The Transatlantic Indian, 1776-1930
This book takes a fascinating look at the iconic figure of the Native American in the British cultural imagination from the Revolutionary War to the early twentieth century, and examining how Native Americans regarded the British, as well as how they challenged their own cultural image in Britain during this period. Kate Flint shows how the image of the Indian was used in English literature and culture for a host of ideological purposes, and she reveals its crucial role as symbol, cultural myth, and stereotype that helped to define British identity and its attitude toward the colonial world.
Through close readings of writers such as Charles Dickens, Elizabeth Gaskell, and D. H. Lawrence, Flint traces how the figure of the Indian was received, represented, and transformed in British fiction and poetry, travelogues, sketches, and journalism, as well as theater, paintings, and cinema. She describes the experiences of the Ojibwa and Ioway who toured Britain with George Catlin in the 1840s; the testimonies of the Indians in Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show; and the performances and polemics of the Iroquois poet Pauline Johnson in London. Flint explores transatlantic conceptions of race, the role of gender in writings by and about Indians, and the complex political and economic relationships between Britain and America.
The Transatlantic Indian, 1776-1930 argues that native perspectives are essential to our understanding of transatlantic relations in this period and the development of transnational modernity.
Kate Flint is professor of English at Rutgers University. She is the author of The Victorians and the Visual Imagination and The Woman Reader, 1837-1914.