Reimagining the Transatlantic, 1780-1890
In her thought-provoking study of Britain's relationship with Latin America and the Caribbean during the Romantic and Victorian periods, Joselyn M. Almeida makes a compelling case for extending the critical boundaries of current transatlantic and circumatlantic scholarship. She proposes the pan-Atlantic as a critical model that encompasses Britain's relationship to the non-Anglophone Americas given their shared history of conquest and the slave trade, and underscores the importance of writings by Afro-British and Afro-Hispanophone authors in formulating Atlantic culture. In adopting the term pan-Atlantic, Almeida argues for the interrelationship of the discourses of discovery, conquest, enslavement, and liberation expressed in literary motifs such as the New World, Columbus, and Las Casas; the representation of Native Americans; the enslavement and liberation of Africans; and the emancipation of Spanish America. Her study draws on the works of William Robertson, Ottobah Cugoano, Francisco Clavijero, Francisco Miranda, José Blanco White, Richard Robert Madden, Juan Manzano, Charles Darwin, and W. H. Hudson, uncovering the shared cultural grammar of travel narratives, abolitionist poems, novels, and historiographies that crosses national and linguistic boundaries.
'Reimagining the Transatlantic, 1780-1890 is an important and impressive study. In a series of deft triangulations across a century, three languages and three continents, Almeida-Beveridge substantiates her argument for a pan-Atlantic approach to literary, political and economic commerce during a crucial period of nation formation and international encounter. Her historical sense is astute and her literary comparisons deft; from Robertson's History of America to Darwin's Voyage of the Beagle, her readings open out new points of connection to make this study an essential work of reference for future scholars.' Susan Manning, University of Edinburgh, UK ’There is seemingly no important work of Atlantic scholarship that [Almeida] does not discuss intelligently... The outstanding index reveals useful conceptual groupings. While previous scholars have shown the importance of Ireland and India in the 19th century British cultural imaginary, Almeida has demonstrated the centrality of Latin America, and contributed to scholarship of both Anglophone and hispanophone literary traditions. This impressive study has set an agenda for further work yet to be done.’ The Wordsworth Circle ’Almeida has offered an elegantly written and important piece of ’recovery’ criticism. It not only captures the broad and boundary-less space of the Atlantic and the interconnectedness between politics and writing, whether fictional or non-fictional.’ BARS Bulletin ’Reimagining the Transatlantic is a well-written and comprehensive contribution to its field. It thoroughly engages with the current scholarship in transatlantic studies as well as extends it by providing a new conceptualization of the Atlantic through the transport and translation of literature.’ Comparative Literature Studies ’Reimagining the Transatlantic is an impressive, authoritative book that will invigorate and shape debate for years to come.’ European Romantic Review 'Joselyn M. Almeida persuasively