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Settlers and ExpatriatesBritons over the Seas$
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Robert Bickers

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199297672

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199297672.001.0001

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‘We Don't Grow Coffee and Bananas in Clapham Junction You Know!’

‘We Don't Grow Coffee and Bananas in Clapham Junction You Know!’

Imperial Britons Back Home

Chapter:
(p.302) 11 ‘We Don't Grow Coffee and Bananas in Clapham Junction You Know!’
Source:
Settlers and Expatriates
Author(s):

Elizabeth Buettner

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199297672.003.0011

This chapter addresses Britons' experiences of returning ‘home’ after time spent in the empire as settlers or expatriates between the late nineteenth century and decolonization. It asks how timing affected their reintegration and considers their responses to British domestic life—and, in turn, how British society responded to them. Themes covered include colonial children's education, home leaves, and retirement in Britain; how men's, women's, and children's experiences differed or overlapped; resentments about British life; and the racial and class identities of overseas Britons upon their return to the metropole. It concludes by assessing the wider impact of repatriates' self‐affirming narratives on how the history of empire has been reimagined within postcolonial Britain.

Keywords:   Britain, Britishness, repatriation, colonial careers, colonial education, retirement, racial identity, class, decolonization, postcolonial revisionism

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