Linguistics and Literature Studies Vol. 1(2), pp. 105 - 110
DOI: 10.13189/lls.2013.010207
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‘Thrilling Empire’: Indian History and Questions of Genre in Victorian Popular Fiction


Flaminia Nicora*
Department of Foreign Languages, Literatures and Communication University of Bergamo –Italy

ABSTRACT

The article focuses on the features of a subgenre rather popular with the Victorians, neglected (although evoked) by major, canonic novelists. The Mutiny novel has been identified by recent criticism as one of the pieces of the mosaic in the construction of British identity. This model of identity supports the national imperialist vocation, extolling British qualities and representing historical events in mythical, stereotypical and racist fashion, according to clear, and closely monitored, ideological values. At the same time these novels offer fertile ground to explore the uncertainties and the contradictions that complicate the pattern, warning against any simplistic attitude towards Victorian Weltanschaaung. An interesting author in this regard is George Chesney, mostly known for his The Battle of Dorking or for his works about Indian administration. Chesney is the author of a Mutiny novel, The Dilemma (1876), that sets a plot typical of the sensational novel against the background of the Rebellion, revealing the powerful anxieties inherent the colonial adventure. Other novelists who wrote on the Rebellion (G. Henty, J.F. Fanthorne among them) are equally interesting to explore the ambiguities of identity construction.

KEYWORDS
Postcolonial, Mutiny Novel, Subgenre, Sensation Novel, Historical Novel, G.Chesney, National Identity, Victorian Literature, British Empire, India

Cite This Paper in IEEE or APA Citation Styles
(a). IEEE Format:
[1] Flaminia Nicora , "‘Thrilling Empire’: Indian History and Questions of Genre in Victorian Popular Fiction," Linguistics and Literature Studies, Vol. 1, No. 2, pp. 105 - 110, 2013. DOI: 10.13189/lls.2013.010207.

(b). APA Format:
Flaminia Nicora (2013). ‘Thrilling Empire’: Indian History and Questions of Genre in Victorian Popular Fiction. Linguistics and Literature Studies, 1(2), 105 - 110. DOI: 10.13189/lls.2013.010207.