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Malaria and Victorian Fictions of Empire

Part of Cambridge Studies in Nineteenth-Century Literature and Culture

  • Date Published: December 2018
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781108484688


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About the Authors
  • The impact of malaria on humankind has been profound. Focusing on depictions of this iconic 'disease of empire' in nineteenth-century and postcolonial fiction, Jessica Howell shows that authors such as Charles Dickens, Henry James, H. Rider Haggard, Olive Schreiner and Rudyard Kipling did not simply adopt the discourses of malarial containment and cure offered by colonial medicine. Instead, these authors adapted and rewrote some common associations with malarial images such as swamps, ruins, mosquitoes, blood, and fever. They also made use of the unique potential of fiction by incorporating chronic, cyclical illness, bodily transformation and adaptation within the very structures of their novels. Howell's study also examines the postcolonial literature of Amitav Ghosh and Derek Walcott, arguing that these authors use the multivalent and subversive potential of malaria in order to rewrite the legacies of colonial medicine.

    • Offers the first book length study of the impact of malaria in nineteenth-century fiction literature
    • Analyses the connection between nineteenth-century discourses of scientific discovery and fiction
    • Encourages a more global understanding of health and illness in literature and culture
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    Product details

    • Date Published: December 2018
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781108484688
    • length: 252 pages
    • dimensions: 235 x 159 x 15 mm
    • weight: 0.54kg
    • contains: 4 b/w illus.
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    List of figures
    1. Nationalism and acute malaria in transatlantic fiction: Charles Dickens and Henry James
    2. Malaria and the imperial romance: H. Rider Haggard's King Solomon's Mines
    3. Malarial feminisms: Olive Schreiner and the allegories of chronic disease
    4. The boy doctor of empire: malaria and mobility in Rudyard Kipling's Kim
    5. Rewriting the bite: the Calcutta chromosome, mosquitoes, and global health politics
    Coda: towards a postcolonial health humanities

  • Author

    Jessica Howell, Texas A & M University
    Jessica Howell is Associate Professor of English at Texas A & M University. Her previous publications include Exploring Victorian Travel Literature: Disease, Race and Climate (2014) as well as numerous articles that have appeared in Literature and Medicine, Victorian Literature and Culture, Studies in Travel Writing, and the Journal of Commonwealth Literature.

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