Empire, Resistance and the Question of Englishness on the Colonial Frontier in H. Rider Haggard’s Jess and Swallow

Elvan Mutlu


This paper examines H. Rider Haggard’s presentation of English, Scottish or British identity in his South African romances by investigating the imperial dimension of the expansion of England and how the concept of English national identity (or Englishness)is established within texts such as Jess (1887) and Swallow: A Tale of the Great Trek (1899). These romances are rich in the concerns of settler writing, the question of whether Empire is a success, and whether Africa becomes another home for the English national identity. This paper also examines the expanding nature of the British Empire and the way in which new identity formations become possible within a rather multicultural, specifically South African context.




Empire, Englishness, resistance, H. Rider Haggard, Jess, Swallow

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