THE COUNTER-COLONIAL TRAVEL WRITING OF FANNY PARKES AND E.M. FORSTER
Snook, Amy Lynn
During the colonial period in India, British travelers wrote various forms of travel writing texts, such as letters, diaries, travelogues, scientific or geographical exposés, and novels. Usually those texts reflected an attitude of racial superiority and were often forms of propaganda that perpetuated British imperial expansion. This paper discusses the works of two British travelers who were influenced by their experiences in India and wrote texts that did not reflect racism or approval of colonialism. Fanny Parkes and E.M. Forster traveled to India in different centuries and for different reasons. Although they both demonstrated an imperialist perspective upon arriving in India, they eventually grew to love and appreciate India's culture and people. In order to understand the significant ways Parkes and Forster deviated from their contemporaries, the general travel writing trends and theories of the late eighteenth century through the middle of the twentieth century will be discussed, drawing heavily from the travel writing discourse of Mary Louise Pratt and Edward Said, as well as Sinan Akilli, Chinua Achebe, William Dalrymple and others. Representative texts from the various eras, modes, and conventions of the genre will be given and analyzed. Parkes's published journal, Begums, Thugs, and Englishmen, The Journals of Fanny Parkes (2002), was originally published in 1850 and is vastly different than the journals and letters written by other British travelers to India. Her text will be compared to several others, particularly Emily Eden's, Miss Eden's Letters (1919). In his novel, A Passage to India (1936), Forster's depiction of Indians and Britons is one which includes the full spectrum of humanity, thus deconstructing the colonial proclivity to dehumanize Indians. His novel will be contrasted with Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness (1918). There are benefits of identifying and studying travel writers who deconstructed the colonial perspective in India. Those benefits will be discussed in the context of comments from scholars and writers in the field, such as Colin Thubron, Debbie Lisle, James Duncan, and Derek Gregory.
Snook, Amy Lynn. (January 2010). THE COUNTER-COLONIAL TRAVEL WRITING OF FANNY PARKES AND E.M. FORSTER (Master's Thesis, East Carolina University). Retrieved from the Scholarship. (http://hdl.handle.net/10342/2912.)
Snook, Amy Lynn. THE COUNTER-COLONIAL TRAVEL WRITING OF FANNY PARKES AND E.M. FORSTER. Master's Thesis. East Carolina University, January 2010. The Scholarship. http://hdl.handle.net/10342/2912. April 18, 2021.
Snook, Amy Lynn, “THE COUNTER-COLONIAL TRAVEL WRITING OF FANNY PARKES AND E.M. FORSTER” (Master's Thesis., East Carolina University, January 2010).
Snook, Amy Lynn. THE COUNTER-COLONIAL TRAVEL WRITING OF FANNY PARKES AND E.M. FORSTER [Master's Thesis]. Greenville, NC: East Carolina University; January 2010.
East Carolina University