During the nineteenth century, geography primers shaped the worldviews of Britain's ruling classes and laid the foundation for an increasingly globalized world. Written by middle-class women who mapped the world that they had neither funds nor freedom to traverse, the primers employed rhetorical tropes such as the Family of Man or discussions of food and customs in order to plot other cultures along an imperial hierarchy. Cross-disciplinary in nature, X Marks the Spot is an analysis of previously unknown material that examines the interplay between gender, imperial duty, and pedagogy.
Introduction: mapping imperial hierarchies and ruling the world -- The dysfunctional "family of man": Mary Anne Venning and Barbara Hofland classify human races in pre-darwinian primers -- Place settings at the imperial dinner party: hierarchies of consumption in the works of Favell Lee Mortimer, Sarah Lee, and Priscilla Wakefield -- Terra incognita: the gendering of geographic experience in the works of Barbara Hofland, Priscilla Wakefield, Mary H.C. Legh, Lucy Wilson, Mrs. E. Burrows, and Maria Hack -- "Prisoners in its spatial matrix"? resisting imperial geography in thirdspace -- Conclusion: contextualizing archival recovery
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