Document Type

Book Review

Publication Source

Australasian Journal of Victorian Studies, Volume 18, Issue 2, Pages 49-50.

Publication Date




Since the publication of Edward W. Said’s Culture and Imperialism in 1994, postcolonial literary critics have usually treated nineteenth-century European fiction as ideologically and imaginatively complicit with the major powers’ attempts to occupy, control, and reorganise distant territories. Deborah Shapple Spillman’s British Colonial Realism in Africa adds weight and nuance to this argument. She demonstrates how late nineteenth-century colonial realist texts—both literary and ethnographic—drew upon structures of thought that allowed unfamiliar peoples to be subsumed within Eurocentric world views.


© 2016 Hamish Dalley

This is the final published version of the article, made available under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license.



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