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Oceania and the Victorian Imagination

NEW book edited by Richard Fulton examines Oceania in Victorian culture

Windward Community College
Bonnie J Beatson, (808) 235-7374
Mktg & Public Rel Dir, Chancellor's Office
Richard Fulton
Ret. Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs
Posted: Sep 3, 2013

New book by Richard Fulton & Peter Hoffenberg
New book by Richard Fulton & Peter Hoffenberg

A newly published book, Oceania and the Victorian Imagination, edited by Richard D. Fulton, University of Hawai’i, Windward Community College and Peter H. Hoffenberg, University of Hawai’i, Mānoa, is now available from Ashgate Publishing.

In the book, Oceania, or the South Pacific loomed large in the Victorian popular imagination. Everything was possible there. This collection of essays focuses on Oceania’s impact on Victorian culture, most notably travel writing, photography, international exhibitions, literature and the world of children. Each of these had significant impact. The literature discussed affected mainly the middle and upper classes, while exhibitions and photography reached down into the working classes, as did missionary presentations. The experience of children was central to the Pacific’s effects, as youthful encounters at exhibitions, chapel, home or school formed lifelong impressions and experience.

It would be difficult to fully understand the Victorians as they understood themselves without considering their engagement with Oceania. While the contributions of India and Africa to the 19th-century imagination have been well documented, examinations of the contributions of Oceania have remained on the periphery of Victorian studies. Oceania and the Victorian Imagination contributes significantly to our discussion of the non-peripheral place of Oceania in Victorian culture.

Oceania and the Victorian Imagination can be found online at