244 Pages
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Empire and the Animal Body


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244 Pages


A critical reassessment of the significance of exotic animals in Victorian adventure literature.

‘Empire and the Animal Body: Violence, Identity and Ecology in Victorian Adventure Fiction’ develops recent work in animal studies, eco-criticism and postcolonial studies to reassess the significance of exotic animals in Victorian adventure literature. Depictions of violence against animals were integral to the ideology of adventure literature in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. However, the evolutionary hierarchies on which such texts relied were complicated by developing environmental sensitivities and reimaginings of human selfhood in relation to animal others. As these texts hankered after increasingly imperilled areas of wilderness, the border between human and animal appeared tense, ambivalent and problematic.

List of Illustrations; Acknowledgments; Introduction; Chapter 1: Otherness and Order; Chapter 2: Scientists and Specimens; Chapter 3: The Animal Within; Chapter 4: Wild Men and Wilderness; Conclusion; Bibliography; Index



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Published 15 October 2012
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EAN13 9780857285492
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Empire and the Animal Body
Empire and the Animal Body
Violence, Identity and Ecology in Victorian Adventure Fiction
John Miller
Anthem Press An imprint of Wimbledon Publishing Company www.anthempress.com
This edition first published in UK and USA 2012 by ANTHEM PRESS 7576 Blackfriars Road, London SE1 8HA, UK or PO Box 9779, London SW19 7ZG, UK and 244 Madison Ave. #116, New York, NY 10016, USA
Copyright © John Miller 2012
The author asserts the moral right to be identified as the author of this work.
All rights reserved. Without limiting the rights under copyright reserved above, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise), without the prior written permission of both the copyright owner and the above publisher of this book.
British Library CataloguinginPublication Data A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library.
Library of Congress CataloginginPublication Data Miller, John, 1973 Empire and the animal body : violence, identity and ecology in Victorian adventure fiction / John Miller. p. cm. Includes bibliographical references and index. ISBN 9780857285348 (hardcover : alk. paper) 1. English fiction–19th century–History and criticism. 2. Adventure stories, English–History and criticism. 3. Animals in literature. 4. Ecocriticism. 5. Humananimal relationships in literature. 6. Ecology in literature. I. Title. PR878.A54M55 2012 823'.809362–dc23 2012031880
ISBN13: 978 0 85728 534 8 (Hbk) ISBN10: 0 85728 534 3 (Hbk)
This title is also available as an eBook.
List of Illustrations Acknowledgements
Chapter One: Otherness and Order
Chapter Two: Scientists and Specimens
Chapter Three: The Animal Within Chapter Four: Wild Men and Wilderness Conclusion
Notes Bibliography Index
vii ix
1 23 57 97 149 183
191 211 229
Figure 1
Figure 2
Figure 3
Figure 4
Figure 5 Figure 6
Figure 7
‘Bathurst confronts the tiger’. G. A. Henty,Rujub the Juggler(New York: Mershon, 1901 [1893]), 12.
‘The British Lion’s Vengeance on the Bengal Tiger’. Punch, 22nd August 1857, 76–7.
‘My First Gorilla’. Paul du Chaillu,Explorations and Adventures in Equatorial Africa(London: John Murray, 1861), 71.
‘Skeletons of Man and the Gorilla, the latter drawn from a skeleton in my collection’. Paul du Chaillu, Explorations and Adventures in Equatorial Africa(London: John Murray, 1861), 370.
‘The Lion of
the Season’.Punch, 25th May 1861, 213.
‘Death of a Male Gorilla’. Paul du Chaillu,Wild Life Under the Equator(London: Sampson Low, 1869), 195.
‘Gambo’s Friend Killed by a Gorilla’. Paul du Chaillu, Lost in the Jungle(London: Sampson Low, 1870), 131.
Figure 8 ‘OrangUtan Attacked by Dyaks’. A. R. Wallace, The Malay Archipelago(London: Macmillan, 1877 [1869]), frontispiece. Figure 9 ‘He was fascinated with horror’. R. M. Ballantyne, Red Eric(London: Nelson), 176. Figure 10 ‘“Do you hear?” said Verkimier sternly.’ R. M. Ballantyne,Blown to Bits(London: Nisbet and Co., 1889 [1885]), 187.
108 118
This book has been a long time in the making in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Norwich, Walmer and Prince George. Sincere thanks are due to the Bryce Bequest, the Arts and Humanities Research Council and the Department of English Literature at the University of Glasgow for initial funding for the project and assistance with library visits and conference attendance. A postdoctoral bursary at the Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities in Edinburgh allowed me to continue research when unemployment was looming. A fellowship at the University of Northern British Columbia allowed me time and space to apply the finishing touches. A number of people have read part or all of the manuscript as it has developed in its various forms. Andrew Radford has been a meticulous and supportive editor and guide. Donald Mackenzie’s knowledge, enthusiasm and scholarly generosity have been invaluable. Christine Ferguson and Erica Fudge have offered astute and detailed comments on an earlier incarnation of this work. The book’s three anonymous reviewers provided insightful and diligent feedback, while Janka Romero at Anthem Press has been an ever reliable source of information. I’m grateful to friends and colleagues at ASLEUK, especially Tom Bristow and Petra Hansson for expertise, encouragement and good company. Many thanks to Kevin Hutchings for giving me the opportunity to finish this book and to start my next in the beautiful surroundings of Northern British Columbia. Thanks also to Khlayre Mullin without whom I couldn’t have started, to Mariangela Palladino for our ongoing collaborations, to Kelly Van Andel for keeping me going and to my family for sticking by me throughout my numerous peregrinations and misadventures. I am grateful for permission to reprint material that has appeared elsewhere in earlier versions. Some material from Chapter Three on R. M. Ballantyne’s Blown to Bitsappeared originally in theVictorian Reviewthe material. Some of on gorillas from that chapter has appeared inPopular Exhibitions, Science and Showmanship, 1840–1910(ed. Joe Kember, John Plunket and Jill A. Sullivan). Many thanks to the editors of these publications for their kind permission. Similarly, substantially revised versions of sections of Chapter Two and
Chapter Four are published with the permission of Cambridge Scholars Publishing having appeared in earlier forms in two volumes of conference proceedings,The Apothecary’s Chest:Magic, Art and Medication(ed. Konstantina Georganta, Fabienne Collignon and AnneMarie Millim, 2009) andMaterial Worlds(ed. Rachel Moffat and Eugene de Klerk, 2007). Lastly but not leastly, thanks to Ruth Hawthorn and our family of animals, Lily and Sophie, and Mildred, Milo and Marmaduke.