Literature in a Time of Migration
offers a profound rethinking of British fiction in light of the new practices of human mobility that reshaped the nineteenth-century world. Building on the growing critical engagement with globalization in literary studies, it confronts the paradox that at a
time when transnational human movement occurred globally on an unprecedented scale, British fiction appeared to turn inward to tell stories of local places that valorized stability and rootedness. In contrast, this book reveals how literary works, from the end of the Napoleonic Wars to the advent of
the New Imperialism, were active components of a culture of colonization and emigration. Fictional texts, as print commodities, were enmeshed in technologies of transport and communication, and innovations in literary form were spurred by the conditions and consequences of human movement.
Examining works by Scott, Charlotte Brontë, Dickens, and George Eliot, as well as popular contemporaries, Mary Russell Mitford, John Galt, and Thomas Martin Wheeler, this volume demonstrates how literary texts overlap with an agenda set in public discussions of colonial emigration that they also
helped to shape. Debates about assisted emigration, 'forced' and 'free' migration, colonization, settlement, and the removal of native peoples, figure in fictions in complex ways. Read alongside writings by emigration theorists, practitioners, and enthusiasts for colonization, fictional texts reveal
a powerful and sustained engagement with British migratory practices and their worldwide consequences. Literature in a Time of Migration
is a timely reminder of the place and importance of migration within British cultural heritage.