Synopses & Reviews
"...presents compelling ways of bringing together ideas from poststructuralist and postcolonial theory around geographical questions, and provides much material, both for those working within a similar intellectual territory, and for those grappling with more general methodological questions. It should find its place on many reading lists, if it has not already done so, as it previews an accessible contribution to contemporary debates around identity, space, and power." --R Elmhirst, Environment Section, Wye College, University of London, Environment and Planning A
"Blunt's book... is innovative, provocative, and clearly written." --Briavel Holcomb, Rutgers University
"This book makes a significant contribution to the growing literature on travel, gender, and empire. Alison Blunt develops a post-structuralist perspective on travel writing which remains sensitive to questions of authorship and subjectivity. Drawing on feminist and post-colonial cultural theory, she constructs a sophisticated account of the ambivalent subject positions of Mary Kingsley within the public and private spheres of late Victorian Britain. By situating Kingsley's writings in the wider context of gendered discourses of 'home' and 'away', the book offers a new perspective on both travel writing and the culture of imperialism more generally." --Felix Driver, Royal Holloway, University of London
"Alison Blunt's fascinating study of Mary Kinglsey offers new insights into the social and intellectual context of British imperialism. By drawing upon poststructuralist and feminist theories, she provides a stimulating and scholarly commentary upon the complex relations between Western women and the empire, the nature of nineteenth century British geography and the place of women in the subject's history. A lively and clearly written account, it is a pleasure to read." --Morag Bell, Ph.D., Loughborough University of Technology
Studies of women travel writers have ranged from anecdotal and celebratory accounts to more critical essays on imperialism or the textualization of difference. This book does more. Drawing from the life and travels of Mary Kingsley, a nineteenth century travel writer and critic of the Crown Colony system, Alison Blunt cogently examines the relationships among travel, gender, and imperialism. Instead of studying either travel generally or women travel writers in the colonial period specifically, Blunt examines both to show how the spatiality and gendering of travel are inseparable. Underlying her examination are debates about women as a focus of historical research, Western women and imperialism, and the place of women in a historiography of geography.
Includes bibliographical references (p. 165-181) and index.
About the Author
Alison Blunt, M.A., is a Lecturer in the Department of Geography at the University of Southampton in England.