This thesis considers elite imperial discourse in Britain during 1880-1930 through the lives of four empire enthusiasts: Flora Shaw, Flora Annie Steel, Henry Rider Haggard and Perceval Landon. These individuals travelled and lived across the Empire but returned to Britain to promote their own passionate visions of it. Their place in British and colonial society meant that these individuals provoked reactions which are also revealing of the status and popularity of their ideas. Building on research into the informational and personal networks of empire, it works to refine our understanding of how the empire was promoted by imperial experts. Examining imperial experts and considering these four writers’ side by side means that the analysis can consider how imperial communicators in literary and media circles promoted the empire in debates which some considered to be domestic. Using their personal and public writings it charts how they conceptualised the empire for which they worked and what benefits they saw in it, both for themselves and their British public. Each individual sheds light on a different theme and expression of imperialism: the media-political nexus and Greater Britain, the romanticisation of the exotic empire, the vision of settler colonies as part of land reform, and the militarist expression of empire and its links to the imperial frontier. Themes such as these, given the individual focus of this research, are complemented by, and refracted through, the notions of gender, race, class, and professional identities which each held. Broadly, this thesis is questioning, using the lives of some of its greatest enthusiasts, what the position of the empire was within elite discourse in literature and the media.
|Date of Award||26 Nov 2020|
- The University of Bristol
|Supervisor||Richard D Sheldon (Supervisor) & James Thompson (Supervisor)|
- Empire, communication, media, travel writing.