“Humble Obedience to the Will of Heaven”: Charles Johnston’s Providential and Migratory Sensibility

  • Daniel Sanjiv RobertsEmail author
Part of the Cambridge Imperial and Post-Colonial Studies Series book series (CIPCSS)


The author of numerous fictional works including the immensely popular Chrysal, or the Adventures of a Guinea (1760), Charles Johnston (c.1719–c.1800) migrated several times over the course of his literary career—from Ireland to England, and finally to India. This chapter focuses on Johnston’s novel The History of Arsaces (1774) and his newspaper writings of 1782 in The Calcutta Gazette to argue for a conservative and providential theology underlying Johnston’s imperialistic thinking. Furthermore, Johnston’s migratory sensibility (which is understood as the need, commonly experienced by Irish migrants in this period, to refashion themselves in pursuit of their destiny) emerges from this study as a significant factor in understanding Johnston’s Enlightenment view of empire as being globally and historically integrated.

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© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Queen’s University BelfastBelfastUK

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