Sara Jeannette Duncan, The Imperialist

Anna Snaith (Independent Scholar - Europe)
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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 Canadian attitudes towards Chamberlain's (Wallingham in the novel) proposal for…

501 words

Citation: Snaith, Anna. "The Imperialist". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 16 March 2001 [, accessed 23 June 2024.]

564 The Imperialist 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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