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The Oxford History of the Novel in EnglishVolume 9: The World Novel in English to 1950$
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Ralph Crane, Jane Stafford, and Mark Williams

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780199609932

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780199609932.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 17 May 2021

Colonial Utopias/Dystopias

Colonial Utopias/Dystopias

(p.300) 16 Colonial Utopias/Dystopias
The Oxford History of the Novel in English

Lyman Tower Sargent

Oxford University Press

This chapter explores colonial utopias/dystopias. Utopianism and colonialism have had direct connections from the time Thomas More inadvertently created a genre of literature when he published what is now known as his Utopia, in 1516. Utopia reflected the process of exploration taking place in the early sixteenth century that resulted in the discovery of the lands that were to become colonies. Colonists generally have the expectation of achieving a much better life by settling, while producing an actual dystopia for the original inhabitants. While the colonists did not always find what they expected, they were often led to settle by clearly utopian projections of what life would be like in the new place. Those settlers who had the leisure to write about their hopes for the future in the new place sometimes depicted what that place might look like in the future.

Keywords:   colonial utopias, colonial dystopias, utopianism, colonialism, Thomas More, Utopia

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