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date: 09 April 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This essay brings together three areas that until fairly recently had received scant attention from scholars of the British Empire: female emigration, ‘white settler colonies’, and emigration literature. In particular, it examines the generic innovations of Olive Schreiner, H. Rider Haggard, and Gertrude Page, the former a self-identified ‘English South African’ and the latter two authorial informants, British authors who spent time in southern Africa and wrote about the region as insiders. These writers, I argue, bolstered female, even feminist, subjectivity through generic innovation that is an effect of the translocal. Employing new fictional forms—the New Woman novel, the female colonial romance, and the empire romance—to solve markedly gendered problems, they not only imagine new spaces for settler women beyond the matrimonial and the maternal; they also anticipate generic developments generally associated with the metropole.

Keywords: British Empire, South Africa, southern Africa, Rhodesia, Haggard, Schreiner, Page, emigration, New Woman, settler colony

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