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British Imperial Literature, 1870–1940
Writing and the Administration of Empire

$36.00 ( ) USD

$36.00 ( ) USD
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About the Authors
  • This book is a sweeping study of the way British writers used imperial service as a stage for dramatizing new modes of social order and self-consciousness. An expanding administrative machine, Bivona argues, naturalized and domesticated bureaucratic forms of social control, inscribing the ideals of service, submission, discipline, and renunciation in the hearts and minds of the young men employed in administrating the empire. Bivona examines how this governing ideology is treated in Kipling, Conrad, T. E. Lawrence, Forster, Cary and Orwell.

    • Treats a topic - bureaucracy - little discussed in contemporary colonial discourse
    • An interdisciplinary study with a broad historical argument and a focus on individual texts
    • Major writers addressed
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    Reviews & endorsements

    "British Imperial Literature 1870-1940 creates a new context in which to sstudy these important writers whose ideas still trouble us. Few books achieve so much. In doing so, it reminds us of the use of historical readings that are not overwhelmed by ideology." Anne E. Fernald, Modern Fiction Studies

    " indispensable resource for any scholar interested in placing the colonial servant inside the bureaucracy within which he worked and ruled." Nineteenth-Century Prose

    "British Imperial Literature is one of the more interesting, important books on this topic published within the last five or six years - well worth reading by all students of Victorian and early twentieth-century British literature and culture." English Lterature in Transition 1880-1920

    "Bivona's study of the relation of imperialism and the ideology of the bureaucrat adds an original contribution to current studies on imperialism and literature." South Central Review

    "Daniel Bivona's analysis spendidly assists in clarfying how what he terms the European bureaucratic subject, working in the service of imperial governmance and expansion, is both instrument and agent...Bivona provides a commanding review of the growth of imperial bureaucracy in the nineteeth century...Bivona's excellent study...Bivona's book is an orginal and much needed contribution to the already large group of studies dealing with the workings of Victorian and early-twentieth-century empire." Victorian Studies

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    Product details

    • Date Published: March 2011
    • format: Adobe eBook Reader
    • isbn: 9780511836114
    • availability: Adobe Reader ebooks available from
  • Table of Contents

    1. Agents and the problem of agency: the context
    2. Why Africa needs Europe: from Livingstone to Stanley
    3. Kipling's 'Law' and the division of bureaucratic labor
    4. Agent, instrument, and novelist: Cromer, Gordon, Conrad and the problem of imperial character
    5. 'Gladness of abasement': T. E. Lawrence and the erotics of imperial discipline
    6. Resurrecting individualism: the interwar novels of imperial manners
    Conclusion: work as rule

  • Author

    Daniel Bivona, Arizona State University

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