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By Siobhan Carroll
Planetary areas akin to the poles, the oceans, the ambience, and subterranean areas captured the British imperial mind's eye. Intangible, inhospitable, or inaccessible, those clean spaces—what Siobhan Carroll calls "atopias"—existed past the bounds of identified and inhabited locations. The eighteenth century conceived of those geographic outliers because the usual limits of imperial enlargement, yet medical and naval advances within the 19th century created new chances to grasp and regulate them. This improvement preoccupied British authors, who have been conversant in seeing atopic areas as otherworldly marvels in fantastical stories. areas that an empire couldn't colonize have been areas that literature may possibly declare, as literary representations of atopias got here to mirror their authors' attitudes towards the expansion of the British Empire in addition to the half they observed literature taking part in in that expansion.
Siobhan Carroll interrogates the position those clean areas performed within the development of British identification in the course of an period of unsettling international circulations. studying the poetry of Samuel T. Coleridge and George Gordon Byron and the prose of Sophia Lee, Mary Shelley, and Charles Dickens, in addition to newspaper bills and voyage narratives, she lines the methods Romantic and Victorian writers reconceptualized atopias as threatening or, every now and then, weak. those textual explorations of the earth's optimum reaches and mystery depths make clear chronic elements of the British worldwide and environmental mind's eye that linger within the twenty-first century.
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