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Colonial Transitions

Literature and Culture in the Late Victorian Age


Tania Zulli

This volume offers an analysis of colonial literature in the late Victorian age with a specific focus on the works of Henry Rider Haggard (1865-1925) and Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894). Starting from the investigation of the nineteenth century as a period of great historical complexity, it places colonial narratives in a wide panorama of social and cultural developments, illustrating the role played by both adventure romances and imperial novels on the ideological and epistemic fabric of this age. By considering late nineteenth-century writing in the context of a multifarious background, the book sheds light on the intellectual discourses that emerged from the culture of imperialism. It also investigates the textual devices through which topical ideas were fictionalized, both in works included in the field of adventure literature and, at a more extended degree, in the whole novel genre. Far from the limits imposed by chronological classification, the stories selected for analysis are introduced in a common conceptual space that contributes to the articulation of a rich literary territory, where crucial themes such as the complications of racial rapports, the ethical failure of the imperial experience, the developments in individual and national identity are explored.

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