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Duty, Emigration and the “Condition of England” Debate, 1826-1854. Edition No. 1
VDM Publishing House, August 2009, Pages: 232
Over the course of the nineteenth century, many of Britain's subjects left its shores for its colonies. What public discourses were at work to encourage individuals to undertake such a long and potentially dangerous journey? What role did the popular press have in setting the terms of the public debate surrounding emigration? In this work, Sarah Stow traces the evolution of the emigration debate, mapping changes in public attitudes to emigration from the late 1820s until early 1850s, and noting how the increasingly favorable view of emigration was tied specifically to the “condition of England” debate and driven by the use of an increasingly forceful rhetoric of duty. Stow shows how the rhetoric of duty shaped emigration schemes and how these schemes were in turn shaped by writers who use fiction as pro-emigration propaganda to motivate a reluctant English populace to accept its “destiny” and perform its duty.
Sarah Stow completed her graduate studies at Stony Brook University in 2006. She now lives in Melbourne, Australia, and works at RMIT University.