Item Details

Imperial Boredom: Monotony and the British Empire

Jeffrey A. Auerbach
Format
Book
Published
Oxford, United Kingdom ; New York, NY, United States of America : Oxford University Press, 2018.
Edition
First Edition
Language
English
Variant Title
Monotony and the British Empire
ISBN
9780198827375, 0198827377
Summary
"Imperial Boredom offers a radical reconsideration of the British Empire during its heyday in the nineteenth century. Challenging the long-established view that that the Empire was about adventure and excitement, with heroic men and intrepid women settling new lands and spreading commerce and civilization around the globe, this thoroughly researched, engagingly written, and lavishly illustrated analysis instead argues that boredom was central to the imperial experience. This volume looks at what it was actually like to sail to Australia, to serve as a soldier in South Africa, or to accompany a colonial official to the hill stations of India. It demonstrates that for numerous men and women, from governors to convicts, explorers to tourists, the Victorian Empire was dull and disappointing. Drawing on diaries, letters, memoirs, and travelogues, it shows that all across the empire, men and women found the landscapes monotonous, the physical and psychological distance from home debilitating, the routines of everyday life wearisome, and their work unfulfilling. Ocean voyages were tedious; colonial rule was bureaucratic; warfare was infrequent; economic opportunity was limited; and indigenous people were largely invisible. The seventeenth-century Empire may have been about wonder and marvel, but the Victorian Empire was a far less exciting project"--
Contents
  • Introduction
  • Voyages
  • Landscapes
  • Governors
  • Soldiers
  • Settlers
  • Conclusion.
Description
xiii, 298 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations (some color), map ; 25 cm
Notes
Includes bibliographical references (pages 249-288) and index.
Technical Details

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    a| Imperialism x| Social aspects z| Great Britain.
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