Imperial Boredom
Imperial Boredom
by

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,… (more)

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.

 

Publisher: OUP Oxford (October 11, 2018)

Page count: 304 pages

Protection: DRM

Language: English

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