Decolonising Travel in W. H. Hudson's The Purple Land

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2 Scopus citations


This essay examines the complex relationship between William Henry Hudson’s
first novel, The Purple Land (1885), and Victorian travel writing about the
Rio de la Plata, the geographical area which at present comprises the territories
of Argentina and Uruguay. While the novel relies on many of the conventions,
ideas and tropes of contemporary travel writing about the region, it does so only
up to a point and with a most telling twist, one which serves to undermine rather
than endorse the standard ideological posture of the genre. While Victorian
travel writing about the Rio de la Plata is as a rule deeply implicated in the
politics and ideology of British expansion, Hudson’s own engagement with the
genre, far from complicit with its imperial ethos, offers a fundamental critique
of it. In that sense, the novel can be said to turn travel literature against itself
and narrate a very different, decolonising type of travel
Original languageEnglish GB
Pages (from-to)27-56
Number of pages30
JournalStudies in Travel Writing
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Literature and Literary Theory


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