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  • The Savage and Modern Self: North American Indians in Eighteenth-Century British Literature and Culture by Robbie Richardson

The Savage and Modern Self: North American Indians in Eighteenth-Century British Literature and Culture by Robbie Richardson

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The Savage and Modern Self examines the representations of North American "Indians" in novels, poetry, plays, and material culture from eighteenth-century Britain. Author Robbie Richardson argues that depictions of "Indians" in British literature were used to critique and articulate evolving ideas about consumerism, colonialism, "Britishness," and, ultimately, the "modern self" over the course of the century.

Considering the ways in which British writers represented contact between Britons and "Indians," both at home and abroad, the author shows how these sites of contact moved from a self-affirmation of British authority earlier in the century, to a mutual corruption, to a desire to appropriate perceived traits of "Indianess." Looking at texts exclusively produced in Britain, The Savage and Modern Self reveals that "the modern" finds definition through imagined scenes of cultural contact. By the end of the century, Richardson concludes, the hybrid Indian-Brition emerging in literature and visual culture exemplifies a form of modern, British masculinity.
 

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