Suburbia and the Colonization of Britain, 1880 to the Present
Publication Year: 2010
Published by: University of Virginia Press
Download PDF (63.0 KB)
Download PDF (43.1 KB)
I often thought this book about suburbia might sprawl on forever, so I take great pleasure in thanking those who have helped me, directly and indirectly, to finish. It began under the guidance of Patrick Brantlinger, whose support and friendship have meant a great deal to me. Purnima Bose, Thomas Foster, and James Naremore oď¬€ered positive and practical feedback, and Joanne Wood ...
Part One: Foundations
1. Semi-Detached Empire
Download PDF (368.8 KB)
In an 1891 article for the Contemporary Review, the journalist and historian Sidney Low revealed a striking trend in the previous decadeâ€™s census returns. Contrary to popular belief Britainâ€™s population was growing â€śnot in the cities themselves, but in the ring of suburbs which spread into the country.â€ť The data led Low to what must have been a startling conclusion. â€śThe Englishman of the future,â€ť he declared, â€świll be a suburb-dweller. The majority of the ...
2. Reverse Colonization in The War of the Worlds
Download PDF (232.0 KB)
In the spring of 1895 H. G. Wells moved from London some twenty- five miles southwest, to the Surrey village of Woking. At the age of twenty- nine the former draperâ€™s apprentice and schoolteacher had already published two science textbooks as well as a host of literary reviews and scientific articles, mostly unsigned. With the impending release of The Time Machine and the prospect of future contracts, Wells felt, as he later put it, â€śfairly launched as an ...
Part Two: Fa
3. Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Anglo-Indian
Download PDF (144.1 KB)
Arthur Conan Doyleâ€™s The Sign of Four offers a fitting approach to the suburban faĂ§ade. In this, their second adventure together, Holmes and Watson aid Miss Mary Morstan, a client seeking information on the whereabouts of her disappeared father. Whisked via carriage through the â€śtorturous by-streetsâ€ť south of the Thames, an enamored Watson babbles to Miss Morstan while Holmes calls out the names of each road they pass, fearing aloud that â€śour ...
4. Outposts of Progress: Joseph Conradâ€™s Suburban Speculation
Download PDF (317.7 KB)
In The Soul of London (1905), an impressionistic foray through the English capital, Ford Madox Ford recalls a sight that â€śalways piques my curiosity.â€ť An â€śodd terraceâ€ť thrown together by some speculative builder sits in abandoned decay on a road beyond the city. The structure â€ścontains four immense, thin-walled, pretentious stucco houses . . . break[ing] off in uncompleted doors, uncompleted foundations, and a plot of grimy wasteland.â€ť In this deserted...
5. Beyond the Abyss: Degeneracy and Death in the Edwardian Suburb
Download PDF (142.6 KB)
The folly of modern imperialism would not come home to many Britons until the Anglo- Boer War (1899â€“1902). Thanks to its incursions in South Africa, Britain entered the twentieth century victoriousâ€”though far from triumphant. In exchange for the Transvaal and the Orange Free State, the British suffered a host of devastating blows. These included unexpected military defeats during â€śBlack Weekâ€ť late in 1899, reports of physically unfit volunteers by the ...
Part Three: Semi-Detachment
6. Ressentiment and Late-Imperial Fiction
Download PDF (115.8 KB)
In Growing, an account of his years as a civil servant in Ceylon, Leonard Woolfâ€”the Bloomsbury affiliate, Hogarth Press publisher, and eminent internationalistâ€”describes imperial society in terms of a typical London suburb: â€śWhite society in India and Ceylon, as you can see in Kiplingâ€™s stories, was always suburban. In Calcutta and Simla, in Colombo and Nuwara Eliya . . . relations between Europeans rested on the same kind of snobbery, pretentiousness...
7. George Orwell and the Road to West Bletchley
Download PDF (155.8 KB)
Floryâ€™s suicide did not solve Britainâ€™s attempted detachment from its colonial possessions. Nor did it bring an end to Orwellâ€™s writing about empire. Per-haps the most surprising place where the subject resurfaces is The Road to Wigan Pier (1937), which examines living conditions in English coal country alongside an account of Orwellâ€™s evolving political views. The bookâ€™s second half begins: â€śThe road from Mandalay to Wigan is a long one and the reasons for taking ...
Epilogue: â€śIn the Blood and Not on the Skinâ€ť
Download PDF (65.9 KB)
As white working-class migrants continued to make the trek from inner cities to suburban estates and New Towns, another era of migration was getting under wayâ€”one that resulted in todayâ€™s â€śmultiracialâ€ť Britain. In 1948 colonial subjects of color were granted right of entry to the country under the British Nationality Act, and in some cases the government positively encouraged their immigration to make up for postwar labor shortages. The docking ...
Download PDF (144.7 KB)
Download PDF (111.8 KB)
Download PDF (976.3 KB)
Page Count: 272
Illustrations: 4 b&w illus., 1 map
Publication Year: 2010