• British Settler Emigration in Print, 1832-1877

      Piesse, Jude; University of Chester (Oxford University Press, 2015-12-24)
      An unprecedented number of emigrants left Britain to settle in America, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand during the Victorian period. Utilizing new digital resources and methodologies alongside more traditional modes of scholarship, British Settler Emigration in Print, 1832-1877 presents the first book-length study of the periodical print culture that imagined, mediated, and galvanized this important stage of empire history. It presents extensive new research on how settler emigration was registered within Victorian periodicals and situates its focus on British texts and contexts within a broader, transnational framework. The book argues that the Victorian periodical was an inherently mobile form which had an unrivalled capacity to both register mass settler emigration and moderate its disruptive potential. Part one focuses upon settler emigration genres that featured within mainstream, middle-class periodicals, incorporating the analysis of emigrant voyage texts, emigration themed Christmas stories, and serialized novels about settlement. These genres are cohesive, domestic, and reassuring, and thus of a different character from the adventure stories often associated with Victorian empire. Part two examines a feminist and radical periodical emigration literature that often challenged dominant settler ideologies. Alongside its examination of ephemeral emigration texts, the book offers fresh readings of key works by Charles Dickens, Anthony Trollope, Edward Bulwer-Lytton, Thomas Martin Wheeler, and others. Ultimately, the book shows how periodical settler emigration literature transforms our understanding of both the culture of Victorian empire and Victorian literature and culture as a whole. It also makes significant intersections into debates about periodical form and the role of digitization within Victorian Studies.
    • ‘Ever so many partings welded together': Serial Settlement and Great Expectations

      Piesse, Jude; University of Chester (Pickering and Chatto, 2014-07-01)
      As the most antipodal of great British novels, Charles Dickens’s Great Expectations has often been read in the light of its peripheral but insistent engagement with colonial history. Following Edward Said’s discussion of the novel in Culture and Imperialism, its fundamentally uneasy mood has been variously attributed not only to central concerns with class and guilt, but also to those issues of colonial return and racial violence which haunt its feverish margins. Despite widespread critical appreciation of the pressure which empire exerts on the novel, however, Great Expectations has seldom been considered in relation to the history of settler emigration from Britain, which arguably constitutes its most relevant and immediate context, or in company with the large range of emigration literature which flourished alongside it in the British periodical press. Foregrounding the novel’s own often overlooked identity as a periodical serial text published in All the Year Round (1 December 1860 – 3 August 1861), this chapter situates it alongside a number of serialised novels about Australian and Canadian settler emigration which were published in equivalent journals from mid-century. I argue that reading Great Expectations in the light of these predominantly domestic and significantly serialised novels affords a means of both refining our understanding of its engagement with colonial history and reconceptualising its troubled preoccupations with home, departure, and nostalgic return.