Writing the Empire: The McIlwraiths, 1853–1948

By Eva-Marie Kröller

© 2021

Writing the Empire is a collective biography of the McIlwraiths, a family of politicians, entrepreneurs, businesspeople, scientists, and scholars. Known for their contributions to literature, politics, and anthropology, the McIlwraiths originated in Ayrshire, Scotland, and spread across the British Empire, specifically North America and Australia, from the mid-nineteenth century onwards.

Focusing on imperial networking, Writing the Empire reflects on three generations of the McIlwraiths’ life writing, including correspondence, diaries, memoirs, and estate papers, along with published works by members of the family. By moving from generation to generation, but also from one stage of a person’s life to the next, the author investigates how various McIlwraiths, both men and women, articulated their identity as subjects of the British Empire over time. Eva-Marie Kröller identifies parallel and competing forms of communication that involved major public figures beyond the family’s immediate circle, and explores the challenges issued by Indigenous people to imperial ideologies. Drawing from private papers and public archives, Writing the Empire is an illuminating biography that will appeal to readers interested in the links between life writing and imperial history.

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Product Details

  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 536 pages
  • Illustrations: 24
  • Dimensions: 6.3in x 1.1in x 9.3in
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SKU# SP006462

  • PUBLISHED APR 2021

    From: $82.50

    Regular Price: $110.00

    ISBN 9781487507572
  • PUBLISHED APR 2021

    From: $82.50

    Regular Price: $110.00

Quick Overview

Crossing time and oceans, this fascinating history of the McIlwraiths tracks the family’s imperial identities across the generations to tell a story of anthropology and empire.

Writing the Empire: The McIlwraiths, 1853–1948

By Eva-Marie Kröller

© 2021

Writing the Empire is a collective biography of the McIlwraiths, a family of politicians, entrepreneurs, businesspeople, scientists, and scholars. Known for their contributions to literature, politics, and anthropology, the McIlwraiths originated in Ayrshire, Scotland, and spread across the British Empire, specifically North America and Australia, from the mid-nineteenth century onwards.

Focusing on imperial networking, Writing the Empire reflects on three generations of the McIlwraiths’ life writing, including correspondence, diaries, memoirs, and estate papers, along with published works by members of the family. By moving from generation to generation, but also from one stage of a person’s life to the next, the author investigates how various McIlwraiths, both men and women, articulated their identity as subjects of the British Empire over time. Eva-Marie Kröller identifies parallel and competing forms of communication that involved major public figures beyond the family’s immediate circle, and explores the challenges issued by Indigenous people to imperial ideologies. Drawing from private papers and public archives, Writing the Empire is an illuminating biography that will appeal to readers interested in the links between life writing and imperial history.

Continue Reading Read Less

Product Details

  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 536 pages
  • Illustrations: 24
  • Dimensions: 6.3in x 1.1in x 9.3in
  • Reviews

    "Writing the Empire represents on all accounts a magnum opus. There is nothing like it. Eva-Marie Kröller has collected a wide range of archival and scholarly sources and turned them into a composite whole, an outstanding achievement. This book is a major piece of writing and offers a great diversity of insights for the scholarly community as well as for people who like to read about family genealogies in conjunction with imperial constellations."


    Alfred Hornung, Director, Obama Institute for Transnational American Studies, Johannes Gutenberg University

    "With extensive archival research and an engaging writing style, Writing the Empire tells a the fascinating story of a Scottish family that, at the height of British imperialism, emigrated to Canada and Australia and employed imperial networks to succeed in these colonial locations. This book will be of interest to historians of the British Empire, imperialism, colonialism, and colonial life writing."


    Kristine Moruzi, Senior Lecturer of Writing and Literature, Deakin University
  • Author Information

    Eva-Marie Kröller is a professor emerita in the Department of English Language and Literatures at the University of British Columbia.
  • Table of contents

    List of Illustrations
    Acknowledgments
    Permissions
    List of Abbreviations

    Introduction
    1 The Australian McIlwraiths
    2 The Ontario McIlwraiths
    3 The “Family Album”
    4 Jean McIlwraith’s Story
    5 Beulah Gillet Knox in Dresden
    6 The Wartime Letters of T.F. McIlwraith
    7 T.F. McIlwraith at Cambridge
    Conclusion: Bella Coola and After
    Appendix: McIlwraith Genealogies
    Bibliography
    Index

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