Conclusion: Promotion/Nation/Colony/Empire

  • Robert D. Grant


As the nineteenth-century progressed, the colonial ‘prospect’ changed, gathering greater and greater accretions of association and meaning, although, of course, such developments were not arbitrary. As this volume has argued, British commentators understood what they encountered in the colonies in terms of their own particular interests and outlooks and, in that respect, their representations were as much expressions of metropolitan concerns as they were of interactions with distant landscapes and their indigenous populations. In later nineteenth-century accounts, however, many of the familiar promotional themes and motifs remained. The greater part of George Baden-Powell’s advice to the prospective emigrant to Australia or New Zealand in 1872, for example, was consistent with that made by earlier writers, except for his suggestion that professional men might now do well there, a reflection of changed circumstances perhaps, but also an important message regarding the progressive civilising of what had so recently been ‘wilderness’. He dutifully listed (quite unironically, it seems) the tendency for propagandists to puff their own favoured spots and denigrate their competition; as well as the ‘wonderful fertility’ of the respective countries’ soils; the marvellous opportunities for ‘those with capital’ and the need for those who had none to be industrious if they were to progress; the good prospects for labouring men and the faint prospects awaiting ‘ne’er-do-weels [sic]’.


White Settler British Settler British Troop Australian Coloni Distant Landscape 
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© Robert Grant 2005

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  • Robert D. Grant

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