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Romantic Colonization and British Anti-slavery
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The loss of Britain's North American colonies sparked an intense debate about the nature of colonization in the period 1770-1800. Drawing on archival research into colonies in Africa and Australia, including Sierra Leone and Botany Bay, Deirdre Coleman shows how the growing popularity of the anti-slavery movement gave a utopian cast to the debate about colonization. This utopianism can be seen most clearly in Romantic attempts to found an empire without slaves, a new world which would also encompass revolutionary sexual, racial and labour arrangements. From Henry Smeathman and John Clarkson in Sierra Leone to Arthur Phillip and William Dawes in Botany Bay, Coleman analyses the impact of the discourses and ideals underlying Romantic colonization. She argues that these paved the way for racial strife in West Africa and the eventual dispossession of Australia's native people.
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Table of Contents

List of illustrations; Acknowledgements; Introduction: the Cowpastures; 1. Henry Smeathman, imperial flycatcher and aeronaut; 2. The 'microscope of enthusiasm': Swedenborgian ideas about Africa; 3. Rallying under the flag of Empire: the Nova Scotians in Sierra Leone; 4. 'New Albion': the camp at Port Jackson; 5. Etiquettes of colonisation and dispossession; Epilogue; Notes; Bibliography; Index.

About the Author

Deirdre Coleman is Associate Professor of English at the University of Sydney.

Reviews

'Romantic Colonization 'redefines the romantic by making romantic sensibility central to colonialism'.' Studies in English Literature 'Coleman offers a set of fascinating and, in places, inspiring, episodes in the history of the West African colony of Sierra Leone ... Coleman's study happily reopens for romanticists the issue of utopianism and politics ... an excellent book.' Anne Janowitz, author of Slavery and Abolition 'Coleman's achievement is twofold. First, she provides intelligent readings of texts often neglected by other scholars that deal with romantic ideas about colonization. Second, she shows there was a ferment of ideas concerning the nature of slavery, coercion, penal servitude and freedom in the late-eighteenth-century British Empire and many ideas for new experiments in the construction of imperial identities. Literary historians will gain much from the dissection of the texts and their contextualization in this study. Historians of slavery, anti-slavery and colonial settler societies will also learn much from the book.' Ethnic and Racial Studies 'Deidre Coleman's Romantic Colonisation and British Anti-Slavery is an archivally grounded and critically perceptive investigation of some of the most significant relationships during the last decades of the eighteenth century.' Vincent Carretta, Studies in Romanticism

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