Conquest and Reclamation in the Transatlantic Imagination
The Amerindian Adventures of Henty, Haggard, and Griffith
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This monograph examines the imperial spectacles and startling reversals of fortune related in History of the Conquest of Mexico (1843) and History of the Conquest of Peru (1847), and investigates how Prescott’s histories inspired fictional adaptations by George A. Henty, H. Rider Haggard, and George Griffith. The revision of history in the Amerindian adventure entertained young transatlantic audiences, was a vehicle to attract tourism and investment in countries such as Mexico and Peru, and a way to impart British values. Such values compel the characters and narrators of novels discussed to act as cultural mediators, to acquire indigenous languages and adopt native ways of being, and, in several of the romances under consideration, to marry Mexican or Incan noblewomen. Part I, Conquest, examines George Henty’s By Right of Conquest: Or, With Cortez in Mexico (1891), Rider Haggard’s Montezuma’s Daughter (1893) and George Griffith’s Virgin of the Sun: A Tale of the Conquest of Peru (1898). Part II, Reclamation, argues that English re-writings of history work to eclipse the Spanish in Haggard’s of Virgin the Sun (1922), Henty’s Treasure of the Incas (1902) and Griffith’s Romance of Golden Star (1897).
Table of Contents
Part I. Conquest
Chapter 1. The Rewards of Adventure in Henty’s By Right of Conquest: Or, With Cortez in Mexico (1891)
Chapter 2. Haggard’s Montezuma’s Daughter (1893) as Memoir of the Spanish Conquest
Chapter 3. ‘I was there’: George Griffith’s Trek on the Inca Trail and Virgin of the Sun: A Tale of the Conquest of Peru (1898)
Part II. Reclamation
Chapter 4. Eclipsing the Spanish in Haggard’s Virgin of the Sun
Chapter 5. The Rewards of Speculation and the Promise of Development in Henty’s Treasure of the Incas (1902)
Chapter 6. The Campaign of Reclamation in George Griffith’s Romance of Golden Star (1897)
Luz Elena Ramirez completed her undergraduate degree at Newcomb College in New Orleans and her Ph.D. in English literature at the University of Texas at Austin. Professor of English at California State University, San Bernardino, Ramirez locates her scholarship at the intersection of nineteenth- and early twentieth-century British literature, transatlantic studies, and archeological fiction. She published British Representations of Latin America (2007) and subsequently edited the Encyclopedia of Hispanic-American Literature (Facts on File 2008). More recently, she has written scholarly critiques of British fantasy writers George Griffith, William Hope Hodgson, and Bram Stoker, delving deeply into archaeological fiction, with the chapter essay entitled,"The Intelligibility of the Past in Bram Stoker’s The Jewel of Seven Stars" in Eleanor Dobson's edited volume, Victorian Literary Culture and Ancient Egypt (2020).