“Our Antipodes”: Settler Colonial Environments in Victorian Travel Writing
The Australian colonies were popular destinations for mid- to late-nineteenth-century British travellers, celebrated for their modernity and their immense potential for British emigration. Mastering new nineteenth-century technologies of travel, British (and colonial) travellers flooded the antipodean settler colonies, and on return their travel accounts flooded the periodical press and book publishers.
This essay considers the disquieting differences in the southern colonies, experienced by some travellers, not only with Indigenous peoples, but with settler colonial environments. Expecting to find a perfect copy of England and the imperial self, the Greater Britain traveller could be disconcerted to find that Englishness in the colonies had mutated to something slightly different.