a likely ingredient of British imperial propaganda during the late nineteenth century. Yet, through its impact on many late-Victorian genres outside of the theater, melodrama developed a complicated relationship with British imperial discourse.

Melodramatic Imperial Writing positions melodrama as a vital aspect of works that underscored the contradictions and injustices of British imperialism. Beyond proving useful for authors constructing imperialist fantasies or supporting unjust policies, the melodramatic mode enabled writers to upset narratives of British imperial destiny and racial superiority.

Neil Hultgren explores a range of texts, from Dickens?s writing about the 1857 Sepoy Rebellion to W. E. Henley?s imperialist poetry and Olive Schreiner?s experimental fiction, in order to trace a new and complex history of British imperialism and the melodramatic mode in late-Victorian writing.

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Title: Melodramatic Imperial Writing: From the ...

Publisher: Ohio University Press

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition: New

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