Françoise LE JEUNE is professor of British and Canadian History at Université de Nantes. A specialist of the Victorian British Empire, she has published numerous articles, chapters and two books on Canadian society and politics in the first half of the 19th-century. She finds particular interest in examining the development of colonies in Canada which were often used as experimental grounds for imperial policies.
2012 0-7734-2904-2 This book aims at introducing a new perspective on the general and popular debate on empire building and nation building in Britain in the early stage of the second British Empire.
The work investigates the representations of Canada circulating at the heart of the British Empire, in the "metropole", during the three decades preceding Canadian Confederation. The author takes Canada as an epitome for the "white" Empire and focuses on the representations of the Canadian colonies which circulated in the metropole, through women’s texts. By focusing on Canada and its representations, the author also brings new perspectives on the way the Victorians imagined their colonies.
The book shows that the British North American colonies took pride of place in the editorial world through the publication of women emigrants' personal narratives and women’s travel accounts on Canada. The author shows that there was clearly a female way of representing the Empire: from the margins of the colonies, but also from the margins of the publishing world where “colonial” books were assigned. The author clearly analyses the contribution of middle-class female authors to the current debates on colonial and imperial policies in Canada, thus taking part in and influencing official views on empire-building, at the heart of the metropole.