1st Edition

Fiction & the Colonial Experience

By Jeffrey Meyers Copyright 1973
    162 Pages
    by Routledge

    162 Pages
    by Routledge

    British colonialism provided a rich vein of material for the novelists of the first half of the 20th century. This study, originally published in 1968, looks at five writers and their reaction to the Empire: Rudyard Kipling, E. M. Forster, Joseph Conrad, Joyce Cary and Graham Greene. It shows how the romantic adventure stories of Kipling’s early days, in which the indigenous population plays almost no part, gave rise to the much more important novels of spiritual and moral conflict in which the stereotyped values of Empire are questioned.

    The decline of colonialism from its apogee in the 1880s within a relatively short period makes the novels discussed a compact group, so that not only is the use of colonial material closely studied, but its impact on the novelists themselves emerges clearly. This is an important study of a major literary theme, linking modern literature and modern history at a vital point.

    1. Rudyard Kipling: Codes of Heroism 2. E. M. Forster: A Passage to India 3. Joseph Conrad: The Meaning of Civilization 4. Joyce Cary: Authority and Freedom 5. Graham Green: The Decline of the Colonial Novel


    Since 1992 Jeffrey Meyers has been a professional writer in Berkeley, California. He is one of ten Americans who are Fellows of the Royal Society of Literature, and in 2005 received an Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters 'to honor exceptional achievement.' Professor Meyers has published 54 books and 1,080 articles on art, film, and modern American, English and European literature. His wide range of interests include bibliography, editing, literary criticism and biography.

    ‘His chapters on Forster and Conrad are original and accomplished.’ M. M. Mahood, Research in African Literatures

    ‘His work is a major contribution to our knowledge of British fiction and the colonial experience.’ Bruce E. Teets, Central Washington State College, USA.

    ‘…the critique of Forster by Meyers…. (is) among the most valuable we have.’ Frederick P. W. McDowell, English Literature in Transition, 1880-1920 .