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China and the Victorian Imagination
Empires Entwined

$30.99 (C)

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Part of Cambridge Studies in Nineteenth-Century Literature and Culture

  • Date Published: January 2016
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781316600993

$ 30.99 (C)

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About the Authors
  • Today, the 'rise' of China is omnipresent: whether articulated as opportunity or threat, expected or surprising, China's global prominence is consistently proclaimed as new and noteworthy. Yet the Victorians held similar beliefs that China was rising in importance, and that its rise was integrally tied to the success of the West. This book traces the development of this perception of China and the Chinese from the Opium Wars to the 1911 demise of the Qing dynasty. It surveys an array of literary and cultural materials, from short stories produced by British expatriates in China and distributed locally to representations of the Chinese on the British stage, from the sensational fiction surrounding the Chinese community in London's East End to turn-of-the-century invasion novels with their 'Yellow Peril' villains. Ross Forman demonstrates that China, as much as India, occupied the Victorian imagination; in so doing, he reassesses British imperialism in Asia.

    • Reassesses Victorian imperialism in Asia by exploring the importance of China rather than India
    • Provides an interdisciplinary focus that encompasses an array of literary and cultural materials
    • Explores the role of the periodical press in fostering a literary culture in imperial and proto-imperial settings
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    • Co-winner of the 2013 Sonya Rudikoff Prize, Northeast Victorian Studies Association

    Reviews & endorsements

    "… an immensely valuable and rewarding piece of scholarship."
    Mia Chen, Review 19

    "Ross Forman’s China and the Victorian Imagination compellingly exposes China’s critical role in Britain’s imperial self-fashioning … What Forman does exceptionally well - and what is perhaps the most important work of his book - is his careful but firm revision of a concept of Orientalism that has proven increasingly outdated and faulty."
    Shanyn Fiske, Journal of British Studies

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    Product details

    • Date Published: January 2016
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781316600993
    • length: 318 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 17 mm
    • weight: 0.43kg
    • contains: 3 b/w illus. 2 maps
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    Introduction: topsy-turvy Britain and China
    1. The manners and customs of the modern Chinese: narrating China through the treaty ports
    2. Projecting from Possession Point: James Dalziel's chronicles of Hong Kong
    3. Peking plots: representing the Boxer Rebellion of 1900
    4. Britain 'knit and nationalised': Asian invasion novels in Britain, 1898–1914
    5. Staging the celestial
    6. A cockney Chinatown: the literature of Limehouse, London
    Conclusion: no rest for the West.

  • Author

    Ross G. Forman, University of Warwick
    Ross Forman is Associate Professor in the Department of English and Comparative Literary Studies at the University of Warwick.


    • Co-winner of the 2013 Sonya Rudikoff Prize, Northeast Victorian Studies Association

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