Cover

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Title Page, Copyright Page

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pp. i-iv

Contents

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pp. v-vi

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Acknowledgments

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pp. vii-viii

Portions of this book were initially presented as papers at the Victorian Literature and Culture seminar at Harvard University’s Mahindra Humanities Center; at the Modern Language Association, Northeast Victorian Studies Association, and North American Victorian Studies Association conferences...

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Introduction

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pp. 1-8

Among the novels shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize in 2010 was Tom McCarthy’s C, a self-proclaimed avant-gardist’s foray into the realm of historical fiction. C follows the fortunes (to quote the book’s jacket copy) “of Serge Carrefax, a man who—as his name suggests—surges into the electric modernity...

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1. Imperial Cybernetics

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pp. 9-35

In an early, comic scene from Mangal Pandey: The Rising, Bollywood’s 2005 epic-melodrama of the 1857 “mutiny,” a group of Indian men, pointedly seated amid a stand of hookahs (indices of “tradition”), express disbelief at a report of the “taelly garaffe” allegedly now “connect[ing] the entire country through...

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2. Imperial Projections

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pp. 36-59

Having narrowly escaped massacre at the hands of a troop of knife-wielding “Kukuanas”—the mythical, “lost” African race featured in Rider Haggard’s King Solomon’s Mines (1885)—the fast-thinking, polytropic Allan Quatermain improvises a Große Lüge of Hitlerian scale and audacity. Flashing “an imperial...

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3. Imperial Transmissions

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pp. 60-79

Reflecting, in his Outline of History (1920), upon the past glories of imperial China, and particularly upon its precocious invention of gunpowder, H. G. Wells marvels that the Chinese “[do] not to this day dominate the world culturally and politically” (555). In speculating about the possible causes of this...

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4. Imperial Informatics

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pp. 80-113

In John Buchan’s spy thriller Greenmantle (1916), Buchan’s hero, Richard Hannay, twice escapes the clutches of the hulking, fanatical Colonel von Stumm: first in the very heart of the German Empire, then on the outer fringes of its influence, at the Russo-Turkish border. On this second occasion Hannay...

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Coda: Post-Imperial Media

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pp. 114-118

I began this study of the Victorian and post-Victorian periods by considering a novel published in 2010. I’d like to conclude by looking briefly at another twenty-first-century exercise in a residual or archaic medium—in this case, a 2009 radio drama. Torchwood: Golden Age is a radio spinoff of the BBC science...

Notes

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pp. 119-133

Bibliography

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pp. 134-141

Index

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pp. 142-146