Sara Jeannette Duncan: The Imperialist

(502 words)
  • Anna Snaith

The Imperialist (1904) is Sara Jeannette Duncan's best-known novel. Set in Elgin, Ontario, Canada, a fictionalised version of Brantford, Duncan's home town, The Imperialist is Duncan's only novel with a substantial Canadian setting and signifies a literary homecoming for Duncan, who had left Canada in 1885. The novel is a detailed and sympathetic portrait of life in an “outpost of Empire”. She was intent on portraying “the real Imperial situation as it works out in colonial lives”, as she wrote in a letter, feeling that the colonial perspective had gone unheard. Set in the early years of the twentieth century and carefully researched, the novel centres around the issue of imperial federation and …

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Snaith, Anna. "The Imperialist". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 16 March 2001
[, accessed 08 July 2015.]