Writing the Empire: The McIlwraiths, 1853–1948
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.
- World Rights
- Page Count: 536 pages
- Illustrations: 24
- Dimensions: 6.3in x 1.1in x 9.3in
"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 InformationEva-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
List of Abbreviations
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
Subjects and Courses