Mapping the Empire

To date I have not been able to locate any study of the folded maps that were included in children’s books. The following thesis however looks at geography primers and includes the works of Priscilla Wakefield. Although Priscilla’s works pre-date the Victorian era her books went through many editions.

Megan A. Norcia, “X” Marks the Spot Victorian Women Writers Map the Empire, University of Florida , 2004.

Part of the abstract reads ‘Combining critiques of women’s travel writing with the cross-disciplinary work of feminist geographers and spatial theorists, this dissertation researches how women who did not identify as travel writers engaged with the tropes of geography in their primer writing to claim spaces of possible power and knowledge, and to map the Empire as an arena in which their particular domestic skills could be usefully employed. Primers demonstrated that a ready domestic agent could facilitate the project of Empire by managing and regulating Others’ “improper” or overindulgent appetites. Imperial ideology was also reinforced in children’s daily play of board and table games, dissected maps and puzzles, and in parlor games and theatricals. Geography was staged as a “race” and as a theatrical panorama in which children were encouraged to “take part” in the colonization of other nations.’

An electronic copy of this thesis is available via the University of Florida Libraries catalog


Published in: on November 8, 2009 at 9:39 pm  Leave a Comment  

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