“‘Conceive of a Tale of London Which a Negro, Fresh from Central Africa, Would Take Back To His Tribe!”: Exploration and Time/Travel in H. G. Wells’s The Time Machine’

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Title: “‘Conceive of a Tale of London Which a Negro, Fresh from Central Africa, Would Take Back To His Tribe!”: Exploration and Time/Travel in H. G. Wells’s The Time Machine’
Authors: Atkin, Lara
Permanent link: http://hdl.handle.net/10197/10766
Date: 1-Jan-2018
Online since: 2019-06-10T08:29:37Z
Abstract: In his late essay Geography and Some Explorers (1924), Conrad reflects back on the era of British high imperialism in the late–nineteenth century. He recalls his youthful valorisation of the explorers of the age, the ‘worthy, adventurous and devoted men, nibbling at the edges, attacking from north and south and east and west, conquering a bit of truth here and a bit of truth there.’ Having begun by praising what he termed the 'militant geography' of conquest that underpinned exploration in the age of high imperialism, Conrad's tone shifts abruptly towards the end of the essay. He goes on to register the disillusionment that he experienced after finally fulfilling his childhood fantasy of travelling to the heart of Africa, and realising that the British explorers of the fin de siècle were far from being the ‘worthy men’ of his childhood imagination. He describes how having travelled to ‘the last navigable reach of the Upper Congo’ ‘a great melancholy descended upon me’ as he realised there was ‘only the unholy recollection of a prosaic newspaper “stunt” and the distasteful knowledge of the vilest scramble for loot that ever disfigured the history of human conscience and geographical exploration.’
Type of material: Book Chapter
Publisher: Cambridge Scholars Publishing
Start page: 86
End page: 106
Copyright (published version): 2018 the Authors
Keywords: ConradTravel narrativesH.G. WellsTime travel
Language: en
Status of Item: Peer reviewed
Is part of: Franchi, B., Mutlu, E. (eds.). Crossing Borders in Victorian Travel: Spaces, Nations, Empires
ISBN: 978-1-5275-0372-4
Appears in Collections:English, Drama & Film Research Collection

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