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British Settler Emigration in Print, 1832–1877$
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Jude Piesse

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198752967

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198752967.001.0001

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Settler Emigration in the Radical Press

Settler Emigration in the Radical Press

(p.143) 5 Settler Emigration in the Radical Press
British Settler Emigration in Print, 1832–1877

Jude Piesse

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines settler emigration literature that circulated in the Victorian radical press. Its first section centres on Thomas Wheeler’s Chartist novel Sunshine and Shadow (1849), originally serialized in the Northern Star. It argues that Wheeler adapts and revises features of mainstream emigration narratives in order to counter domestic settler ideology and to imagine alternative utopian models linked to America. The second section extends this analysis by examining the Northern Star’s engagements with socialist utopian emigration schemes in the 1840s, focusing upon a serialized emigration narrative by Chartist Lawrence Pitkethly. The third section explores the radical press’s fascination with the American West by looking at a range of westerns published in Reynolds’ Miscellany from the 1850s onwards. It argues that these texts appropriate the western to a radical political and literary tradition. The analysis also challenges ideas of American exceptionalism by reading the western as a form of transnational settler literature.

Keywords:   Chartism, Thomas Wheeler, settler emigration, emigration literature, Northern Star, Reynolds’s Miscellany, the western, Poor Man’s Guardian, transnational

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