The Savage and Modern Self: North American Indians in Eighteenth-Century British Literature and Culture

By Robbie Richardson

© 2018

The Savage and Modern Self examines the representations of North American "Indians" in novels, poetry, plays, and material culture from eighteenth-century Britain. Author Robbie Richardson argues that depictions of "Indians" in British literature were used to critique and articulate evolving ideas about consumerism, colonialism, "Britishness," and, ultimately, the "modern self" over the course of the century.

Considering the ways in which British writers represented contact between Britons and "Indians," both at home and abroad, the author shows how these sites of contact moved from a self-affirmation of British authority earlier in the century, to a mutual corruption, to a desire to appropriate perceived traits of "Indianess." Looking at texts exclusively produced in Britain, The Savage and Modern Self reveals that "the modern" finds definition through imagined scenes of cultural contact. By the end of the century, Richardson concludes, the hybrid Indian-Brition emerging in literature and visual culture exemplifies a form of modern, British masculinity.

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Product Details

  • Division: Scholarly Publishing
  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 264 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.2in x 1.1in x 9.2in
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SKU# SP005059

  • PUBLISHED MAY 2018

    From: $52.50

    Regular Price: $70.00

    ISBN 9781487503444
  • PUBLISHED APR 2018

    From: $52.50

    Regular Price: $70.00

Quick Overview

The Savage and Modern Self examines the representation of North American "Indians" in novels, poetry, plays, and material culture from eighteenth-century Britain.

The Savage and Modern Self: North American Indians in Eighteenth-Century British Literature and Culture

By Robbie Richardson

© 2018

The Savage and Modern Self examines the representations of North American "Indians" in novels, poetry, plays, and material culture from eighteenth-century Britain. Author Robbie Richardson argues that depictions of "Indians" in British literature were used to critique and articulate evolving ideas about consumerism, colonialism, "Britishness," and, ultimately, the "modern self" over the course of the century.

Considering the ways in which British writers represented contact between Britons and "Indians," both at home and abroad, the author shows how these sites of contact moved from a self-affirmation of British authority earlier in the century, to a mutual corruption, to a desire to appropriate perceived traits of "Indianess." Looking at texts exclusively produced in Britain, The Savage and Modern Self reveals that "the modern" finds definition through imagined scenes of cultural contact. By the end of the century, Richardson concludes, the hybrid Indian-Brition emerging in literature and visual culture exemplifies a form of modern, British masculinity.

Continue Reading Read Less

Product Details

  • Division: Scholarly Publishing
  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 264 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.2in x 1.1in x 9.2in
  • Reviews

    "The Savage and Modern Self is a valuable, timely, and intelligent work full of engaging and fertile insights. Robbie Richardson calls attention to particular texts, events, contexts, themes, and issues while also raising core questions about the development of the modern subject and about the fundamental premises of modernity itself."


    Laura Brown, John Wendell Anderson Professor of English, Cornell University

    "Extremely well written and beautifully presented, The Savage and Modern Self analyzes the eighteenth century ‘pen and ink’ works about Native Americans by British writers. Offering a fascinating and truly admirable array of readings, this book traces the shifting attitudes to the subject, and argues that such literature variously disrupted British culture – which was often regarded as the building blocks of the ‘modern self ’ and often recognized as ‘modernity’ itself."


    Kate Fullagar, Senior Lecturer in Modern History, Macquarie University
  • Author Information

    Robbie Richardson is a lecturer in Eighteenth-Century Literature at the University of Kent.
  • Table of contents

    1. Indians and the Construction of Britishness in the Early Eighteenth Century
    2. The Indian as Cultural Critic: Shaping the British Self
    3. Captivity Narratives and Colonialism
    4. Novel Indians: Tsonnonthouan and the Commodification of Culture
    5. Becoming Indians: Sentiment and the Hybrid British Subject
    6. Native North American Material Culture in the British Imaginary
    Conclusion: "Pen-and-Ink Work"