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Brandon Bartlett, the fictional mayor of Portland in my novel Sherwood Nation, is addicted to playing video games. In a city he's all but lost... Continue »
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25 Remote Warehouse Literary Criticism- General

The Imperial Archive: Knowledge and the Fantasy of Empire

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The Imperial Archive: Knowledge and the Fantasy of Empire Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Nineteenth-century Britain could be seen as the first information society in history—for the simple reason that it accumulated knowledge from the far-flung corners of its empire faster than it could easily digest it. The British Empire presented a vast administrative challenge; by meeting that challenge through maps and surveys, censuses and statistics, Victorian administrators developed a new symbiosis of knowledge and power. The narratives of the late nineteenth century are full of fantasies about an empire united not by force or civil control but by information.

In The Imperial Archive, Thomas Richards analyzes the ways in which the Victorian organization of knowledge was enlisted into the service of the British Empire, as fields like biology, geography and geology began to function almost as extensions of British intelligence. Richards argues that the techniques invented for managing this information explosion established an enduring axis between knowledge and the state and also suggested a powerful new direction for the novel. He illustrates his argument by careful reference to a variety of institutions—above all the growth of the museum—and texts, including works by Rudyard Kipling, Erskine Childers, H.G. Wells and Bram Stoker.

Description:

Includes bibliographical references (p. 153-172) and index.

About the Author

Thomas Richards is Associate Professor of English and American literature at Harvard University. He is the author of The Commodity Culture of Victorian Britain: Advertising and Spectacle 1851–1914 and The Imperial Archive: Knowledge and the Fantasy of Empire.

From the Hardcover edition.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780860916055
Author:
Richards, Thomas
Publisher:
Verso
Location:
London ;
Subject:
Great britain
Subject:
English, Irish, Scottish, Welsh
Subject:
Intellectual life
Subject:
English literature
Subject:
Knowledge, theory of
Subject:
Imperialism
Subject:
Colonies in literature
Subject:
Fantasy literature, English
Subject:
Imperialism in literature
Subject:
Knowledge, Theory of, in literature.
Subject:
Great Britain Colonies History 19th century Historiography.
Subject:
Great Britain Intellectual life.
Subject:
Literary Criticism : General
Subject:
General History
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Series Volume:
1709
Publication Date:
19961231
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Language:
English
Pages:
188
Dimensions:
8.48x5.48x.60 in. .50 lbs.

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