The Forms of Informal Empire: Britain, Latin America, and Nineteenth-Century Literature 2019036590, 9781421438061, 9781421438078, 9781421438085

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The Forms of Informal Empire: Britain, Latin America, and Nineteenth-Century Literature
 2019036590, 9781421438061, 9781421438078, 9781421438085

Table of contents :
Introduction: Freedom and Empire in the Nineteenth Century
Part I: Progress and Informal Empire, 1808–1875: Sequence, Protagonist, Paradox
1. (In)dependence: Simón Bolívar and Revolutionary Forms of Progress
2. “Dependant Kings”: Anna Barbauld and a Paradox Deterred
3. Anthony Trollope and the Collapse of Historical Telos
Part II: Family and Informal Empire, 1840–1926: Origin, Generation, Relation, Hybridity
4. Vicente Fidel López Re-members the Nation
5. H. Rider Haggard and the Antagonism of Valid Fiancées
6. Where Progress and Family (Almost) Meet: William Henry Hudson and the Industrialization of the Pampas

Citation preview

The Forms of Informal Empire

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The Forms of Informal Empire Britain, Latin Amer­i­ca, and Nineteenth-­C entury Lit­e r­a­t ure

Jessie Reeder

Johns Hopkins University Press Baltimore

 © 2020 Johns Hopkins University Press All rights reserved. Published 2020 Printed in the United States of Amer­i­c a on acid-­free paper 2 4 6 8 9 7 5 3 1 Johns Hopkins University Press 2715 North Charles Street Baltimore, Mary­land 21218-4363 www​.­press​.­jhu​.­edu Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Names: Reeder, Jessie, 1982– author. Title: The forms of informal empire : Britain, Latin America, and nineteenth-century literature / Jessie Reeder. Description: Baltimore : Johns Hopkins University Press, 2020. | Includes bibliographical references and index. Identifiers: LCCN 2019036590 | ISBN 9781421438061 (hardcover) | ISBN 9781421438078 (paperback) | ISBN 9781421438085 (ebook) Subjects: LCSH: English literature—19th century—History and criticism. | English literature—20th century—History and criticism. | Imperialism in literature. | Latin America—In literature. | Colonies in literature. | Influence (Literary, artistic, etc.)—History—19th century. Classification: LCC PR878.I54 R44 2020 | DDC 820.9/3588—dc23 LC record available at A cata­log rec­ord for this book is available from the British Library. Special discounts are available for bulk purchases of this book. For more information, please contact Special Sales at [email protected]​.­jhu​.­edu. Johns Hopkins University Press uses environmentally friendly book materials, including recycled text paper that is composed of at least 30 ­percent post-­consumer waste, whenever pos­si­ble.

C on t e n t s

Acknowl­edgments  vii

Introduction. Freedom and Empire in the Nineteenth ­Century  1 part i  Pro­g ress and Informal Empire, 1808–1875: Sequence, Protagonist, Par adox  35 1 ​(In)dependence: Simón Bolívar and Revolutionary Forms of Pro­gress 45 2 ​“Dependant Kings”: Anna Barbauld and a Paradox Deterred 67 3 ​Anthony Trollope and the Collapse of Historical Telos  91 part ii ­Family and Informal Empire, 1840–1926: Origin, Gener ation, Relation, Hybridity  119 4 ​Vicente Fidel López Re-­members the Nation  133 5 ​H. Rider Haggard and the Antagonism of Valid Fiancées   165 6 ​Where Pro­gress and ­Family (Almost) Meet: William Henry Hudson and the Industrialization of the Pampas  195 Coda   227 Notes 231 Bibliography 257 Index 271

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Ac k now l ­e d g m e n t s

I was on an overnight bus somewhere in Patagonia when I first conceived of this proj­ect. It was March 2009, and my fiancé, Kevin, and I ­were on a sabbatical from gradu­ate school. A few months ­earlier, just before locking our apartment and stopping the mail, I had submitted a seminar paper on the Mexican railroad in Anthony Trollope’s The Way We Live Now. As we rumbled through the dark Argentine night, my thoughts clearer with some time and distance from academia, I realized that that essay was just the start of a bigger proj­ect. That first insight may have come in the m ­ iddle of a quiet wilderness, but a de­cade ­later the finished book bears the imprint of a vibrant community for which I am forever grateful. For their guidance at the dissertation stage, I thank Theresa Kelley, Mario Ortiz-­Robles, and especially Caroline Levine, who continues to be a peerless mentor and friend. This book simply would not exist without her brilliant guidance. I thank Francisco Scarano for reading my work and Christa Olson for being a trusted mentor. I was so lucky to be surrounded by talented, joyous friends during my gradu­ate school years. Gwen Blume, Maggie Hagerman, Andy Karr, Katie Lanning, Ana Lincoln, Emily Madsen, Mary Mullen, Megan Scharmann, Joshua Taft, Renée Turgeon, Eric Vivier, Marshelle Woodward, and Rachael Zeleny are just some of the p ­ eople with whom I shared ideas, drafts, and drinks in the formative years of this proj­ect. I especially want to thank Devin Garofalo, who was then and still is the sharp-­eyed, incisive reader I always turn to first. Both during gradu­ate school and beyond, I have been fortunate to have the mentorship of two luminous leaders in the study of British informal empire in Latin Amer­i­ca. Robert Aguirre generously served on my dissertation committee, and I first met Jennifer Hayward at a conference while I was still taking

viii  Acknowl­edgments

coursework. Robert and Jennifer have been terrifically supportive over the years, even and especially when we disagree, and I am proud to help continue the work t­ hey’ve done to bring informal empire into the conversation in literary studies. More recently, I’m grateful to have gotten to know and work with Michelle Prain Brice as well, whose collaboration on British–­L atin American research has been a bright light. In recent years, so many friends, colleagues, and mentors have helped me develop the thinking in this book. During my postdoctoral fellowship at Rice University, I received invaluable feedback from Sunil Agnani, Ian Balfour, Ericka Beckman, Lindsey Chappell, Leo Costello, Jennifer Hargrave, Jen Hill, Helena Michie, and Alexander Regier. I thank the Mellon Foundation, the Rice University Humanities Research Center, and Helena and Alexander for bringing us all together for an electrifying and impeccably or­ga­nized year of research. And I am supremely thankful in par­tic­u­lar to have met Helena, whose friendship and savvy guidance are a gift. At Binghamton University, numerous faculty and gradu­ate student colleagues have read or listened to my ideas, including John Havard (a tireless and instinctive reader of drafts), Doug Jones, Dael Norwood, and the members of the fall 2016 Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities. I’ve shared intellectual and social community at Binghamton with so many o­ thers to whom I am grateful as well, including Riya Das, James Fitz Gerald, Praseeda Gopinath, John Kuhn, and Michelle Paul, in par­tic­u­lar. I thank Susan Strehle for her mentorship and Joe Keith for his inexhaustible support, both institutional and personal. Among the many essential members of the Binghamton En­glish Department, I also want to recognize Colleen Burke, without whom nothing would ever get done. I have presented drafts and versions of this work at annual meetings of the American Society for Eighteenth-­Century Studies, British W ­ omen Writers, Interdisciplinary Nineteenth-­Century Studies, the North American Society for the Study of Romanticism, and the North American Victorian Studies Association. I am thankful for ­those opportunities, and for the feedback I received. Danny Wright was kind enough to invite me to pre­sent my work on Simón Bolívar to the University of Toronto’s Work in Nineteenth-­Century Studies group, and I benefited enormously from discussing my chapter draft with the large group of gradu­ate students and faculty in attendance. Par­tic­ u­lar thanks go to Thom Dancer, Chris Koenig-­Woodyard, and Cannon Schmitt. In collaborating on other proj­ects, Sukanya Banerjee, Ryan Fong, Ross Forman, Lauren Goodlad, Parama Roy, and Lynn Voskuil have all

Acknowl­ edgments  ix

inspired new thinking, the traces of which are in this book as well. I am thankful for the two anonymous manuscript reviewers, who gave thorough and generative feedback at both an early and a late stage. And in the late phases of this proj­ect I was im­mensely fortunate to get to know Nathan Hensley, whose mentorship, feedback, and own brilliant research helped me figure out when this book was actually finished. If this book is well or­ga­nized and clear, as I hope it is, tremendous credit goes not only to my many interlocutors but also and especially to the University of Wisconsin–­Madison Writing Center, where I worked for several years in gradu­ate school. The rigorous training, the opportunity to talk about writing with scholars across the university, and the mentorship of the inimitable Brad Hughes all taught me nearly every­thing I know about academic writing. I also want to thank my editor at Johns Hopkins University Press, Catherine Goldstead; my copyeditor, David Goehring; my indexer, Josh Rutner; and my translation copyeditor, Emily Iekel, for helping me get this book into its final form. Any errors that remain are entirely my own. At vari­ous moments this work has been supported by fellowships from the Mellon Foundation, the Humanities Research Center at Rice University, the University of Wisconsin–­Madison, and the University of Wisconsin–­Madison En­glish Department; travel funding from the Research Society for Victorian Periodicals and the Binghamton University En­glish Department’s Frances Newman Endowment for Support of Research; and course releases from the Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities and the Harpur College Dean’s Office, both at Binghamton University. Essential travel and writing time ­were made pos­si­ble by all of this support. I am also grateful to the librarians, archivists, and staff at many institutions—­particularly the library system of the University of Wisconsin, the Binghamton University Libraries, the Biblioteca Nacional de Argentina, the Biblioteca Max von Buch at the Universidad de San Andrés, and the Biblioteca Nacional de Chile—­whose daily dedication to the preservation and democ­ratization of archives makes scholarly work pos­si­ble. A version of chapter 2 was previously published as “A World without ‘Dependant Kings’: Eigh­teen Hundred and Eleven and the Forms of Informal Empire” in Studies in Romanticism 53, no. 4 (Winter 2014): 561–590. Grateful acknowl­edgment is made to the Trustees of Boston University for permission to reprint this material. A version of chapter 6 previously appeared as “William Henry Hudson, Hybridity, and Storytelling in the Pampas” in Studies

x  Acknowl­edgments

in En­glish Lit­er­a­ture 1500–1900 56, no. 3 (Summer 2016): 561–581. I am grateful for permission to reprint this material. But scholarship is not merely institutional; it lives in spaces and borrows resources that we also share with our families. Two exceptional friends and fellow new m ­ others, Sandra Casanova-­Vizcaíno and Amanda Licht, have been the community of academic parents I d ­ idn’t know I desperately needed. And Katie Stebbins has provided loving childcare that has helped me balance work with ­family and without which I could never have finished this book. To my parents, Elizabeth Reeder and Eirik Blom, who taught me to love words and gave me unconditional support, I owe every­t hing. To my husband, Kevin Boettcher, thank you not only for your brilliance and support, but also for building a beautiful life of adventure with me, from midnight bus rides to midnight diaper changes. For sixteen years and counting, y­ ou’ve been my home. And to our son, Felix, who has taught me a new kind of love: I’m finished with the book; let’s go to the playground.

The Forms of Informal Empire

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I n t roduc t ion

Freedom and Empire in the Nineteenth ­Century

The Latin American wars of in­de­pen­dence changed the world.1 Between 1810 and 1824 they decimated Eu­rope’s largest empire, as most of a hemi­sphere blazed a path to self-­rule.2 And for ­Great Britain in par­tic­u­lar, the collapse of Spanish imperial power in the early nineteenth c­ entury opened the Atlantic world in radically new ways.3 A curtain was abruptly lifted between the British and the southern New World, enabling new material connections and seemingly endless possibilities for fantasy. More than any other nationality, it was Britons of all classes—­“mining engineers, technicians, metallurgists, secretaries, army and naval officers, naturalists, sea captains, diplomats, clergymen, colonizers, as well as t­ hose few who traveled solely for the sake of traveling”4 —­who flooded into Central and South Amer­i­ca a­ fter the outbreak of revolution. Although the British government could not officially sanction Latin American revolution, thousands of British soldiers nonetheless donned Venezuelan uniforms and enlisted with Bolívar’s armies.5 Adventurers slept ­under the stars in the pampas and braved the Patagonian winds. W ­ omen accompanied their husbands and settled in Valparaíso, Buenos Aires, and Mexico City. In 1806, four years before the revolutions had even begun, Robert Southey described E ­ ngland as “mad” for South Amer­i­ca.6 But traffic flowed in the opposite direction, too: Latin American elites traveled to London and Paris in search of financial and po­liti­cal support for their new nations, models for republican institutions, and Eu­ro­pean educations for their sons. And all this new contact inspired lit­er­a­ture, as British and Latin American authors alike gazed across the ocean and penned stories about lands that ­were newly pre­sent in their imagination. So intense w ­ ere the nascent cultural and commercial relations between Britain and Latin Amer­i­ca that Leslie Bethell has dubbed the nineteenth c­ entury in Latin Amer­i­ca “the British c­ entury.”7

2   The Forms of Informal Empire

Amid this outbreak of new transatlantic, transhemispheric, translingual contact, one can see vari­ous possibilities for British–­Latin American relations stretching ­toward the ­future. But even in the earliest days, two ideas seemed to stand above the rest. Freedom was one. Empire was the other. The push for British imperial control in Latin Amer­i­c a was occasionally quite literal, as when British military officers, seizing on Spain’s weakness during the Napoleonic Wars, invaded and occupied Buenos Aires and Montevideo in 1806 and 1807. But even ­after it became clear that Latin Amer­i­ca would govern itself, the British continued to see it as a place they might dominate, particularly in industry and trade. And as an 1809 remark by James Mill in the Edinburgh Review suggests, this was no less imperial. “The fate of Spain . . . ​ is de­cided,” he says; the question now for Britain is “­whether she s­ hall secure to herself an im­mense advantage . . . ​­whether t­ hose colonies ­shall be enabled, ­under the protection of ­Great Britain, to constitute themselves a ­free and in­ de­pen­dent nation.”8 Foreign Secretary George Canning issued a similar statement on the other side of the in­de­pen­dence wars in 1824: “Spanish Amer­i­ca is f­ree, and if we do not mismanage our affairs sadly, she is En­glish.”9 Such remarks about “secur[ing]” the “advantage[s]” of Spanish Amer­i­ca and turning it En­glish through “protection” and “affairs” show not merely that Britain’s exercise of soft power was imperial, but that they knew it to be so. Latin Americans—­even t­ hose who courted British influence—­understood this, too. In 1814, hoping to warm his fellow Caraqueños to the idea of British intervention, Simón Bolívar captured the same sentiment with similar concision: “A [la] sombra [de Inglaterra] la América podrá afirmar su libertad.”10 Over the course of the nineteenth c­ entury, a decentralized and ad hoc but nonetheless effective combined effort by not only British officials, investors, and merchants but also Latin American elites, brought about this very real­ity, bringing Latin Amer­i­c a u ­ nder the influence of what we now call British informal empire. Latin Amer­i­ca, in effect, traded formal Spanish rule for informal British rule. But at the same time that Britain was sharpening its imperial ambitions in Latin Amer­i­ca, the idea most strongly associated with it was freedom. Latin Amer­i­ca exploded into the British imagination at the beginning of the nineteenth c­ entury as a symbol of millenarian unshackling from colonial oppression. Anna Laetitia Barbauld closed her famous po­liti­cal poem Eigh­teen Hundred and Eleven (1812) on the image of the spirit of Enlightenment lifting up the ­people of the Andes to take their place as the new center of world culture. When ambassadors of the revolution—­including a young Simón Bolívar—­

Introduction  3

came to London in the early 1810s, they found a ready welcome among British liberal intellectuals who cheered their cause. This was “a good time to arrive in London with a Spanish accent and representing a junta,” a word that “was entering the En­glish language . . . ​with a stylish and friendly ring.” 11 Jeremy Bentham even seriously considered relocating to Mexico to help build its in­de­pen­dent government, while Lord Byron very nearly chose to s­ ettle in postwar Venezuela. And as Benedict Anderson and Timothy Brennan both argue, the push for self-­rule in the Amer­i­cas in fact provided Eu­rope and the rest of the world with the concept of nationalism.12 The cele­bration of locally exercised sovereignty, in short, was conceptually foundational to British perceptions of Latin Amer­i­ca. While imperialism and anti-­imperialism might seem like difficult ambitions to hold at the same time, informal empire in fact depended on both. Consider again the remarks by Mill, Canning, and Bolívar. All three express an interest in Latin Amer­i­ca’s freedom and its subjection to British power as necessarily mutual conditions of possibility. Spanish Amer­i­ca, Mill suggests, can become “­free and in­de­pen­dent” “­under the protection” of Britain. It w ­ ill be, Canning hopes, “­free . . . ​and En­glish.” Bolívar’s vision is for “freedom” ­under “[England’s] shadow.” All three men assert the ideas of freedom and empire as simultaneous states. That is b­ ecause, quite simply, informal empire required Latin American sovereignty. T ­ here could be no domination of f­ ree lands without their freedom. This book w ­ ill argue, therefore, that throughout the nineteenth c­ entury, British informal empire in Latin Amer­i­ca asked onlookers on both sides to accept a difficult conceptual paradox—­that Latin Amer­i­ca might be both a signal example of self-­rule and a dependent territory of the British Empire. That it might be both ­free and not ­free at the same time. The work of this book is to pursue this paradox into its irresolvable center, to explain why, although informal empire succeeded for so long, it also remained conceptually inassimilable to several strains of hegemonic Enlightenment thought. In d ­ oing so, the book makes two key interventions in the study of British lit­er­a­ture and imperial thought. One is methodological. The chapters in this book deploy a formalist analy­sis, reading lit­er­a­ture to uncover the ways that nineteenth-­century Britons and Latin Americans perceived informal empire to take form. As I ­will show, many saw its contradictory structure not as a productive dialectic in which the tension between opposed concepts characterizes a nonetheless unified totality, but rather as an unstable paradox marked

4   The Forms of Informal Empire

by its irresolvability. That is, liberty and subjugation did not coalesce into a unified imperial idea but rather constantly produced epistemological incoherence. This paradox appeared most visibly when informal empire collided against the pro­gress narrative and the nuclear f­ amily—­t wo master forms that or­ga­nized nineteenth-­century thought, and the subjects of the two halves of this book. A formalist method, therefore, offers a new way to grasp informal empire’s structural heterodoxy within dominant imperial discourses. Its constitutive knot of freedom and unfreedom, subjugation and sovereignty, complicates conventional accounts of imperial power, and in fact, the operations of po­liti­cal power more broadly, as totalizing. The second intervention is archival. British lit­er­a­ture scholars have paid only scant attention to Latin Amer­i­ca to begin with, overlooking its importance to nineteenth-­century conceptions of imperial power and economics. This book, therefore, joins work by Robert Aguirre, Rebecca Cole Heino­ witz, and ­others in arguing for greater attention to British informal empire in Latin Amer­i­ca. But this is also the first book to treat British and Latin American writing on informal empire as a single archive and to read work from both sides of the Atlantic, in both En­glish and Spanish. I do not do this to imply or uncover lines of influence. Rather, my expanded archive shows that Enlightenment narratives of pro­gress and ­family s­ haped the difficulty of thinking informal empire in corresponding ways around the Atlantic world, in places whose distinct histories, languages, and literary traditions might lead us to overestimate difference. I therefore also propose that if we want comprehensive answers to our questions about nineteenth-­century power and encounter, we must seek them in a broader, multilingual archive.13

Some Historical Context This book is about ideas and the forms t­ hose ideas take. Its aim is not to trace the economic history of informal empire in Latin Amer­i­ca, already well established in a number of disciplines. That alone would be a book-­length proj­ect. ­A fter 1810, the Latin American nations each experienced dif­fer­ent intensities and durations of warfare, consolidated dif­fer­ent resources and exports, achieved dif­fer­ent levels of po­liti­cal stability, pursued dif­fer­ent relationships to enslaved and indigenous p ­ eoples, and took up dif­fer­ent positions in world trade. Moreover, British involvement in the region varied from individual immigration to government loans to mining operations to scientific and

Introduction  5

archaeological exploration. Given the scale and heterogeneity of Latin Amer­ i­ca, the variety of British interests, and the duration of the nineteenth ­century, therefore, a comprehensive economic history is simply not pos­si­ble ­here. But more importantly, this book is less interested in economics than in discourses—­ how, in other words, the economic relationships that constituted informal empire ­were abstracted into stories and tropes.14 Nonetheless, before pursuing this formal analy­sis, it may be helpful to trace in a few broad brushstrokes the scale and impact of British involvement in nineteenth-­century Latin Amer­i­ca—​ to show, that is, a bit of the material real­ity such stories and tropes attempted to explain. In general, the story of Latin American economics ­after the wars of in­de­ pen­dence is the story of ­those nations’ emergence into an international system increasingly dominated by British capital and influence. As Ayşe Çelikkol notes, the rise of ­free trade ideology in the first half of the nineteenth ­century was initially met with British fears that “a world of chaotic circulation” might threaten sovereignty and national borders. In practice, of course, the reverse was true: “­free trade mea­sures paradoxically went hand in hand with governmental interventions in the global economy and assured Britain’s economic dominance in the world.”15 The case of Latin Amer­i­ca illustrates this princi­ ple particularly well. In the late eigh­teenth c­ entury, Spain’s trade mono­poly in the Amer­i­cas began to be punctured and then deflated by British and French smuggling. Spain tried to control ­these new flows to other Eu­ro­pean centers by sanctioning them and acting as intermediary, but this be­hav­ior caused “merchants and especially producers in Latin Amer­i­ca . . . ​to view colonial relations as an obstacle to be surmounted.”16 Financial ties to other metropoles, therefore, and to London in par­tic­u­lar, began before in­de­pen­dence and helped precipitate it. Sensing Spain’s weakening grip on the American colonies, Britain tacitly supported Latin American revolution and chose to recognize the sovereignty of the nations that emerged—­with strong backing from London and Liverpool merchants who saw the potential to dominate vast new markets.17 In the immediate aftermath of in­de­pen­dence, it was common for British recognition of the new states to hinge on advantageous trade deals, but Latin American officials ­were ­eager to establish ­these relationships, too. When the wars of in­ de­pen­dence consumed the wealth and destroyed the agriculture of the new Latin American nations,18 they turned to foreign finance, particularly from ­Great Britain, which was at that time “the only country with a surplus of

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foreign capital for export.”19 For instance, the Chilean minister Mariano Egaña, sent to London in 1824 to seek British recognition of Chile’s sovereignty, worked at that task but also at getting British investment in mining, British settlement in Chile, and British advisement to the Chilean government on the development of industry.20 The in­de­pen­dence of the Latin American nations was, therefore, intimately tied to G ­ reat Britain from the very beginning. Between in­de­pen­dence and midcentury, British financial involvement generally took the form of loans to Latin American governments (or the purchase of Latin American bonds, which amounted to much the same ­thing), sudden and expansive ­free trade, and direct investment in industrial and utility proj­ects such as mining and railroads. During this more turbulent period, the British also shored up their advantage with occasional minor military interventions.21 Each of t­hese relationships gave them leverage over the eco­nom­ically weak and institutionally nascent Latin American nations. In the case of the loans, when “a combination of fraud, poor management, and unproductive investment of the proceeds” put most nations in default,22 the issuers in Eu­rope ­were able to exert control over trade and state policy. In an extreme example, the British forgave Peru’s bond defaults in 1890 in exchange for control over the state-­owned railroad industry ­until 1956.23 And in the case of trade and industry, the competition from foreign goods tended to weaken the production of local goods in Latin Amer­i­ca and stagnate domestic industry.24 But once again, it is impor­tant to note that regional differences refracted ­these forces in unique ways. For instance, several de­cades of po­liti­cal stability helped Chile’s economy grow early, while ongoing factional disruption compounded Mexico’s economic slump.25 Argentina and Chile also fared better ­earlier b­ ecause they ­were able to accumulate capital from wool and copper, respectively.26 But the in­de­pen­dence wars left mining operations across Latin Amer­i­ca damaged and abandoned—­a major blow to economic recovery in Mexico, Bolivia, and Peru in par­tic­u­lar. Peru’s suffering was compounded by its poor geographic position as a third-­choice port of trade sandwiched between the better-­traveled Panama and Valparaíso routes; Peru ­wouldn’t recover u ­ ntil it established market dominance in guano in the mid-­nineteenth ­century.27 But while ­there was diversity, it is fair to say that Latin American economies generally stagnated during the period 1820–1870, growing much more slowly than the rest of the world.28 Most scholars agree that the late nineteenth ­century saw the Latin American nations enter a period of greater stability and prosperity, as internal po­

Introduction  7

liti­cal turmoil began to ­settle, exports steadied, and railroads integrated the national economies.29 An intensification in British trade and investment aided this stability, but it also led to the underdevelopment of local industries and an overreliance on imports and loans. In other words, British informal empire solidified and reached its peak in the final de­c ades of the nineteenth ­century. In fact, the sheer scale of British interest in Latin Amer­i­ca may come as a surprise to some historians and literary scholars, given the overwhelming critical attention to the formal empire. According to Gallagher and Robinson, “between 1815 and 1880, it is estimated, £187,000,000 in credit had accumulated abroad, but no more than one-­sixth was placed in the formal empire.” And “by 1913, in Latin Amer­i­ca as a ­whole, informal imperialism had become so impor­tant for the British economy that £999,000,000, over a quarter of the total investment abroad, was invested in that region.”30 Only India did more trade with Britain in the second half of the nineteenth ­century.31 If this investment formed a large portion of Britain’s economy, consider its proportional impact in Latin Amer­i­c a. As Bethell notes, during the nineteenth c­ entury “Britain was the dominant external actor in the economic and, to a lesser extent, the po­liti­cal affairs of Latin Amer­i­ca,” supplying manufactured goods, providing loans, investing in infrastructure, and buying raw materials at greater rates than any other nation.32 In Costa Rica, for instance, “British investors . . . ​controlled the ports, mines, electric lighting, major public works, and foreign commerce as well as the principal domestic marketplaces. In short, Costa Rica surrendered all its economic in­de­pen­dence and mortgaged its ­future before 1890 in order to attain the accoutrements of modernization. No evidence exists that any Costa Ricans except a tiny elite benefited.”33 This last point is impor­tant. Foreign involvement in Latin Amer­i­c a was generally a relationship between elites. Informal empire was not a structure unidirectionally imposed by the British but rather the result of international elite cooperation,34 and it may not have seemed like imperialism to the wealthy and landowning classes in Latin Amer­i­ca who benefited. On both sides of the Atlantic in the nineteenth ­century, the rich got richer, while the internal Latin American wealth gap grew wider. Burns points out that Latin American elites often naively believed in a trickle-­down effect of their own prosperity, but what seemed to them like pro­gress only “plunged Latin Amer­i­ca into deeper de­pen­den­cy[,] . . . ​emptied local trea­suries[,] . . . ​[and] impoverished the majority of the Latin Americans.”35 This structure in some cases continues ­today. In the global division of ­labor, Latin American economies have strug­gled to

8   The Forms of Informal Empire

escape the role of raw materials providers for the more power­ful production economies of Eu­rope and North Amer­i­ca.36 Of course, British informal empire was not a phenomenon excusive to Latin Amer­i­ca. Britain exerted informal sway all over the world in the nineteenth ­century—­especially in China and the M ­ iddle East—by using f­ ree trade to nominally “open up” regions of the world to competition that in practice their economic pre­ce­dence allowed them to monopolize. In fact, “well before 1815 Britain’s economy had outgrown its Empire, and the subsequent drive for access to new regions and for freer trade with all partners was widely seen as inevitable and necessary.”37 ­Free trade was celebrated as both a mechanism to expand British power and a tool for civilizing the world through the industrious morality of capitalism. But its operations varied by location. In China, for instance, informal empire had a heavy military component. It was established on the back of the Opium Wars; what China would come to call the “unequal treaties” that ended t­ hese conflicts gave Britain not only serious trade advantages but also military footholds and formal territory (Hong Kong). Britain would further use their military presence in the region as gunboat diplomacy to maintain their economic advantages, not hesitating to “use force as po­liti­cal blackmail.”38 Meanwhile, in Egypt, Britain gained massive trade advantages—­“by the 1880s she took 80 per cent of Egypt’s exports and provided 44 per cent of her imports”—­but this “led to inescapable territorial expansion rather than informal control.”39 And in India, the East India Com­ pany’s effective governance of the region—­what Edmund Burke famously referred to as “a state in the disguise of a merchant”40 —­took a highly or­ga­ nized form, with the in­de­pen­dent territory surrounding British India divided into administrative districts designed to protect British interests.41 Informal empire likewise operated distinctly in Latin Amer­i­ca: while the British used some military intervention, ­there ­were no sustained hostilities; they had less of a mono­poly than they did elsewhere;42 British influence did not lead to territorial control; and they lacked a highly or­ga­nized system. All ­these differences support Andrew Thompson’s argument that informal empire should be seen not “as a category (analytically distinct from the formal empire)” but rather “as a continuum (along which regions of both formal and informal rule can then be positioned, according to the nature of their relationship with Britain at any one point in time).”43 ­These differences are also a key reason why the arguments I make in this book do not constitute a transhistorical or transgeo­graph­i­c al theory of informal empire. Rather, they offer a

Introduction  9

theory of what made informal empire in Latin Amer­i­ca specific and unique. When I use the phrase “informal empire,” therefore, it should be understood as shorthand for “British informal empire in Latin Amer­i­ca.” And I define it in a straightforward way: Britain’s significant influence over sovereign Latin American nations by means of economic leverage rather than formal occupation. But let us now leave economics b­ ehind.

Informal Empire as an Idea I have given this brief historical overview in order to demonstrate informal empire’s importance to both Britain and Latin Amer­i­c a in the nineteenth ­century—to suggest why it would have been front of mind for ­people on each side, gazing across the Atlantic at one another. But this book is not about economic or tactical specifics. It is about the idea of informal empire. And in this sense, ­there is one feature of British informal empire in Latin Amer­i­ca that ­matters more than any other having to do with import figures or military intervention. Informal empire in Latin Amer­i­ca is distinguished both from the formal empire and from informal empire in other regions by the presence of one single, unusual, disruptive idea. Latin Amer­i­ca powerfully, principally, and uniquely entered the British imagination as a symbol of freedom, a standard-­bearer of anti-­colonial liberation. Unlike China or India, it never occupied the role of e­ nemy or combatant in Britain’s narrative of international relations. This meant that e­ very story about Britain’s imperial desires in Latin Amer­i­c a, ­every justification for their economic dominance, had to work around, or fold in, or make sense of, the perception that Latin Amer­i­ca had deservedly won its liberty from Eu­ro­pean imperialism. The idea of informal empire in Latin Amer­i­ca differed from ideas about formal and informal imperialisms elsewhere ­because it had to grapple directly with the ethics of freedom. ­Here I should note that I am specifically choosing the term “informal empire.” Since Gallagher and Robinson’s landmark 1953 essay, “The Imperialism of ­Free Trade,” informal empire has been the primary label for British influence in Latin Amer­i­ca, China, and the ­Middle East. But historians and economists do not all agree that influence in a foreign region is tantamount to empire, nor that “empire” is the right term for pro­cesses that ­were often ad hoc, decentralized, and bidirectional. Some argue that terms like “sphere of influence” or “de­pen­dency” are more appropriate.44 It also remains a point of

10   The Forms of Informal Empire

contention among historians ­whether foreign investment in Latin Amer­i­ca in the nineteenth ­century was a debilitating force or a necessary evil that helped modernize helpless economies. It is not my intention to wade into ­these debates, nor by using the term “informal empire” do I make an ontological claim about what the nature of the relationship historically was. I use it for the straightforward reason that it seems to me to best capture how Britons and Latin Americans themselves perceived their relationship. W ­ hether or not this relationship was imperial, it is clear that officials like Canning, writers like Barbauld, and revolutionaries like Bolívar all believed that Britain’s sudden and intense involvement in Latin Amer­i­ca had imperial implications. And if the term “informal empire” seems paradoxical or ill fitting in a region where the British exerted no official control, that is precisely the point. It is si­mul­ta­ neously true that Britain’s approach to Latin Amer­i­ca traveled well wide of the structures of settlement, governance, and military force that brought formal colonies ­under their sway, and that it nonetheless appeared imperial to ­those who looked closely at it. Onlookers, then, saw Latin Amer­i­ca as both a symbol of freedom and a site of imperialism. As Ericka Beckman puts it, the “po­liti­cal in­de­pen­dence of new nations was accompanied from the start by a condition of non-­independence in the sphere of global market relations.”45 This book is about the difficulty of resolving ­those two states—­in­de­pen­dence and non-­independence—­into a coherent idea. T ­ hese are dueling discourses: the clamor to make Latin Amer­ i­ca si­mul­ta­neously more f­ ree and less ­free. Britons and Latin Americans alike advocated for both. Of course, we are talking about two dif­fer­ent kinds of freedom, one po­liti­cal and the other economic. One might object that t­ here is no conflict in si­mul­ta­neously promoting po­liti­c al self-­rule and economic dependence. But the two are not so easily disarticulated, nor w ­ ere they in the messy web of nineteenth-­century British empire. The formal empire spread through and on behalf of market motives, and control over markets and loans severely curtailed po­liti­cal sovereignty around the globe. Self-­governance and economic in­de­pen­dence cannot be isolated as separate categories, particularly not in the informal empire, where self-­governance is a necessary condition of the economic exploitation that undermines that very self-­governance. Advocating for informal empire, then, meant the promotion of both sovereignty and subjugation in paradoxical ways. One reason this paradox was hard to see is that the in­de­pen­dence of Latin Amer­i­ca on the one hand, and its subjugation to British power on the other,

Introduction  11

could both be perceived as British moral goods. Certainly the British had no trou­ble advocating for revolution in some parts of the world and for colonialism in o­ thers, and both w ­ ere often part of the same stories they told themselves about civilization. Freedom and colonialism could both be plot events in the narrative of pro­gress; they could both be connective links in the f­ amily of man. But it was their simultaneity in the case of informal empire that raised a conceptual paradox. When Mill and Canning refer to South Amer­i­c a as “­free” “­under the protection” of British power, or “­free, and . . . ​En­glish,” when Bolívar says that Latin Amer­i­c a can be “­free” u ­ nder “[England’s] shadow,” or when Anna Barbauld in Eigh­teen Hundred and Eleven laments that British merchants hold sway over “dependant kings,”46 all are remarking on the simultaneity of sovereignty and subjugation. All position informal empire as a kind of unthinkable paradox that, nevertheless, had to be thought. Most critics do not dwell on informal empire’s paradoxical nature, likely ­because they tend to view it as sharing extensive ideological terrain with the formal empire. This thinking can be traced to Gallagher and Robinson, who argued that any “concept of informal empire which fails to bring out the under­lying unity between it and the formal empire is sterile.”47 In literary studies, Jean Franco and Mary Louise Pratt set similar terms by labeling British travelers to South Amer­i­ca “missionaries of capitalism” and the “cap­i­tal­ist vanguard,” respectively, and suggesting that they saw the New World through “imperial eyes.”48 Historians have been somewhat more circumspect. Matthew Brown argues that Pratt and Franco overextend their conclusions by focusing only on travelers with commercial interests, failing to notice “the vast majority of British travellers to South Amer­i­ca in this period”—­the poor, adventuring, radical, expatriate, and so forth—­who “­were as much missionaries of capitalism as they w ­ ere missionaries of Protestantism, which is to say, not at all.”49 Magnus Mörner and June Hahner have argued that British travel accounts of Latin Amer­i­ca differ wildly in tone depending on each traveler’s religion, class, gender, length of stay, and prior travel experience.50 And Waddell and Brown both argue that British soldiers in par­tic­u­lar cannot be considered operatives of informal empire, as they supported the cause of liberty51 and w ­ ere “variously too headstrong, too incompetent, or too inebriated to be accused of operating on anyone’s instructions, let alone forming part of a coherent imperial proj­ect directed from London.”52 Some literary scholars have written about individual Britons like ­these who seemed to see outside of the imperial gaze, casting them as exceptions to the general rule.53 In none of t­ hese

12   The Forms of Informal Empire

depictions, however, do we see informal empire as internally conflicted; rather it appears as a fundamentally imperial mode that was pre­sent at some times and not ­others. This is a binary account of informal empire, in which Britons e­ ither viewed Latin Amer­i­ca imperially or they did not. More recent accounts do describe informal empire in Latin Amer­i­ca as an “ambivalent” discourse,54 pointing out that historically it was diffuse and improvised, that it “did not originate in a master plan and thus it developed and was frequently enacted in contradictory ways,”55 and that it consisted of “competing discourses.”56 Rebecca Cole Heinowitz, for instance, argues that Romantic texts of informal empire “shift uncomfortably between assertions of revolutionary solidarity . . . ​a nd schemes of colonial domination.”57 This improves upon the binary model by focusing on the internally conflicted nature of writing and thinking about informal empire. But such attention to ambivalence still rests on an assumption of “unity” between the informal and the formal empire. T ­ hese accounts tend, e­ ither explic­itly or implicitly, to portray the duality of informal empire as a kind of dialectic in which contradiction is a productive feature of imperial power’s smooth functioning. Beginning in the 1960s with definitions of neo­co­lo­nial­ism by Jean-­Paul Sartre and Kwame Nkrumah, we typically see a surface/depth explanation for the internal contradictions of economic imperialism. Nkrumah, writing specifically about Africa but folding postcolonial Asia, Africa, the Ca­rib­bean, and Latin Amer­ i­ca into his analy­sis, argued that “the essence of neo-­colonialism is that the State which is subject to it is, in theory, in­de­pen­dent and has all the outward trappings of international sovereignty. In real­ity its economic system and thus its po­liti­cal policy is directed from outside.” Neo­co­lo­nial­ism “claims,” he says, “that it is ‘giving’ in­de­pen­dence to its former subjects. . . . ​­Under cover of such phrases, however, it devises innumerable ways to accomplish objectives formerly achieved by naked colonialism. It . . . ​attempts to perpetuate colonialism while at the same time talking about ‘freedom.’ ”58 Sartre put it exactly the same way: u ­ nder neo­co­lo­nial­ism, “the government of the in­de­pen­dent nation is completely dependent,” a paradoxical situation intentionally hidden “­behind a po­liti­cal farce.” “Imperialism,” he said, “is lucid.”59 To put this in structural terms, neo­co­lo­nial­ism pre­sents a false “outward trapping” of freedom, a “farce,” that masks a true “real­ity” of dependence under­neath. Imperialism is the real drive, and ideas about freedom are less real or entirely unreal (see Nkrumah’s use of quotation marks), merely serving as ideological “cover” for the operations of empire.

Introduction  13

Models specific to British informal empire in Latin Amer­i­ca imply a similar dynamic. Heinowitz, for instance, argues that Romantic writers managed the competing discourses of “solidarity . . . ​and domination” by “imagin[ing] a British ascendancy in the Spanish colonies as justified by moral and cultural kinship with the indigenous population.”60 In other words, ­these discourses turn out not to be in competition at all, but rather in complementarity. British solidarity with South American p ­ eople is not sincere or real but merely a “justification,” a kind of feint or gambit that serves the goals of imperialism. Far from being troubled by discourses of freedom and solidarity, then, informal empire relied on them. To the extent that it appeared to be a contradictory discourse, this was only ­because it was knowingly contradictory (“lucid,” in Sartre’s terms)—­and therefore coherent. It was not troubled; it was simply dishonest. Once again, we can describe this implied structure in formal terms: Heinowitz offers a surface/depth arrangement in which surface and depth stand in dialectical relation, two opposed ideas in tense but stable mutual dependence. Despite attention to the “ambivalence” of informal empire, therefore, t­ here remains a strong tendency to class it as part of a differently operating but nonetheless kindred system to the formal empire—­a system whose primary motive is imperial power and that operates as an arm of the larger imperial proj­ect. T ­ here have been good reasons for this: Latin Amer­i­c a has received so l­ittle attention in nineteenth-­century British studies that emphasizing the dynamics of imperialism has been a way to highlight its relevance. It is no surprise, then, that literary scholars have tended to portray ambivalence and contradiction as a feature, not a bug, of a primarily imperial endeavor, writing that British travelers deploy “the rhe­toric of benign domination,” that naturalists’ voyages “­were built upon, furthered, and expressed the desirability of, British control in the region,” and that “one burning question ran through all con­temporary attention to Spanish Amer­i­ca, namely the question of empire.”61 But assumptions of continuity between territorial and economic imperialism conceal the audacious way that informal empire actually operated: it could operate only within and around the discourses of liberation and anti-­ imperialism. Reading British interest in liberty as a feint, a “cover” for imperial aims, glosses over the material fact and the forceful idea of Latin Amer­i­ ca’s freedom, which was a logistical precondition of informal empire and a metonymy for its target. This book shows that the effort to weave both visions together unleashed the extraordinary idea that liberty could be a condition

14   The Forms of Informal Empire

and constitutive feature of ­subjugation. I argue, therefore, that this duality at the core of informal empire did not produce a smoothly operative version of the imperial discourse but rather an irresolvable paradox. Nathan K. Hensley argues that the supposed peace of Victorian liberalism depended on worldwide vio­lence and that therefore “peacekeeping and warmaking w ­ ere not separate ideas, but two aspects of sovereign power as such.” This paradox, he argues, disrupted and challenged the “core conceptual assumptions” of Victorian thought.62 While Hensley focuses on the formal empire and its enforcement through somatic harm, his formulation of epistemologically provoking paradox, especially in imperial zones, parallels the way I want to frame freedom and oppression as mutually interrupting co-­constituents of informal empire. That is not to say that the discourse of “liberty” has never been the handmaiden of oppression. F ­ ree trade itself, along with so many related institutions of the Enlightenment and nineteenth-­century liberalism, have functioned that way. But ­because of its status in the nineteenth ­century as a power­ful public talisman for postcolonial liberation, and ­because informal empire depended upon that liberation for its operations, Latin Amer­i­ca’s freedom could not so easily be dismissed by or co-­opted into imperial aims. It was, as this book shows, an unassimilable feature of the idea of informal empire, perpetually troubling it, refusing resolution, and provoking reconsideration of the limits of imperialism.

Pro­gress and ­Family Informal empire was such a difficult idea b­ ecause, as freedom and empire sat together on the surface of Britain’s interest in Latin Amer­i­ca, they prompted diametrically opposed applications of some of the nineteenth c­ entury’s most dominant master narratives. Nineteenth-­century western thought was powerfully influenced by two conceptual categories in par­tic­u ­lar: history and community. This era saw the rise of what I call historical consciousness and genealogical consciousness, by which I mean that increased attention to the shape of history and the forms of community influenced nearly e­ very facet of western social and po­liti­c al life. Overwhelmingly, residents of the Atlantic world perceived history to have the specific shape of pro­gress, and community to have the specific form of a nuclear ­family. Pro­gress and ­family, then, ­were two forms—­t wo conceptual structures for the organ­ization of experience—­ that in turn gave shape to governance, domesticity, colonialism, commerce, ­labor, racism, education, diplomacy, and so on. They ­were likewise marshaled

Introduction  15

to explain informal empire. And in that pro­cess, the opposed notions of freedom and empire called on ­these master narratives in conflicting ways, thereby making informal empire irresolvable in the very epistemological terms that s­ haped modern thought. Consider pro­gress, which John Stuart Mill called simply “­human advancement” and which he tied intrinsically to freedom, saying that “the only unfailing and permanent source of improvement is liberty.”63 But if pro­gress marked a trajectory t­ oward freedom, it also implied that some w ­ ere not yet ready for it. Mill supported the sovereignty of so-­called civilized nations, while arguing that “barbarians have no rights as a nation” and may justifiably be subjected to “despotism.”64 Pro­gress, therefore, sanctioned two opposed ideas—­colonialism and self-­rule—by distributing them across a hierarchy of the world’s ­people. But informal empire could not rely on such geo­graph­i­cal distance to sustain its contradictions, asking onlookers to accept that one ­people might occupy two dif­fer­ent places on the timeline of pro­gress. Latin Amer­i­ca somehow had to be both a model of postcolonial maturity deserving of freedom and a dependent child in need of colonial masters. Informal empire, then, emerged as an anachronism in world historical time. It produced a formal prob­lem in the model of progressive history, not only for its temporal sequence but also for its protagonist. If Latin Amer­i­ca’s freedom suggested that it was the protagonist of its own historical pro­gress, the British Empire placed itself in that role. So whose pro­gress narrative was it? ­Under the conditions of informal empire, the very forms of pro­gress—­its linearity, its teleology, its structure of increase—­made it difficult if not impossible to imagine the answer being “both.” And while progressive historical consciousness saw informal empire manifest as a temporal paradox, genealogical consciousness saw it formalized as a fractured international f­amily. Nineteenth-­century western discourse frequently saw “peer” nations described as b­ rothers, while colonial targets w ­ ere often treated as ­children. Put another way, ­family describes forms of belonging, and synchronic or lateral ties (to a ­brother or a spouse) may suggest mutual belonging while diachronic or hierarchical ties (to a f­ather) typically imply possession. Britain’s dual aims in Latin Amer­i­ca once again created conflict, as their support (both sentimental and tactical) for the revolutions inspired discourses of fraternity and marriage, but t­ hese butted up against the paternalistic f­ amily structure that was foundational to their imperial proj­ect. ­W hether Latin Amer­i­ca “belonged” to G ­ reat Britain as an imperial possession

16   The Forms of Informal Empire

or w ­ hether they both “belonged” to an enlightened Atlantic community of peers was a m ­ atter of two dif­fer­ent f­ amily forms that informal empire could not resolve into a coherent domestic unit. Lit­er­a­ture, of course, is likewise ­shaped by both historical and genealogical forms, and it uses its own formal logic to render the narratives of politics. For that reason, I argue, it is particularly good at revealing the paradoxes of informal empire. In this book, I examine a wide range of nineteenth-­century writing—­novels, poems, travelogues, essays, and letters, British and Latin American—­a ll of which registers the difficulty of aligning an unpre­ce­dented new geopo­liti­cal arrangement with conventional stories about progressive history and familial community. Each half of this book treats informal empire’s irreconcilability with one of ­these ideas: part I discusses pro­gress and part II discusses ­family. But of course, historical and genealogical consciousnesses overlap in significant ways, and pro­gress and ­family are mutually constituting. So while each half of this book takes shape around one guiding idea, t­ hose ideas are far from separate. For example, although Trollope appears in a chapter on the pro­gress narrative, we ­will see that the En­glish ­family is critical to his understanding of pro­gress’s forms. And while I discuss ­family models in Vicente López and H. Rider Haggard, each author thinks about international families as vehicles for and expressions of dif­fer­ent kinds of pro­gress. One implication of my argument, therefore, is that deciphering paradox is not the privilege only of the twenty-­first c­ entury critic. The conflicted forms of informal empire ­were apparent to British and Latin American onlookers as ­those forms emerged. Leela Gandhi argues that ­there ­were critics of the formal empire within nineteenth-­century Britain, often from marginalized groups themselves, and that they diagnosed the rationalist, binaristic, taxonomical logic of imperial thought.65 Like Gandhi, I reveal that t­ here w ­ ere subjects who saw outside of imperial ideology and that they did so specifically through attention to the formalized structure of that ideology. But my argument runs in the reverse: the texts I read h ­ ere wielded the very rationalism, binarism, and taxonomy of western epistemology against itself. Rather than countering the imperial pro­gress narrative with alternative models of temporal experience, they offer a way to see pro­gress as a persuasive argument against empire. Ultimately, therefore, by using formalist analy­sis to unfold the paradoxes of informal empire, I show how it disturbed and reshaped standard British accounts of empire, sparking new perspectives on deeply ingrained nineteenth-­ century epistemologies.

Introduction  17

Informal Empire in Lit­er­a­ture Joseph Conrad’s 1904 novel, Nostromo, written nearly a c­ entury a­ fter the outbreak of revolution in Latin Amer­i­ca, captures the collision between informal empire and western master narratives exceptionally well. Set in the fictional South American country of Costaguana, the novel is a long, complex, mostly cynical meditation on the workings of informal empire. The affairs of Costaguana, and particularly the sleepy port town of Sulaco, are steered not by the government but by Charles Gould, an Anglo-­Costaguanan who runs the lucrative, US-­financed San Tomé silver mine. Gould’s outsize influence earns him the moniker “King of Sulaco,” and his governance is quite literal— he “can wind all the hidalgos of the province round his ­little fin­ger,” such that “the po­liti­cal Jefé, the chief of the police, the chief of the customs, the general, all, all”—­are less officials of the state than they are “officials of the mine.”66 Influenced by Gould, his aristocratic circle, and the other foreign residents of Sulaco, the “President-­Dictator” of Costaguana supports proj­ects like the silver mine and the new foreign-­backed railroads as pathways to national peace and prosperity. This effort goes ­under the banner of pro­gress: the railroad, which is being laid by “the ­great body of strong-­limbed foreigners who dug the earth, blasted the rocks, [and] drove the engines” is a “progressive and patriotic undertaking” (77), and the President-­Dictator’s party goes by the “watchwords . . . ​honesty, peace, and pro­gress” (330). Such ideals, writes Nasser Mufti, not only “motor Costaguana’s pro­gress, [but] also emplot its ­future by laying the tracks, as it ­were, for [Sulaco’s] journey through history.”67 This pro­gress, of course, is the imperial kind. The novel knows this, describing the railroad and telegraph lines beginning to mark the country as symbols of “that pro­gress waiting outside for a moment of peace to enter and twine itself about the weary heart of the land” (182). And the gate at the entrance to Sulaco, on which “the arms of Spain [are] nearly smoothed out as if in readiness for some new device typical of the impending pro­gress” (188), seems to suggest that informal empire is just another palimpsestic version of Spanish rule. The imperial nature of foreign development is manifest to many Costaguanans, too, who throw their support ­behind a military revolt against “the sinister land-­grabbing designs of Eu­ro­pean powers” and the Gould-­ backed president’s “[plot] to deliver his country, bound hand and foot, for a prey to foreign speculators” (165). Chanting “Down with the Oligarchs! Viva la libertad!” (306), the revolutionaries’ rhe­toric casts this uprising against

18   The Forms of Informal Empire

Eu­ro­pean capital as an iteration of the wars of in­de­pen­dence, a new but cognate fight against compromised freedom. But in this b­ attle for the right to govern Costaguana, both sides claim to fight for its freedom. Once again looking back to the wars of in­de­pen­dence, the novel tells us that the En­glish families in Costaguana have “poured their blood for the cause of freedom in Amer­i­c a” (74); Gould’s grand­father even “fought in the cause of in­de­pen­dence ­under Bolivar, in that famous En­glish legion which on the battlefield of Carabobo had been saluted by the ­great Liberator as Saviours of his country” (87). The En­glish, we are told, have been “saviours” of this land, and they ­will be so again, according to the president’s military commander, b­ ecause in the fight against turmoil like the military uprising, “it is money that saves a country” (180). Informal empire, in other words, wears a double face. It is patently an infringement upon the nation’s self-­rule, but as is the case throughout the nineteenth c­ entury, it must deal with what is widely understood to be the moral good of that very self-­rule. John Stuart Mill could use the concept of pro­gress to defend both imperialism and local sovereignty ­because he found each appropriate to dif­fer­ent ­peoples, but Nostromo exposes the illogic ­behind informal empire’s necessary reliance on both in the same place. Through the influence of power­ful interests like the San Tomé silver mine, “pro­gress” appears as a simultaneous trajectory t­oward both conquest and liberation. It ­will both “save a country” and “deliver [it] . . . ​for a prey to foreign[ers].” Dressed in the familiar trappings of the wars of in­de­pen­dence, always close at hand in literary renderings of Latin Amer­i­ca, informal empire wears the aspect of both imperial and revolutionary combatants, as a new Spain, and as a new Bolívar. This paradox explodes into terrible, ironic real­ity when the foreign cap­i­tal­ ists decide that the only way to “save” the town of Sulaco from the military revolt is to declare it an in­de­pen­dent country. The En­glish, then, aim to repeat their ancestors’ fight for the freedom of Latin Amer­i­ca by leading a new separatist movement. Journalist Martin Decoud explic­itly connects the scheme to the old wars of in­de­pen­dence when he writes to his ­sister in Eu­rope: “Prepare our ­little circle in Paris for the birth of another South American republic. One more or less, what does it m ­ atter?” (228). This in­de­pen­dence movement, however, is not being fought by South Americans against Eu­rope; it is fought by Eu­ro­pe­ans against a ­free South American nation. And their declaration of in­de­pen­dence is written on the letterhead of the San Tomé mine,

Introduction  19

which Gould writes to his American financier “is big enough to take in hand the making of a new State” (352). Informal empire’s simultaneous desire for domination and its structural dependence on local sovereignty, therefore, collapse together into the construction of an in­de­pen­dent nation governed by the silver mine. In an effort to have pro­gress both ways, the Eu­ro­pe­a ns in Costaguana render informal empire’s narrative paradox farcically literal, leading a po­liti­cal movement to make a South American country independent—­ from itself. Indeed, the novel suggests that master narratives like pro­gress simply break down in the face of such dueling interests, a dynamic replicated in the incommensurability of each character’s individual aims. As Edward Said puts it, “every­one in the novel has an unflagging interest in the fortunes of Costaguana, for the most part in the form of a private vision of personal advantage.”68 Even among allies on the same side of the larger po­liti­cal fight, hardly any two p ­ eople—­not husband and wife, not two business partners, not two men sharing a small boat in the ­middle of the night—­fully understand what vision of the ­future the other is fighting for. And while leaders on both sides claim to fight for “freedom” and “pro­gress,” the novel’s own frustrating, nonlinear plot and strangely shifting perspective seem to corroborate the idea that universalizing master narratives like t­ hese shatter against the competing motives of the modern world, or at least the modern world u ­ nder the sway of informal empire. The bidirectional demands of pro­gress ­under global capitalism can only appear in Nostromo as what Nathan  K. Hensley and Philip Steer call “cycles of anti-­teleological historical motion” caught in a “futureless stasis.”69 Informal empire does not produce, nor can it be told by, a progressive historical narrative; history in Costaguana instead remains forever “stalled,” palpably “everywhere but nowhere.”70 Jed Esty argues that at the end of the nineteenth ­century and beginning of the twentieth, the traditional linear novel form of the Bildungsroman broke down as it faced “the form-­fraying possibility that capitalism cannot be moralized into the progressive time of the nation.”71 Nostromo shares this sense that global capitalism—in the par­tic­u­lar form of informal empire—is irreconcilable with linear, teleological progressive form. But the idea of British informal empire in Latin Amer­i­ca was, by the time of Nostromo’s publication, already a ­century old. And as this book shows, it did not take the widely acknowledged breakdown of the pro­gress narrative at the fin de siècle for writers to perceive a fundamental formal conflict between informal empire and some of

20   The Forms of Informal Empire

the most power­ful ideas of the nineteenth ­century. That conflict, the one Nos­ tromo so deftly captures, had already been apparent for nearly a hundred years. Conrad’s novel is unique, however, in that it was the first significant British text to treat informal empire in a direct, sustained manner. Influenced by the Abbé Raynal’s Histoire de Deux Indes (1770) and Jean-­François Marmontel’s Les Incas (1777), pre-­independence lit­er­a­ture in the late eigh­teenth and early nineteenth c­ entury offered literary retellings of the Spanish “discovery” and conquest of the New World.72 It was not u ­ ntil Humboldt’s writing was translated into En­glish by John Black in 1811—­followed soon by a profusion of travelogues by the Britons who flooded into Latin Amer­i­ca—­that British readers began to glimpse the con­temporary interior of t­ hese vast continents. But even as the British increasingly encountered modern, Enlightened, multicultural, postcolonial, buzzingly mercantile Latin Amer­i­ca in their travels and affairs, nineteenth-­century lit­er­a­ture per­sis­tently refused to portray it as such. From the creature in Frankenstein (1818) promising to “quit the neighborhood of man” by removing himself to “the vast wilds of South Amer­i­ca,” to Walter Hartright in The W ­ oman in White (1860) entering Honduras and thereby leaving both “civilisation” and half the pages of the book, Latin Amer­ i­ca remained offstage in British lit­er­a­ture, where it was usually portrayed as empty or primitive—or, as Cannon Schmitt argues, “a pre­sent past, a living anachronism . . . ​a lieu de mémoire.”73 It did seem to take nearly a c­ entury for informal empire to receive the detailed literary examination that Conrad’s novel gave it. And yet, I argue, while Nostromo might mark a change in the content of British lit­er­a­ture about Latin Amer­i­ca, it is merely a capstone on a ­century of like-­minded perceptions of informal empire’s strange form. As I trace in both British and Latin American texts, from 1810 through the turn of the c­ entury, writers registered informal empire as having seismic, paradoxical, “form-­fraying” conflicts, not with their own narrative forms but with the forms of t­ hose master narratives that ­shaped the world they knew.

Informal Empire as Form As I have intimated, this book suggests that formalism offers new and needed insight to the study of British informal empire. The methods of literary studies can help us describe the precise forms of what scholars like Aguirre and Heinowitz have urged us to understand as the messy, complicated admixture that is informal empire. But something more needs to be said about the ­specific

Introduction  21

formalism in use ­here, since it is a heterogeneous field, one that has fallen in and out of ­favor and has been undertaken in vastly dif­fer­ent ways. One approach to the study of form is to separate it from author, context, and politics, to pursue meaning in the text’s internal logic and arrangement. In vari­ous ways, New Criticism, Rus­sian Formalism, and structuralism have all sought to explain how form produces a textual unity and meaning that is legible without reference to the author or historical context. My formalism is particularly indebted to New Criticism’s and Rus­sian Formalism’s close attention to the specificity of form, to the arrangements of language that are often called “devices” and that go by names like fa­bula and syuzhet, anaphora, and emplotment, and I follow their lead in seeking explanations for how ­these patterns of language signify. ­There is also a significant structuralist bent to my analy­sis, which reflects my belief that describing formal shapes and architectures is a power­ful tool for discovering how they work. This is a brief and necessarily reductive gloss on a number of formalisms that are both internally heterogeneous and distinct from one another. I do not linger ­here in more detail ­because this book’s formalism diverges from them all in one key way: this is not a book about literary form. I aim to describe neither the internal unity of a text nor its ironies and tensions, and I do not contribute to taxonomies of pos­si­ble literary devices or structures. My ultimate object of study is not the heroic couplet, the realist novel, the po­liti­cal essay, or the picaresque, though I discuss examples of each. Instead, my aim is to analyze the specific shapes and structures—­that is, forms—­nineteenth-­ century texts understood social institutions to take. So, for one ­thing, this book is much more interested in politics and historical context than many formalisms have been. Historicist approaches to lit­er­ a­ture have of course paid attention to politics, and despite their anti-­formalist reputations, frequently invoke literary form. One such approach, often Foucauldian, Marxist, or both, holds literary form accountable for disguising or normalizing the operations of dominant ideology and teaching its readers to conform to the norms of a disciplinary society. In ­these readings, literary form works to conceal contradictions, inequalities, and minority experiences, and at best it may fail to do so, revealing something in the pro­cess about how dominant ideologies work. Suvir Kaul, for instance, discussing “hybrid” poetic forms of eighteenth-­century poetry, declares that “the primary task of a po­liti­cal criticism is to decode the largely unconscious resolutions supplied by the narrative search for ideological closure or coherence.”74 The obverse

22   The Forms of Informal Empire

approach, though methodologically kin, is to suggest that form can be or bring about ideology critique; discussing the same genre, John Barrell and Harriet Guest argue that eighteenth-­century long poems deliberately “employ a range of incompatible discourses,” thereby “performing the function of enabling contradictions to be uttered.”75 Despite the obvious differences in ­these two schools of thought, they agree that form does ­things; it orients lit­ er­a­ture and its readers into a certain relationship—­whether complacent or combative—­with social structures. However, historicist critical models do not typically take ­those social structures themselves as available for formalist analy­sis; they focus instead on the literary text as a mediation, index, accomplice, or antagonist of ideologies that do not themselves come ­under formal study. A word more about Marxism in par­tic­u­lar, as my subject ­matter and methods brush close to it. My book shares some basic beliefs with Marxist literary criticism, namely that cultural and literary objects arise out of, and must be understood in relation to, their sociohistorical—­and especially economic—­ contexts. I also privilege the role of power in cultural expression, and I agree that the cap­i­tal­ist mode of production engenders contradictions foundational to social experience. But I do not analyze the texts ­here as ­either concealing or exposing the material contradictions inherent to a social totality, largely ­because the horizon of my analy­sis is not an ideological or material totality in the first place. When I read for contradictions, therefore, it is not ­those that must be unmasked or unearthed—­either by author or by critic—­from beneath a false ideological surface, nor do I read texts as what Roberto Schwarz calls an “aesthetic formalization” of the contradictions in social experience.”76 Rather, I start from the assumption that multiple ideas compete to describe dif­fer­ent aspects of existence, some more persuasively than o­ thers. And most of the lit­er­a­ture I discuss, far from finding fault with dominant ideologies like empire, capitalism, pro­gress, and racial hierarchy, in fact uses ­t hese as the yardstick by which the coherence of any other idea might be assessed. So instead of unpacking the contradictions inherent to problematic ideas like pro­g­ ress and race, I begin by acknowledging that the texts u ­ nder examination simply find t­ hose ideas persuasive. What they are about (in their direct content), however, is the surprising way in which some hegemonic explanations of social life (like pro­gress) might cause another, also hegemonic explanation (like informal empire) to appear contradictory or paradoxical—­and provide a means of unthinking it. And so, where critics have seen informal empire as

Introduction  23

belonging to a larger totality of oppressive imperial ideology, my readings reveal why it in fact appeared contradictory to the terms of nineteenth-­century master narratives, heterogeneous and unassimilable to certain epistemological regimes that w ­ ere widely expected to give shape to the ­future. To accomplish what I have proposed—to analyze the specific forms nineteenth-­century texts understood social institutions to take—­means understanding the social world to be itself composed of describable forms. ­Here I draw heavi­ly on a few traditions. Some historical and philosophical work, for instance, acknowledges the formalized nature of social institutions. Take Hayden White’s revelation that history is authored narrative with protagonists and plot turns formed in ser­vice of the community telling the story.77 Or the similar insights of scholars like Homi Bhabha, David Carr, and Ernest Gellner that nationalism is an authored concept, made legible to citizens through narrative form.78 In fact, as Reinhart Koselleck has argued, the turn t­ oward the pro­gress narrative in late eighteenth-­century Eu­rope converted the very notion of “republic” from a structural condition to a narratable event; “republic” became the telos of historical narrative.79 Marxist and Hegelian approaches to history likewise see it as available to formal analy­sis: What is the dialectic, a­ fter all, if not a form? The influence of t­ hese theories w ­ ill be obvious throughout this book, as I follow their lead in assuming that history and politics are rendered to us through the forms and structures of narrative. Caroline Levine has recently theorized and provided a vocabulary for how literary studies may do this work in a radically expansive way, by applying its formalist methods to “patterns of sociopo­liti­cal experience.”80 Form, according to Levine, is simply that which works to impose order, to or­ga­nize or constrain ­human experience. A villanelle, a Local Area Network, a railroad, and the gender binary, therefore, are all forms with recognizable pattern and structure and that literary analy­sis may be deployed to make sense of. As vari­ous literary and social forms compete to or­ga­nize our world, Levine argues, they collide with one another and produce “surprising and unintentional po­liti­cal effects.”81 Importing the notion of “affordance” from design theory, she suggests that dif­fer­ent forms—­such as the couplet or the factory timetable or the fork—­“afford” dif­fer­ent outcomes—­such as memorization or productivity or stabbing.82 It requires formalist attention, therefore, to tease apart how a multiplicity of forms and their affordances interact with one another in the course of organ­izing h ­ uman life. This book draws heavi­ly on the insight that social arrangements have form. My analy­sis would not be pos­si­ble without

24   The Forms of Informal Empire

understanding power­ful institutions like the nuclear f­ amily and cap­i­tal­ist accumulation to have describable form, and I often use literary terms (such as “protagonist”) to explain forms that exist outside of the literary text (such as the pro­gress narrative). But if my object of analy­sis is not primarily literary texts, it is also not primarily institutions. Instead, I am interested in how lit­er­a­ ture contains and deploys its own ideas about the forms of social institutions. Inhabitants of the nineteenth-­century Atlantic world had ideas about the forms of informal empire, and lit­er­a­ture (like Nostromo) offers an incredibly complex vision of not only what ­those forms ­were, but also how they refracted across other forms, like revolution, capitalism, marriage, historical time, and narrative. In this sense I side with the idea that “form” is a term with broad conceptual applicability. This is a polemical idea, and some maintain that form is particularly literary and not generalizable outside of specific contexts.83 But as my readings show, nineteenth-­century thinkers themselves saw the world (not just lit­er­a­ture) in formal terms. It is unmistakable that Anna Barbauld’s poem Eigh­teen Hundred and Eleven understands politics as a function of historical time’s linear progression, and that Vicente Fidel López’s historical novel La novia del hereje depends upon a vision of f­ amily as the connective hinge between domestic and national life. T ­ hese texts assume such forms to exist and to constrain what politics are pos­si­ble. Therefore, w ­ hether they agreed about the forms that ­shaped their world, Romantic, Victorian, and Latin American authors w ­ ere already “Levinean” or “New Formalist” in that they saw their world—­not just their texts—as powerfully formal. In par­tic­ u­lar, they saw through the lenses of two major formal categories: history and ­family. Writers on both sides of the Atlantic, I argue, perceived their world to be forcefully or­ga­nized by historical and genealogical forms, and t­ hese forms circumscribed how they understood themselves to exist in time and community, how they understood o­ thers to exist in time and community, and what it was pos­si­ble to be or do in relation to time and community. For instance, the form of the ­family afforded the treatment of colonial ­others as ­children, and the form of pro­gress afforded belief in h ­ uman perfectibility and differential non-­coevality. Nineteenth-­century writers’ own social formalism, in other words, ­shaped their politics. The aim of this book is to show how lit­er­a­ture renders that pro­cess vis­i­ble. Now let me say a bit more about how this method brings informal empire in par­tic­u­lar into focus. And ­here it ­will be helpful to have an overview of the

Introduction  25

book’s general structure. Its two halves each pursue informal empire’s engagement with a master narrative of the nineteenth c­ entury. The first half is about perceptions of historical time—­what I refer to as historical consciousness—­ and in par­tic­u­lar, the pro­gress narrative. The second half is about perceptions of familial relations—­what I refer to as genealogical consciousness. Each half opens with a short introduction that offers a twofold account, one historical and one formal, of the master narrative in question. The introduction to part I, therefore, begins by tracking precisely how and why the idea of pro­g­ ress became so impor­tant to nineteenth-­century thought, before then theorizing the specific forms (diachronicity, linearity, increase, acceleration, and teleology) that make it a legibly distinct narrative. The introduction to part II performs the same work of both historicizing familial community and theorizing the formal categories that govern its shape (origin, generation, relation, and hybridity). This is an essentially structuralist social formalism in which, without reading through any literary text, I theorize the form of the pro­gress narrative as such and the f­amily as such. But t­ here is a thick relationship between form and history in t­ hese introductions: theorizing the forms of pro­gress would be a sterile exercise without a grounding in how pro­gress ­shaped nineteenth-­ century experiences of being in time, and formal analy­sis also enriches and strengthens our understanding of how that shaping of experience occurred. And so when I say I theorize the forms of “the pro­gress narrative as such,” I do not mean to suggest that it or any other form—no m ­ atter how influential or power­ful—is transhistorical. The bus schedule constrains my options for getting to campus, and capitalism constrains my options for retirement. Both are forms that order my life, and both also change. The bus schedule may change next semester, while capitalism’s shifts are more epochal, but both look very dif­fer­ent t­ oday than they did one hundred years ago—­and dif­fer­ent than they w ­ ill a c­ entury hence. We must assess forms in their historical contexts. So while pro­gress persists as a power­ful concept in the twenty-­first c­ entury, its contours have slowly changed in western thought as we have become less certain of its inevitability and linearity and more convinced of its incrementality. Therefore, the introductions to each half of this book theorize the forms of pro­gress and f­ amily not as transtemporal institutions but as they w ­ ere commonly perceived to be formed in a par­tic­u­lar historical moment—­the nineteenth ­century. In so d ­ oing, they provide a formal vocabulary through which to understand some of the most influential nineteenth-­century thought, a

26   The Forms of Informal Empire

vocabulary that in turn newly illuminates literary engagements with historical and genealogical form. The chapters that follow each introduction, however, do something dif­fer­ ent.84 They turn to nineteenth-­century lit­er­a­ture in order to show how texts registered the commonly understood forms of pro­gress and ­family, as well as how informal empire troubled t­ hose forms. As writers considered informal empire, I argue, they could not help but filter it through their understanding of the forms that powerfully ­shaped their sense of the bedrock categories of time and community. Anna Kornbluh argues that “when novels think,” they express ideas in and as form, showing, for example, that “the prob­lem of child ­labor is inseparable from first-­person narration and bildungsroman plotting.”85 Forms that we associate with lit­er­a­ture, in other words, also have a constitutive relation to social prob­lems, a relation in turn rendered strange or familiar by literary form. For the authors studied ­here, informal empire could only be conceived in tensile relation to the formal structures of the pro­gress narrative and the nuclear ­family. And so their texts produce a complex interaction of both assumption and theory—­t hat is, each text assumes the social world to be formed as I describe in the introductions, and each text theorizes how informal empire conflicts with t­ hose specific forms. Part I has chapters on work by Simón Bolívar, Anna Laetitia Barbauld, and Anthony Trollope, and each author’s texts—­including letters, essays, poetry, travel writing, and fiction—­share the common nineteenth-­century Atlantic world assumption (among elites anyway) that history has progressive form. ­These texts display a reliance on notions of linearity, teleology, and so on, which enables and conditions their constitution. But my primary goal is to show how each text theorizes informal empire as disturbing, disrupting, or challenging the forms of progressive history it takes as a given. In chapter 2, for instance, I show that Anna Barbauld’s Eigh­teen Hundred and Eleven refuses to admit informal empire into its vision of the ­future precisely ­because its implied historical trajectory does not share linearity with the pro­gress narrative. Part II has chapters on texts by Vicente Fidel López, H. Rider Haggard, and William Henry Hudson, and ­these in parallel fashion show how certain assumptions about ­family pervaded nineteenth-­century thinking about international relations, but each one also reveals how informal empire demanded ­those assumptions be revised. Chapter 5, for example, shows how powerfully Haggard’s texts rely on the assumption that individual families and national belonging are cognate structures—as I detail in the introduction to part II.

Introduction  27

But his novels also suggest that informal empire promoted a vision of ­family that was inimical to that mutual commitment. The chapters in this book thus register the “collision,” to use Levine’s term, between an assumed version of historical time or genealogical community and an alternate version erupting out of new geopo­liti­c al events. This is a way of thinking about geopolitics in terms of affordances—­how pro­gress affords the denial of coevality, for instance—­though I am somewhat more interested in what the forms in question fail to afford, or even actively deter. Informal empire collides with traditional models of pro­gress and ­family b­ ecause they do not afford, and often deter, its unusual logic.86 The introductions, therefore, lay the groundwork for the chapters to show precisely what made informal empire an unruly and recalcitrant concept. I argue across this book that for onlookers in the nineteenth c­ entury, informal empire seemed to be self-­contradictory and paradoxical. This is specifically ­because it shared forms with the master narratives of pro­gress and ­family, and si­mul­ta­neously implied directly contradictory forms. In its necessary grappling with both freedom and imperialism, informal empire at once looked like a progressive history and a regressive one, at once an imperial model of international f­ amily and an anti-­imperial one. The structure of this book aims to highlight in the clearest pos­si­ble terms how informal empire both relied on and confounded—­and ultimately could not be contained by—­the forms that so many ­people understood to shape their world. Each text I analyze finds its own way of navigating this fault line. Some try to resolve it; some use it as po­ liti­cal critique; and ­others simply point out its existence. All, however, show why form was the site at which informal empire often failed to be an easily pro­cessed concept. Revealing the ways a text assumes its social world to be formed makes it pos­si­ble to see how informal empire disrupted the very foundations of nineteenth-­century thought. In this sense, the collisions that I am interested in are not primarily between social and literary forms. Rather, I use lit­er­a­ture as a site for better understanding the collision between two social forms the text assumes to exist—­between pro­gress and liberty, for example, or marriage and colonialism—­ and that the text unfolds in order to grapple with. That is not to say, however, that lit­er­a­ture in this account is an invisible medium or that its own forms do not play a role. In fact, as I have occasion to discuss, certain literary forms “afford” the account of such collisions more or less effectively—­such as how Nos­ tromo’s disjointed structure reflects its skepticism about the applicability of

28   The Forms of Informal Empire

master narratives. All three chapters in part II, for example, offer readings of novels, and this is no coincidence; the nineteenth-­century novel had a constitutive relationship to the vari­ous forms of the nuclear ­family and their overlap with the form of the nation. The historical novel in par­tic­u­lar, as I discuss in chapters  4 and 5, lucidly affords an understanding of genealogical structures. And as I show in chapter 2, Anna Barbauld’s use of anaphora, personification, and direct address all help amplify her poem’s concern with how nationalism produces both progressive history and colonial exploitation. Catherine Gallagher describes the difference between Rus­sian Formalism and structuralism as one of scale; Rus­sian Formalists, she argues, are interested in the molecular level of the text’s composition (“an enlargement of a detail”), while structuralists have a “molar” interest in the general shape of a text (“an outline of the ­whole”).87 My approach uses a molecular attention to texts in order to reveal a molar structure, not of the text, but of the text’s view of competing social forms. I close read, in other words, in order to give a structuralist account of history and ­family as the texts perceive them. This method is what Levine, inverting Hayden White’s famous formulation, calls reading for “the forms of the content.”88 Some similar work has been done. In the context of the formal empire, Dipesh Chakrabarty shows how the properties of the pro­gress narrative do not admit certain experiences that defy its structure. Uday Singh Mehta argues that pro­gress’s relentless teleology even places strain on the imperial proj­ect by implying the eventual maturation and liberation of the colonies.89 ­These theories reveal how narrative form constrains both the perception of and the execution of imperial possibilities. And within studies of informal empire, Latin Americanist Jennifer French reads Benito Lynch’s novel El inglés de los güesos not as allegorizing informal empire per se but instead ways of thinking about informal empire. Her broader methodological stance is that “lit­er­a­ture is not a transparent repre­sen­ta­tion of the social world, but rather an artful and subjective model for thinking about the relation between language and politics.”90 And Ericka Beckman, another Latin Americanist, argues in Capital Fictions (2013) that as Latin Amer­i­ca emerged into the global economy, its lit­ er­a­ture contended with the “strategies of repre­sen­ta­tion,” the “tropes, meta­ phors, and storytelling devices” of international capitalism. Her term “capital fictions,” therefore, links together both “the fictions generated by capital [and] the specific expressions of ­those fictions within an assembled corpus of images and texts.”91 One ambition of this book is to show how useful it might

Introduction  29

be for more scholarship to interrogate oppressive po­liti­cal structures through a formalist analy­sis of the stories they try to tell.

Formalism, Comparativism, and Power Attention to form helps us understand and critique power in a way that current critical models of informal empire leave us frustratingly unable to do. In what I referred to ­earlier as the binary model of informal empire, in which many or most Britons saw Latin Amer­i­c a as a site for domination, while a handful supported its sovereignty, we may feel relieved that not every­one turns out to be an agent, witting or not, of imperial seeing. Soldiers fighting with Bolívar, settlers living quietly in the pampas, or poets who supported the indigenous cause, can be celebrated as escaping the dominant mindset. But by presenting support for sovereignty and desire for domination as distinct views belonging to distinct subjects, the binary model does not help us understand how both views might appear conjoined rather than separated. And in the surface/depth model of informal empire, in which support for sovereignty is resolved into an ideological cover for domination, it becomes hard to find an outside to the imperial totality of f­ ree trade. Informal empire w ­ ill not be challenged by even overt anti-­imperialism ­because it relies upon it, hides within it, and weaves apologies out of it. Even the exceptional anti-­imperialists identified in the binary model w ­ ere merely voicing a sentiment that informal empire could use. If informal empire vacillates between discourses of allegiance and exploitation, freedom and empire, but the latter always drives the former, then power is a dialectic that absorbs its own critique. ­These models represent two common approaches to the study of power in the humanities and social sciences. Both view power as hegemonic and pervasive, but one looks for sites of re­sis­tance while the other concludes that imperial power successfully co-­opts supposedly oppositional frameworks like cosmopolitanism and liberation. A formal approach, however, reveals the misalignments that make informal empire a fundamentally more contested and contestable notion. We can see how informal empire is less like a dialectic—­what Hegel called a “unity” of “opposites”—­and more like a paradox, a clash between two ideas (freedom and domination) that repel one another and refuse resolution.92 ­Those two ideas do not “mutually reinforce one another,” as Heinowitz argues, but rather mutually destabilize one another, standing not in “apparent contradiction,”

30   The Forms of Informal Empire

but in contradiction as such.93 And we can see how that constitutive contradiction in turn conflicts with master narratives like pro­gress and f­ amily that expose rather than reconcile it. In this way, formalist analy­sis makes available a dif­fer­ent kind of critique of informal empire, one in which it is pos­si­ble to describe the paradox itself—to expose contradiction. Critiquing power, then, does not have to mean standing outside of or arguing against hegemonic discourses. It can mean revealing that the w ­ ill to power itself conflicts with hegemonic discourses. To be sure, we may also wish to advocate for alternatives to dominant formal arrangements of h ­ uman experience like progressive history and the nuclear ­family. We ­ought, for instance, to follow Donna Haraway’s call to rethink kinship in this moment of anthropocene emergency by making “oddkin” rather than genealogical relations.94 But we can also use formalism to expose what seems like a hegemonic undertaking as precisely counter-­hegemonic, in that it does not co-­opt but rather butts up against commonly held values and forms of social life. This is what nineteenth-­century lit­er­a­ture did with informal empire. Reading this way makes it easier to see that although institutions like informal empire have “succeeded,” that success was not a foregone conclusion. Informal empire found its footing over time, and particularly as it lost its national aspect and dis­appeared into the less observed and observable work of power­ful transnational corporations, became less scrutinized. But the informal empire of the British nineteenth ­century was not nearly so invisible and institutionalized as ­today’s worldwide financial imperialism. It was a new configuration of conflicting ideas that pitted empire against pro­gress, freedom against ­family, and in the resulting conceptual fray often forced uncertainty and reflection to the surface. Its eventual success was less a historical inevitability than a lurching, contested effort to set common values against one another. Returning to the nineteenth c­ entury, therefore, when informal empire was emergent and experimental, still in the pro­cess of becoming conventional, allows us to track the strange logics of an idea whose strangeness has now become highly naturalized. And although this model makes discourses, not lit­er­a­ture, the object of its formal analy­sis, lit­er­a­ture turns out to play an impor­tant role in the explication of contradiction. That is ­because literary texts are exceptionally good at pitting ideas against one another and allowing them to jostle for ascendancy. A text can “enworld” an idea—it can go beyond merely describing pro­gress and allow the reader to step into a world whose innumerable contours bear the

Introduction  31

traces of it. And crucially, it can contain multiple ideas in this way: the plot of a novel may hinge on competing visions of politics or ­family; the tension in a lyric poem may arise from the speaker’s misalignment with some value or custom. (George Eliot’s novels and Charlotte Smith’s sonnets are exemplars of each.) And so while this book trains its formalism on the structure of the ideas each text elaborates, not on the texts themselves, it nonetheless acknowledges that literariness (aspects of lit­er­a­ture like emplotment, meta­phor, characterization, and such) offers up an exceptionally clear view of how ­those ideas interact with one another and the world. We ­will see that Simón Bolívar’s letters and essays (chapter 1) nicely capture the contradictions of informal empire, particularly in their use of ele­ments like meta­phor and juxtaposition, but that the more robustly literary texts in subsequent chapters display more complexity. This book, therefore, casts lit­er­a­ture’s role in systems of imperial power somewhat differently than is commonly done (­either explic­itly or by assumption) in empire studies. Texts do not appear h ­ ere as the complicit or unwitting boosters of imperial ideology; rather, they stand in dynamic relation to a plural set of ideas, some of which may sometimes combine in empire’s ser­vice and ­others of which may not, but whose combinations and contradictions lit­er­a­ture is actively, deliberately, thoughtfully, enworlding and working through. My par­tic­u­lar formalism helps lay this activity bare. The comparative reading done h ­ ere also renders the contours of conceptual paradox in clearer detail. Overwhelmingly, studies of informal empire approach it from one direction, reading e­ ither British or Latin American lit­ er­a­ture but not both. In this book I model a more inclusive and dynamic method by reading both British and Latin American authors in their native En­glish and Spanish. This approach reveals that while they often have dif­fer­ ent perspectives on the likelihood and desirability of informal empire, they nonetheless depict its forms in remarkably similar terms. On both sides of the Atlantic, across the nineteenth c­ entury, and in vari­ous genres, writers consistently cast informal empire as standing in tense opposition with dominant notions of history and ­family. On the one hand, then, reading comparatively reveals something structural at work in the misalignments of freedom, empire, pro­gress, and ­family—an antagonism that, ­because it was produced by master narratives common to western thought, transcended differences of language, culture, and geography, and was vis­i­ble across the Atlantic world. On the other hand, such commonality also reveals nuanced distinctions in how Britons and Latin Americans i­magined history and community. For example,

32   The Forms of Informal Empire

Anna Laetitia Barbauld and Simón Bolívar both depict the pro­gress narrative as relentlessly linear and increasing, which makes informal empire a paradoxical suggestion of reversal, from a state of freedom in Latin Amer­i­c a to one of imperialism. But while Barbauld uses such formal incompatibility as the foundation for a broader rejection of British empire, Bolívar proposes reimagining the pro­gress narrative as having a global, not a national protagonist. ­Doing so reflects his par­tic­u­lar perspective as a Latin American seeking to create forms of international exchange that might afford mutual gain rather than in­equality. Comparative reading therefore exposes the formal sites of intersection and divergence among stories told from differing perspectives about the same set of international relations. Putting authors like Barbauld and Bolívar, or Vicente López and H. Rider Haggard, into conversation has the further benefit of revealing informal empire and its associated discourses as a bidirectional conversation. The infrastructure of informal empire was raised by mutual l­abor on both sides of the Atlantic, and so w ­ ere its conceptual forms. We already know that the major cities of Britain and Latin Amer­i­c a ­were cosmopolitan in the nineteenth ­century. Britons headed to Latin Amer­i­c a in ­great numbers as soon as the revolutions broke out, where they settled land, started newspapers, and helped build institutions in the new nations. Latin Americans also arrived in London, where their efforts to create an international co­a li­tion of support for the liberation of the Amer­i­cas helped shape Britain’s notion of its role in the world during this era of revolution. Isolating ­either “British lit­er­a­ture” or “Latin American lit­er­a­ture,” therefore, diminishes the importance of such exchanges to the development of international thinking in both traditions. Informal empire prompted the nineteenth-­century Atlantic world to reconceptualize the very forms that freedom and empire could take and how bodies and capital might be arranged accordingly. Thinking t­ hese forms anew was inseparable from the intense mutual gaze that Britons and Latin Americans cast on each other, and the comparative method of this book is an effort to reflect that. The following chapters, therefore, take up Joselyn Almeida’s call to correct what she terms a “monolingual transatlanticism.”95 Transatlantic studies has ossified around the anglophone northern Atlantic, particularly the “special relationship” between ­Great Britain and the United States. This book argues that attention to the forceful impact of the Southern Amer­i­c as on flows of Atlantic books, goods, bodies, and ideas, is not only overdue but ethically imperative. But that attention should not merely gaze outward from Britain.

Introduction  33

Latin Americans participated in, helped construct, and ­were affected by informal empire, and so studying it only from the vantage of British thinkers replicates the very kind of colonialism we seek to unpack. We cannot fully understand forms of power if we do not listen to the voices of all t­ hose they seek to arrange and contain.

The Forms of the Book The six chapters in this book are not precisely chronological (a specific explanation for this can be found at the beginning of part II), and t­ here are many points of overlap between non-­sequential chapters. It is not my goal to tell a story about unfolding responses to informal empire over time, although some notions of historical change do inevitably crop up. My argument is more synchronic than diachronic, in that it aims to show how informal empire remained a recalcitrant discourse across the nineteenth c­ entury, precisely b­ ecause it was incompatible with some of the master narratives that persisted across and unified de­cades that in other ways ­were very dif­fer­ent. While transportation technologies, for instance, urban-­rural demographics, and British overseas investment all changed drastically between 1810 and 1875, the pro­gress narrative continued to dominate understandings of historical time in the western world. For that reason, we see strikingly similar formulations of the problematic of informal empire in Eigh­teen Hundred and Eleven (1812) and The Way We Live Now (1875). Nevertheless, despite not taking a strictly chronological approach, t­ here is some pattern to the chapter organ­ization. Part I, concerned with pro­gress, opens with two chapters on authors (Simón Bolívar and Anna Barbauld) whose texts cast a speculative glance into the ­future, while the third chapter turns to an author (Anthony Trollope) whose realist text looked squarely at the temporality of his pre­sent moment—at “the way we live now.” Part II has a cognate structure, although, being concerned with f­ amily, the first two chapters (on work by Vicente Fidel López and H. Rider Haggard) discuss texts whose genealogical concerns cause them to gaze centuries into the past, before a third chapter (on W. H. Hudson) once again returns us to the specific realities of industrialization in the late nineteenth ­century. T ­ hese chapters, therefore, peer through and across one another in time, as e­ arlier authors try to imagine a ­future that ­later authors ­will seek to genealogize. They also view one another across the ocean. Each section begins with a Latin American

34   The Forms of Informal Empire

author before moving to British authors, as a reminder that Latin American elites participated in setting the terms of their connection to ­Great Britain. If and when Latin American and British texts appear to share ways of thinking, I want to emphasize that this is not a result of derivative imitation or cultural imperialism (especially as in most cases ­t hese authors ­were unlikely to have read each other’s work), but rather evidence that informal empire clashed with master narratives shared around the Atlantic world. Three final notes before beginning. The first is that I have focused on lit­ er­a­ture that treats British–­L atin American relations in complex, nuanced ways. I do not claim that all the lit­er­a­ture of informal empire is concerned with contradiction, formal or other­wise, and many British texts do not bother themselves about the gaps between the ambitions of informal empire and the master narratives of the time. I focus on ­these more complex texts not to suggest a generalization about the lit­er­a­ture of informal empire but rather to show what dissent or uncertainty in the face of imperial power looked like.96 As G ­ reat Britain experimented with a new kind of power, t­ hese texts reveal the par­tic­u­lar contradictions that had to be ignored or normalized in its ser­ vice, thereby offering a glimpse of the cracks in imperial hegemony both before and during its dominance. Secondly, although it is well worth studying the men and w ­ omen who slipped quietly into the British–­L atin American contact zone, I focus ­here on voices that could more properly be described as members of the interested and/or elite classes. That is b­ ecause, in my pursuit of informal empire’s contorted rhe­toric, I turn to ­those who w ­ ere most likely to wield rather than evade it. And fi­nally, my readings track the ways that authors and texts understood their world to be formed, as well as the theories they developed in response as they sought to position Britain and Latin Amer­ i­ca in relation to each other. As a result, I describe some beliefs and ideas that may seem variously naive, unrealistic, or unpalatable. I do not suggest that ­these texts always show us the right way to think about or respond to imperial power—­rather, I argue that tracing the forms of their thinking shows us something useful about how that power operates in the first place.

pa r t on e

Pro ­g r e s s a n d I n for m a l E m pi r e , 1808 –1875 Sequence, Protagonist, Paradox

The paradoxes of informal empire, as I show over the course of the next three chapters, stood out in particularly stark relief when they encountered the narrative forms of progressive history. To understand this misalignment, we first must understand both pro­gress’s im­mense ideological sway and its formal structure. “Pro­gress” is a capacious term. It often has a positive connotation, but we also speak of the pro­gress of a disease or of climate change. It can refer to individual achievements, group developments, entire sectors of society, or the very nature of social change. Students, corporations, technologies, and history itself can all make “pro­gress.” Its results can be tangible or intangible, quantifiable or subjective. And, depending on how we deploy the term, we may imagine pro­gress to be contingent, lurching, arbitrary, linear, and/or inevitable. Perhaps its only consistent meaning is simply change. But among t­ hese uses of the term, one seems the most ambitious and the most constitutive of modern thought. That is the notion that pro­gress describes history itself—­that pro­gress is the force that holds past, pre­sent, and ­future in legible relation to one another, si­mul­ta­neously explaining and controlling humanity’s collective trajectory through time. Sometimes called the pro­gress narrative, often classed among so-­called master or ­grand narratives, and occasionally distinguished with a capital P, this idea emerged in the eigh­teenth and nineteenth centuries in the west as an entire epistemological and ontological orientation ­toward historical change and the experience of being in time. It held not only that individual civilizations made pro­gress, but also that history itself was the manifestation of a force called pro­gress, of whose forward drive humankind was the instrument and the engine.

36  Pro­gress and Informal Empire, 1808–1875

The idea of history as pro­gress has its own history. Before its emergence in the second half of the eigh­teenth ­century,1 Eu­ro­pe­ans generally viewed history as cyclical. The rec­ord of the past already contained all pos­si­ble ­human events, which could be predicted to repeat again and again in the f­ uture, while the eventual end of history would be millenarian and unpredictable—­God would one day simply close the book of humanity mid-­chapter. But by the mid-­ eighteenth ­century, the rules of relation between past and ­future began to transform u ­ nder a new understanding, a belief that time was accelerating and change was accumulating, so that history was not in fact cyclical but upwardly linear. This progressive temporal vision inverted humankind’s relationship to the ­future: coming events could not be predicted ­because they would always be entirely new and dif­fer­ent, but the final end of history now had a specific shape—­humanity was moving t­ oward a utopian perfection. The dominance of this progressive historical vision was all but assured by the upheavals of the French Revolution, ­after which it became nearly impossible to believe that the events of history w ­ ere mere repetitions, and western thinkers began to take for granted the “expected otherness of the f­ uture.”2 But the transition from cyclical to progressive historical consciousness was not abrupt or total; it was a pro­cess of conceptual expansion spanning the late eigh­teenth and early nineteenth centuries. The word “pro­gress” itself had to evolve, first from its l­imited individual-­case applications (pro­gress in the arts, for instance, or in farming technologies) to become a universal descriptor that made it pos­si­ble to speak of the pro­gress of humankind or civilization. In its next iteration, pro­gress became not only a description for universal change but the propulsive, determinist mechanism ­behind it—­that is, not only could humankind or history make pro­gress, but it became pos­si­ble to speak of “the pro­gress of history.” And fi­nally, in the nineteenth c­ entury, pro­gress achieved stand-­a lone status as a concept that needed no object; it became pos­si­ble simply to speak of “pro­gress.”3 To say that “it became pos­si­ble to speak” in certain ways is to say that the shifting syntactical registers of the word “pro­gress” also indicate epistemological revolutions. Hayden White has famously shown that the shape of historical narratives carries ideological weight, and in François Hartog’s words, our conceptualizations of the relations among past, pre­sent, and ­future—­our “chronosophies”—­constitute “regimes of historicity” that set the conditions of possibility for thought.4 The increasingly capacious and agential meanings of pro­gress in the nineteenth c­ entury, therefore, also indicate new ways that

Sequence, Protagonist, Paradox   37

­ eople ­were able to think of themselves in time. As Reinhart Koselleck puts p it, pro­gress “conceptualized the difference between the past so far and the coming ­future”; it achieved “the temporalization of history.”5 As a result, ­people newly experienced history’s movement as linear, the ­future as radically open and unknown, and time as constantly accelerating.6 The idea of pro­gress also helped create the entire intellectual discipline of the philosophy of history. It was, as Stephen Bann argues, during the Romantic period that “history became self-­conscious”7—­that it became pos­si­ble not simply to retell history but to theorize its dynamics. As pro­gress became an intellectual discipline and a hegemonic ontology in the nineteenth c­ entury, its explanatory power spread to economics, politics, and natu­ral history, and in its anthropological applications it was used to sort the ­people of the world into non-­coeval “comparative temporalities”8 that would lend the terms “barbaric” and “civilized” to the mission of Eu­ro­pean empire. In short, it is no exaggeration to say that the shift of the term “pro­gress” from individual descriptor to universal mechanism ­shaped the entirety of nineteenth-­century western thought.9 It is this that I refer to as the “historical consciousness” of the age. Nor is it an overstatement to say that we are still t­ oday made in pro­gress’s image; institutions as durable as liberalism, imperialism, capitalism, secularism, exceptionalism, and democracy have all relied on progressive ideology to make and remake the world. To be sure, the waning of progressive ideology can be traced in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries through thinkers like Nordau, Spengler, Benjamin, and Valéry, and in intellectual circles it suffered a blow at the hands of poststructuralism, but its legacy has been more power­ful than its critics. Pro­gress in the twenty-­first c­ entury, therefore, lives on as a constitutive feature of our po­liti­cal and epistemological landscape but is now differently formed, as we have come to see it as perhaps less inevitable and more incremental than our pre­de­ces­sors did. Hereafter when I discuss “pro­gress,” then, I refer to its specific iteration in the nineteenth ­century. This history of pro­gress is well known and frequently retold, but what is less frequently discussed is its form. It is true that, particularly since Hayden White, scholars have understood histories to be narrative in form and authorial choices like subject position and scale to have po­liti­cal implications. But while individual historical accounts are often treated as having formal properties—­which they do—­scholars rarely acknowledge the fact that the abstracted concept of pro­gress itself has, and is recognizable b­ ecause of, specific

38  Pro­gress and Informal Empire, 1808–1875

narrative form(s). It is the very recognizability of the pro­gress narrative—­its simplicity and portability as a form—­that has given it such forceful influence around the world, but the formal features of pro­gress are rarely articulated in a narratological sense. T ­ hese forms are the subject of the first half of this book. Pro­gress is far from a unitary notion, particularly in the nineteenth ­century, when evolution, gradualism, Hegelianism, and Whig history—to name a few—­a ll relied on the basic idea of pro­gress but nonetheless i­ magined it to shape historical unfolding in varied ways. ­There is plenty of scholarship on the divergence among such intellectual traditions, and what interests me is not the ways they understood pro­gress differently but rather the basic set of forms common to them all.10 Therefore, I w ­ ill not be tracing par­tic­u­lar iterations of pro­gress, how it took shape differently in the hands of, for example, Kant, Hegel, Comte, Mill, Marx, Darwin, Martineau, Spencer, or Bury. Instead, following Mehta’s aphorism that “imperial narratives, perhaps all narratives, especially ­those of power, lose their effectivity in proportion to how complex they become,”11 I am homing in on the potent simplicity of the pro­gress narrative. I treat it as a form abstracted from its cases, an idea that has identifiable and iterable shape, a concept inseparable from the ­simple curved line of its instantly recognizable graphonym—­a philosophy, in short, with form. This is not a turn away from history. On the contrary, I propose simply to invert one common way that scholars have bridged history and form: rather than once again recounting the history of a form (in this case, pro­gress), I ­will instead analyze the forms that this historical explanation takes. This, in turn, ­will illuminate the reasons why nineteenth-­century Britons and Latin Americans strug­gled to formalize the story of informal empire that so powerfully ­shaped their histories. So, what forms generate the nineteenth-­century pro­gress narrative’s upward curve? First, it is diachronic. The primary purpose of the pro­gress narrative is to make meaningful connections among past, pre­sent, and f­ uture, and it is therefore only legible as itself when expressed as change across time. The same could be said about most if not all descriptions of historical unfolding, but it is nevertheless impor­tant to note that pro­gress is deeply dependent on its diachronic structure, especially given that capitalism in the nineteenth c­ entury begins to introduce the experience of time as a perpetual pre­sent increasingly unmoored from past and f­ uture (more on this in chapter 3). The diachronicity of pro­gress also reminds us of its dynamism, as distinct from the model of

Sequence, Protagonist, Paradox   39

equilibrium, which defines itself precisely against the idea that temporal flow has meaning. A second and related form of the pro­gress narrative is that it is linear. That is to say, in terms of sequence, pro­gress is both continuous and irreversible; time does not stop, skip, or move backward. It is ­here that pro­gress distinguishes itself from, for instance, a catastrophist explanation of geological history, ­under which time may lurch forward (or backward) suddenly as the result of a cataclysm unconnected to past events.12 It is no coincidence that as pro­gress reached its ascendancy in the early to mid-­nineteenth c­ entury, catas­ trophism gave way to the gradualist, uniformitarian explanation of geologic change, which shares pro­gress’s linear form. Linearity does not imply any par­ tic­u­lar directionality, however, so we must also note that pro­gress is defined, thirdly, by its structure of increase. It does not descend or plateau but moves only upward. In nineteenth-­century thought, the content of such increase may be named liberty, civilization, complexity, reason, order, or peace, but in each case a progressive history imagines its object to improve, accumulate, or grow over time without revisiting or repeating prior states.13 It is this specific structure that separates pro­gress from the degenerative and cyclical models of history—­a nd from Yeats’s vision of history as a series of “gyres” or cyclical degenerations. Conceptions of pro­gress do not usually describe an unchanging rate of increase, however; they assume that the rate itself increases, that ­human socie­ ties accumulate knowledge and so change faster all the time. This gives the pro­gress narrative its fourth form: acceleration. At this crossroads pro­gress diverges from the gradualist view of history, ­under which the pace of change is constant. And fi­nally, to fully describe the form of pro­gress, we must add that it is teleological. That is, on their own, diachronicity, linearity, acceleration, and increase do not necessarily imply an end state, but pro­gress typically does assume that history moves t­ oward a final goal: a utopian ­future of h ­ uman perfection.14 As Eric Hobsbawm points out, the exact lineaments of such perfection are often left vague precisely ­because utopia is a changeless equilibrium at odds with the model of universal pro­gress meant to precede it.15 And vari­ ous progressive accounts of history disagree on why history moves ­toward its telos (natu­ral law, divine ­will, ­human effort), the specific contours of that telos (peace, pure reason, socialism), and w ­ hether it is achievable, but they typically share the view that pro­gress’s structure of increase does indeed move t­ oward

40  Pro­gress and Informal Empire, 1808–1875

a describable fulfillment. Teleology provides a purposiveness to pro­gress that assures it cannot be explained as pure contingency. The pro­gress narrative, therefore, has five distinguishing forms: it is diachronic, linear, increasing, accelerating, and teleological.16 ­These speak to the order, rate, and destination of change, and are therefore all facets of narrative sequence. Individually and in combination, they render pro­gress formally distinct from other narrative and nonnarrative models of history, such as cycles, catastrophism, degeneration, equilibrium, radical contingency, gradualism, or the gyre. Together they produce a single visual model—­t he upward, exponential curve that graphonymically expresses the concept of history-­as-­progress—­and they lend to any discussion of pro­gress an under­ lying set of assumptions about the structural relations between past, pre­sent, and ­future. This book pays attention to the forms of historical narrative not in order to reject historicism in f­avor of hermetic formalism but rather to better understand the forces that form has unleashed in specific historical contexts. And it is particularly clear that the sequence-­based forms of pro­gress contributed significantly to the devastating ideologies of nineteenth-­century British empire. Consider that the combination of two of them—­linearity and the structure of increase—­make legible the narratological concept of anachronism: it becomes pos­si­ble to identify something as being out of joint with the flow of time as soon as we understand the past to be hierarchically dif­fer­ent from the pre­sent and time to move only forward. This, then, is the potent formal combination that nineteenth-­century thinkers leveraged in order to conceive of ­people around the world as themselves anachronistic, or locked in the past. Pro­gress’s relentlessly sequential forms re-­rendered spatial distance as temporal distance, enabling the British Empire to consign racialized ­others, as Dipesh Chakrabarty puts it, to the “waiting room of history.”17 As both Chakra­ barty and Johannes Fabian point out, we have not yet eradicated such dangerous temporal relativity from the western intellectual tradition.18 But the sequential forms of pro­gress have also troubled the proj­ect of empire even while sustaining it. Among the impor­tant insights in Uday Mehta’s Liberalism and Empire is his argument that the civilizing mission actually had a sequence prob­lem: the ideology of improvement holds that while colonized ­others are “­behind” their western counter­parts, the empire w ­ ill accelerate their pro­gress. Taken to its logical conclusion, this idea implies that the colonized ­will one day achieve a level of civilization that no longer requires their

Sequence, Protagonist, Paradox   41

colonization—­empire, in other words, ­will eventually produce its own obsolescence.19 To put this in the terms I have been using, the rate of acceleration and the teleological conclusion of pro­gress w ­ ill eventually reduce the difference between colonized and colonizer to nil, thereby ending the justification for colonial rule. Some imperialists (like Anthony Trollope, as I discuss in chapter 3) saw the formal structure of pro­gress in rigid enough terms to support the eventual end of empire that it implied. ­Others ignored or deferred the question, counting on the colonies to remain in an ironically anti-­progressive, permanent “in between” state, an eternal “not yet.”20 The rhetorical effort to describe the colonies as “eternally adolescent, always developing but never developed enough” is what Jed Esty refers to as “the temporal paradox of empire.”21 This highlights two key points: first, that institutions like empire ­didn’t always find a perfect fit with the forms of pro­gress and second, that pro­gress’s forms are elementary and undeviating enough to make such frictions clearly discernible. Mehta’s and Esty’s arguments about temporality also highlight how the pro­gress narrative relies on sometimes inconsistent assumptions about what we might term its “protagonist.” Even when it is used to describe universal historical unfolding, it is not uncommon for the implicit protagonist of this narrative to be a more exclusive subset of humanity, such as western culture, bourgeois culture, or a specific nation or imperial regime. So while I consider the sequential forms of pro­gress such as its linearity to be constitutive, I refer to its protagonist as a secondary form (with its own formal features, a notion that I elaborate in the chapters ahead) b­ ecause it may vary among mankind, ­England, the west, or the anglophone diaspora with enough frequency that no protagonist can be declared a formal default. Setting is another secondary form. It is hardly separable from protagonism, since discussions of pro­gress are so often rendered specifically national or global, but although two p ­ eople might agree that E ­ ngland is progressing, one might locate the source of that pro­gress on En­glish soil while the second attributes it to the increasing resources and power of colonial expansion. So just as empire is a catalytic context for the sequential forms of pro­gress, the imperial theater also renders differences over setting and protagonist highly vis­i­ble. The assumption that pro­gress is Britain’s story, for instance, implies that colonies might perpetually serve the needs of British profit and power, while arguments for decolonization might rely precisely on an effort to center an alternate protagonist, such as Indian nationalism, the global south, or universal humanity. The

42  Pro­gress and Informal Empire, 1808–1875

notion that the colonies might never emerge from perpetual adolescence assumes that they are not the protagonists of progressive history. The forms of pro­gress, therefore, both produced imperial consciousness and created logical inconsistencies with imperial policy. It is ­these inconsistencies that interest me most—­the jagged sites where imperial ideology and the specific formal features of the pro­gress narrative failed to align. And as I ­will argue in the chapters that follow, such frictions between pro­gress and empire are even more vis­i­ble and more problematic in the specific context of British informal empire in Latin Amer­i­ca. It is the argument of this book that master narratives like pro­gress chafed much more against the premises of informal empire in Latin Amer­i­ca than they did against the logic of territorial colonialism, and that informal empire was therefore much more of a misfit with nineteenth-­century British thought than recent critical accounts of its smooth insidiousness typically convey. ­These formal misalignments return us again to history; they occurred in large part ­because of the specific nature of British informal empire in the New World, which was carried out right on the heels of Latin Amer­i­ca’s in­de­pen­ dence from Spain in the 1820s. What made British imperial influence in Latin Amer­i­c a distinct—­apart from the sheer geographic size of the region—­was that in the early nineteenth c­ entury, names like Mexico, “Chili,” and “The Argentine Republic” rang in British ears with very recent echoes of postcolonial liberation. Latin Amer­i­ca, in short, signified pro­gress—­pro­gress out of the benighted era of Spanish rule, pro­gress ­toward republican ideals, and pro­gress ­toward the ultimate triumph of liberty in the world—­precisely during the era of intensifying historical consciousness and the triumph of progressive historical thought. Meanwhile, however, ­these new nations w ­ ere desperately eco­ nom­ically vulnerable, and many British merchants and politicians saw an opportunity for a kind of vulture capitalism that was well understood to be imperial in nature. Explanations for Britain’s informal imperial desire in Latin Amer­i­ca at this precise historical juncture, therefore, ran seriously afoul of the sequential forms of pro­gress. If pro­gress is both linear and ever increasing, then nations that have just emphatically demonstrated their achievement of an elevated stage should not logically be returned to a lower one—in this case, re-­subordination to Eu­ro­pean power. As I ­will show, this friction was exacerbated by the growing conviction that the economic policy mechanism of pro­gress was f­ ree trade, an i­magined lever for the advancement of liberty, in-

Sequence, Protagonist, Paradox   43

novation, and culture that was in real­ity an instrument of in­equality and colonial rule. If history was advancing according to a linear and increasing structure, then, informal empire had prob­lems of narrative form. That is not to say that the material and social realities of informal empire did not proceed apace, ­because over the course of the nineteenth ­century they did, and no conflict with the pro­gress narrative ever stood in the way. But as I w ­ ill show in the first three chapters of this book, onlookers interested in writing Latin Amer­i­ca into world history consistently found that British informal empire crashed illogically against the specific sequential forms of the pro­gress narrative. Simón Bolívar, for instance (chapter 1), strug­gled to explain how Latin Amer­i­ca’s dependence on British power could be sequentially subsequent to their in­de­ pen­dence from Spain in a progressive structure of increase. Anna Laetitia Barbauld (chapter 2), looking at the same historical moment from the other side of the Atlantic, saw Latin Amer­i­c a’s pro­gress as incompatible with Britain’s imperial interests precisely ­because they could not occupy the same temporal instant in pro­gress’s linear, forward flow. For his part, Anthony Trollope (chapter 3) argued that the intensifying cap­i­tal­ist institutions undergirding informal empire in Latin Amer­i­c a ­were breaking the progressive temporality of history altogether, replacing its fundamental diachronicity with stasis, or the treadmill of accumulation. As they wrote British informal empire in Latin Amer­i­ca into their narratives, ­these authors showed how it both refused accommodation within the sequential forms of progressive history and created a conflict over who the protagonist of that history might be. Part I of this book, therefore, focuses on the years 1808–1875 ­because they encapsulate two overlapping historical eras: the years when informal empire in Latin Amer­i­ca became pos­si­ble, and the height of progressive historical consciousness. The year 1808 marks the Latin American revolutionaries’ first diplomatic contact with London on the eve of their breach from Spain. And 1875 is the date of Anthony Trollope’s The Way We Live Now, a novel that grapples si­mul­ta­neously with what was by then widespread informal empire in Latin Amer­i­ca and the dawning notion—­captured in its temporally poised title—­that pro­gress might be on the wane. Pro­gress predates ­these years, and informal empire lasted ­a fter them, but this range pinpoints their historical overlap, a period when a new idea about empire collided with a dominant idea about time, and the two sat together uneasily at best. The following chapters

44  Pro­gress and Informal Empire, 1808–1875

use poems, letters, essays, travelogues, and novels to track the way Britain’s imperial control over Latin Amer­i­c a butted up against the structure of the pro­g­ress narrative—­that is, how two hegemonic ideologies, empire and pro­g­ ress, failed to align. As I argue, it was the forms of pro­gress—­its sequence (diachronicity, linearity, increase, acceleration, and telos) and protagonist—­ that created this friction and helped expose the paradoxes of informal empire. In the hands of t­ hese writers, then, narrative form became a power­ful argument against the specter of informal empire.

c h a p t e r on e

(In)dependence Simón Bolívar and Revolutionary Forms of Pro­gress

At the end of the eigh­teenth ­century, the Atlantic world was rocked by the American, French, and Haitian revolutions in quick succession. Latin Amer­ i­c a was the next domino to fall, and its wars of in­de­pen­dence in the early nineteenth ­century caused perhaps the most wide-­reaching shifts in power; they w ­ ere a massive social, economic, and geopo­liti­cal event. But Latin American in­de­pen­dence was also a narrative event. Revolutions disrupt. They interrupt the flow of history, promising to break from the past and redirect the ­future along a new trajectory. And the uprisings that shocked the world between 1775 and 1825 ­were spurred by Enlightenment philosophies that had also, si­mul­ta­neously, spurred a new historical consciousness, denaturalizing and interrogating the very structure of history itself. As Jeremy Adelman puts it, the phenomenon of in­de­pen­dence in the Atlantic world “meant that p ­ eople could make—­a nd thus write—­history anew. . . . ​The quest for sovereignty also involved efforts to plot narratives to evoke a sense of history of a p ­ eople 1 coming into being.” In the midst and aftermath of in­de­pen­dence, revolutionary leader Simón Bolívar would be a principal author of Latin Amer­i­c a’s new narratives. He knew that it was a complicated task. On the one hand, postcolonial in­de­pen­ dence suggested a thorough divorce from the institutions and hierarchies of the past. Visiting Rome in 1805, several years before he would lead the revolution, Bolívar reportedly declared: “Este pueblo ha dado para todo, menos para la causa de la humanidad. . . . ​Mas en cuanto a resolver el gran problema del hombre en libertad, parece que el asunto ha sido desconocido y que el despejo de esa misteriosa incógnita no ha de verificarse sino en el Nuevo Mundo.”2 Casting “the ­great prob­lem of man set ­free” as unique to the Amer­ i­cas, Bolívar set up postcolonial in­de­pen­dence as a radical break not only

46  Pro­gress and Informal Empire, 1808–1875

from Spain’s control but also from Eu­rope’s l­ imited set of ideas about liberty. On the other hand, this breach also augured an uncomfortable return. Even before the fighting began in Venezuela, Bolívar’s desire to break from Spain was paired with a desire to unite with E ­ ngland. He studied En­glish models of government and education, courted British economic and po­liti­cal support, and traveled to London to solidify diplomatic relations. This was an effort to stabilize the revolutionary cause with much-­needed funding and supplies, but it was also part of Bolívar’s long-­term goal of joining Latin Amer­i­ca and ­Great Britain in geopo­liti­cal partnership. He was well aware, however, that tethering fragile new nation-­states to a global economic juggernaut might only reestablish imperial dependence. In this chapter, I focus on the quandary Bolívar faced in the 1810s and 1820s as he i­magined the pos­si­ble stories that might describe Latin Amer­i­ca’s entrance into the global community, stories that could “give [meaning] to sovereignty.”3 He had recent examples on which to draw, and he was especially inspired by the in­de­pen­dence of the United States, but the story of Latin Amer­i­c a ­wasn’t so easy to tell. Bolívar wanted sovereignty and pro­gress for Latin Amer­i­ca. To a significant degree he also pursued British informal empire as a solution to instability. The fact that both courses seemed pos­si­ble points up the strangeness of informal empire in the first place, its joint reliance on the ideas of Latin American sovereignty and subjection. And as Bolívar explored this conjunction, he had to grapple with a paradox: how to argue si­ mul­ta­neously for the sovereignty and dependence of his p ­ eople, all while telling a story that accorded with the common assumption that history had progressive form. As I w ­ ill show, his solution was to revise the pro­gress narrative itself, specifically its sequence and protagonist, and reshape it into a form that could accommodate both informal empire and Latin American sovereignty. Through readings of Bolívar’s letters and essays between 1808 and 1826 (roughly the duration of the wars of in­de­pen­dence), I argue that even this attempted resolution could not solve the paradox of informal empire.4 He simply could not resolve its structural dependence on both freedom and subjugation within a progressive model of historical time.

Bolívar and Britain Simón Bolívar is by far the most prominent figure of Latin American in­de­ pen­dence, “one of the few leaders . . . ​who remained fully engaged in the strug­gle from beginning to end.”5 He oversaw the creation of “Gran Colom-

(In)dependence  47

bia,” an early experiment in Latin American nation-­formation covering the vast landmass that now includes Venezuela, Colombia, Ec­ua­dor, and Panama, and he served as its president for eleven years. He was temporarily president of Bolivia (named for him) and he also achieved the final liberation of Peru and served as its president for three years. He is known by the succinct moniker “the Liberator,” and it is hard to overstate e­ ither his role in Latin Amer­ i­c a’s shift to self-­rule or his cultural legacy as a figure for revolution. But in many ways he was an unlikely actor for the part. Born in 1783 into the elite class of Creole plantation ­owners in Venezuela,6 the privileged Bolívar came into adulthood possessed of a slaveholding plantation and several copper mines, surrounded by a social circle of aristocrats loyal to Spain. He did not seem likely to become one of the continent’s most committed abolitionists and the face of revolution. But Bolívar’s lifetime saw the arrival of globalization in South Amer­i­ca. Despite Spain’s best efforts to enforce isolationism and trade mono­poly, Venezuela could not stay sequestered from the Atlantic flows passing through nearby Jamaica, Haiti, Trinidad, Curaçao, and other international hubs. By the early nineteenth c­ entury, British industrial goods in par­tic­u ­lar had permanently infiltrated Spanish-­ American trading, and “­these ­were precisely the years when Bolívar began to be conscious of the wider Atlantic world. He saw a new economic metropolis [­Great Britain] displacing Spain in Amer­i­ca.”7 ­These networks also carried Eu­ ro­pean ideas. News of the American, French, and Haitian revolutions arrived, and so did Enlightenment philosophy—­especially notions of universal ­human rights, reason, and pro­gress.8 As a young man, Bolívar read avidly,9 traveled throughout Eu­rope (where he met the likes of Alexander von Humboldt), and returned to South Amer­i­ca with a commitment to in­de­pen­dence steeped in Enlightenment princi­ples. From his earliest participation in the revolutionary proj­ect, Bolívar wanted the British involved, and he w ­ asn’t alone. Francisco de Miranda—­Bolívar’s pre­de­ces­sor in the in­de­pen­dence strug­gle—­had been in and out of London since the 1780s, trying to attract support for Latin American revolution. And in 1810, when Venezuelan leaders established their own government as a preliminary step t­ oward declaring in­de­pen­dence, they sent a group of revolutionaries including Bolívar to E ­ ngland to open lines of communication. During a multi-­day series of conversations with the foreign minister, the Marquis of Wellesley, they heard the official government line: ­because Britain had recently sided with Spain against Napoleon, they w ­ ere not in a position to support Latin Amer­i­ca against Spain. But although the Venezuelans failed to receive

48  Pro­gress and Informal Empire, 1808–1875

an outright declaration of support,10 Bolívar was undaunted. In a report to the revolutionary leadership back home, he wrote: Esté V.S. persuadido, como nosotros lo estamos, de que a pesar del tono de ti­ bieza y reserva que se nota en su contestación a nuestras proposiciones, y en el memorándum que ahora acompañamos, hay en este gobierno disposiciones efectivas y muy favorables hacia nosotros; disposiciones que cuadran demasiado con el estado ­actual de las cosas y con los intereses de la Inglaterra para que puedan disputarse o ponerse en duda. No se necesita mucha perspicacia para descubrirla en los papeles mismos que citamos, sin embargo de que han sido hechos para comunicarlos a los españoles y además esperamos que se aumenten y desenvuelvan cada día, a proporción que se vaya acercando la España a su disolución.11

Bolívar is d ­ oing a bit of close reading h ­ ere, interpreting Wellesley’s “tone of coolness and reserve” as a purely diplomatic front masking his ­actual “interest” in Latin American revolution. “Interest” is r­ eally the operative term, capturing a crucial duality: Britain’s interest in humanitarian affairs, and their desire to pursue their own best interests in the global market. Bolívar was right that he had piqued both Britain’s curiosity and their avarice. Indeed, this meeting was only the beginning of what would quickly become a robust relationship between Britain and Latin Amer­i­ca. Official partnership was not yet pos­si­ble, but Britain was gaining ground in the Latin American trading routes, and Caracas had an ear in London. Bolívar stayed for six months, and by joining Miranda’s circle he met figures like Joseph Lancaster and William Wilberforce, whose ideas about social institutions would influence him for the rest of his life.12 Like many Latin American revolutionaries Bolívar was an anglophile,13 and throughout the wars of in­de­pen­dence and their aftermath, he would maintain correspondence with British officials, build British-­inspired schools and governments, court British business, and attempt to persuade his countrymen of the importance of such moves. Perhaps nothing better captures the depth of this interest than the ten years he spent organ­izing the Congress of Panama, his plan to unify Latin Amer­i­ca through a Pan-­A merican confederation of states. In addition to inviting the hispanophone American nations, he wanted to reserve one extra seat at the t­ able—­for ­Great Britain.14 He believed that the British “should be given rights of South American citizens, and South Americans should emulate the British and embrace their moral code.”15 When the Congress fi­nally met in 1826, they admitted Britain only as an observer, but Bolívar had already spent fifteen years

(In)dependence  49

opening the cultural and economic channels that reduced official partnership to a mere formality.

Duality The frequency of Bolívar’s overtures to the British, as well as the advantage the British took of them, are both easy to confirm. What merits close attention is the dual rhe­toric he ­adopted as he courted a relationship he knew would both promote and limit Latin Amer­i­ca’s in­de­pen­dence. In 1814 Bolívar wrote to British Foreign Secretary Castlereagh, opening with this blunt proclamation: “Buscando en la presente revolución de la América el objeto de los pue­ blos en hacerla, han sido estos dos: sacudir el yugo español, y amistad y comercio con la Gran Bretaña.”16 The emphasis in italics belongs to Bolívar himself, who wanted to convince Castlereagh that a relationship with Britain was equally as impor­tant to him as the overthrow of Spain. It w ­ asn’t just flattery; he r­ eally worried that Latin Amer­i­ca c­ ouldn’t achieve the one without the other. But notice that t­ here is a second pairing in this short passage: Bolívar’s dual appeal to British friendship and British commerce. Each of t­ hese two pairings—­ Latin American freedom from revolution and a relationship with Britain, and Britain’s desire for partnership and profit—­entails a volatile, tense contradiction which is itself the constitutive structure of informal empire. Each one, as we ­will see, also places a strain on the linear, upward, curved form of the pro­gress narrative. The second pairing, a Janus-­like appeal to Britain’s self-­abdicating humanitarianism and its self-­interested desire for financial gain, is deeply embedded in the British–­L atin American relationship in the first quarter of the nineteenth ­century, in writing from both sides of the Atlantic. For years Miranda had been making the same pitch to the British that Latin American freedom could be justified by both liberty and commerce. That sentiment had been repeated in British publications and whispered in government offices, and in 1812 Andrés Bello used his London publication of the Venezuelan constitution to make the same dual argument.17 It was, in short, the standard rationale for British involvement in Latin Amer­i­c a, proffered by En­glishmen and Latin Americans alike.18 Bolívar himself used it regularly. In 1815 he was in Jamaica, attempting to regroup ­a fter a number of setbacks in the revolution, and he wrote to Wellesley, worrying that the Latin American cause would be lost “­unless strong, skillful [British] craftsmen help construct the edifice of our

50  Pro­gress and Informal Empire, 1808–1875

freedom.”19 The double notion of liberty and industry is so intertwined in his syntax as to become the tenor and vehicle of meta­phor, as he asks the “skilled craftsmen” of ­England to build Latin Amer­i­ca’s “freedom.” Given the importance Bolívar placed on financial stability as a necessary ele­ment to secure freedom, and freedom as a necessary ele­ment to secure financial stability, it is not even clear which functions as the tenor and which the vehicle. Such rhetorical commingling is more the rule of Bolívar’s writing than the exception. During this same exile in Jamaica, he wrote the document we now call the Jamaica Letter, which has become his single most famous text. It was a long letter ostensibly written to his British friend Henry Cullen, but this conceit allowed him to address the entire English-­speaking world during a grim moment for the revolution. The letter would be published—in English—­ and it was, in short, an “effort to challenge ­England and Eu­ro­pean liberals to have the imagination to sponsor American in­de­pen­dence.”20 Though he speaks of “Eu­rope” throughout the letter, it is clear that Britain was his primary intended audience,21 particularly in passages like this one: “Civilized Eu­rope, merchant, lover of liberty, w ­ ill she allow a decrepit serpent to devour the most beautiful part of the globe out of pure venomous rage? What? Is Eu­rope deaf to the clamour of her own interests? Has she no eyes to see justice?”22 In just forty-­four words Bolívar twice makes his familiar simultaneous appeal to freedom and commercial enterprise. First he defines Eu­rope as “civilized” ­because of its two principal roles: “merchant” and “lover of liberty.” He then repeats the pairing with a bodily meta­phor in which Eu­rope’s ears listen for commercial opportunity in “her own best interests,” while her eyes watch for abuses of “justice” inflicted on o­ thers. L ­ ater in the letter he returns to the theme, affirming that Eu­rope should promote Latin American in­de­pen­ dence “not only b­ ecause world equilibrium demands it but b­ ecause this is the legitimate and sure way to acquire overseas markets. Eu­rope . . . ​[would be] fully justified by reasons of fairness and enlightenment to proceed on this course dictated by her own best interests.”23 The frequency with which Bolívar makes this dual appeal to liberty and commerce shows how central both arguments ­were to the specific context of British–­Latin American relations in this moment. Judith Ewell suggests that ­Great Britain made a logical ally for Spanish Amer­i­ca ­because it was “the sole ­great power that could find liberalism compatible with self-­interest,”24 and as Karen Racine claims, the idea of Latin American in­de­pen­dence began to attract “two types not usually found together: romantic poets and merchants.”25

(In)dependence  51

On the one hand, then, Bolívar’s rhe­toric is simply strategic: he knows that the British w ­ ill welcome both a moral and a financial reason for intervening in Latin American affairs, and he offers them both. But on the other hand, the pairing touches a deeper question about the relationship between British morality and British profiteering at the dawn of the nineteenth ­century. In their justifications for territorial empire, Eu­ro­pean powers generally tried to mask the latter motive; the very idea of the civilizing mission was crafted to suggest that altruism was at stake and self-­interest was not. But in the case of informal empire, Bolívar and ­others place Britain’s self-­interest at the center of the discussion, an open enticement to their participation in the in­de­pen­ dence proj­ect. The duality, then, is not a surface/depth or a real/false structure in which the pursuit of another’s gain is the cover for Britain to pursue her own. The two drives, despite their antagonism, are both foundational to the explanatory logic of informal empire. They are antagonistic, of course, ­because Britain’s “love of liberty,” her interest in “fairness and enlightenment,” references her support for Latin Amer­ i­c a’s freedom from imperial Eu­ro­pean rule, while her status as “merchant” in pursuit of “her own best interests” references a commercialism that was obviously imperial. Although the term “informal empire” d ­ idn’t exist in his day, Bolívar knew very well that British commercial power overlapped dangerously with British imperial power. He knew that in­de­pen­dence from Spain might mean “exchanging one tyranny for another,” becoming “a mere pawn of the Napoleonic Empire in 1808 or of a nascent British Empire.”26 But he was willing to take the risk ­because he thought ­there was no choice; the survival of the new Latin American states depended on Britain’s power­ful support.27 In his 1815 letter to Wellesley he worries Latin Amer­i­ca w ­ on’t actually achieve its in­de­pen­dence “­unless ­Great Britain, the liberator of Eu­rope, friend of Asia, and protector of Africa, consents to be the savior of Amer­i­ca.”28 Surely his language flatters Britain’s sense of its own liberal authority, but the language of “protector” and “savior” also places Latin Amer­i­ca in uncomfortable com­pany among other regions of British influence, including violent territorial takeovers in South Africa and India—­happening in ­these very years ­under Wellesley’s own guidance. Bolívar, in short, knew that by appealing to Britain’s “love of liberty,” he was courting its imperialism. It w ­ asn’t only in addressing British audiences that he used such language: eigh­teen months e­ arlier he had made much the same argument to his own countrymen as he tried to convince them to support an alliance with the

52  Pro­gress and Informal Empire, 1808–1875

British. In an essay in the brand new Gazeta de Caracas, he urged Venezuelans to embrace rather than fear Britain’s power: “Nadie dude que la Nación poderosa [la Gran Bretaña] que ha defendido constantemente en despecho de la fortuna, la Independencia de la Europa, no defendería igualmente la de la América, si se viese atacada. Alegrémonos al contrario por el irresistible ascendiente que ella va a tomar sobre ambos Emisferios para afianzar la libertad del Universo.”29 Bolívar acknowledges Britain’s im­mense power—­its “irresistible ascendancy” over the entire globe. But he si­mul­ta­neously suggests that such imperial hegemony is a guarantor of freedom for all. It’s a paradoxical assertion that he only makes more succinct ­later in the essay, writing: “A [la] sombra [de Inglaterra] la América podrá afirmar su libertad.”30 This 1814 statement is strikingly reminiscent of—­indeed nearly syntactically identical to—­James Mill’s 1809 declaration on the other side of the Atlantic that Spanish Amer­i­ca ­will be able, “­under the protection of ­Great Britain, to constitute [itself] a ­free and in­de­pen­dent nation.”31 Both men invoke Latin American freedom as a category that can be asserted within the constraints of British power. Both “protection” and “shadow” suggest Britain’s supremacy in the relationship, with Bolívar’s term being perhaps the more aware of imperialism, as “shadow” is an ominous image that not only implies Britain’s standing but also a limit to Latin Amer­i­ca’s potential, a dimming of its enlightenment. So, what appears in so much of Bolívar’s writing as the apparently effortless commingling of two ideas—­British altruism and British commercialism—­ turns out to be somewhat more unsettled. British commercial power is ­indeed imperial, which means that the pairing is something more like British-­backed liberty and British-­imposed subjugation, placing Bolívar in the paradoxical position of suggesting that British imperial power is a “guarantee of universal freedom.” This contradiction, as we w ­ ill see, is only exacerbated by the necessity of telling Latin Amer­i­ca’s story within the formal constraints of the pro­gress narrative. As he appeals to liberty, cosmopolitanism, and ­human rights on the one hand, and imperial f­ ree trade, industry, and social hierarchy on the other, he ­will have to reshape pro­gress itself. Bolívar’s relationship to narratives of history was all the more complex ­because Latin American in­de­pen­dence suggested another pair of conflicting trajectories: rupture with the past and restoration of past rights. As the Creole elite began to write themselves into world history, they sought to legitimize their own rule over the indigenous while also drawing on the injustices of indigenous history to buttress their claims to sovereignty.32 To this day, Latin

(In)dependence  53

Amer­i­ca carries the legacy of a number of tensions, including “regionalismo/ occidentalismo, indigenismo/europeización, tradicionalismo/progreso, telurismo/modernidad, colonialismo/Ilustración, [and] barbarie/civilización.”33 As Mariselle Meléndez notes, the nineteenth-­century Latin American essay—of which the Jamaica Letter is a signal example—­was the genre in which Creole authors confronted t­ hese paradoxes, wavering between “la evasión y la re­ conciliación” as they attempted to reassemble a fragmented past into a coherent national history.34 Was Latin Amer­i­c a ushering in an unpre­ce­dented ­future, climbing pro­gress’s uncharted new states of being, or was it returning to its histories, both indigenous and colonial? As Bolívar attempted to give form to British–­Latin American relations, he faced precisely such questions of narrative coherence, particularly t­ hose inspired by the paradoxical duality of imperial f­ ree trade. What kind of pro­gress is a pro­gress ­toward dependence? Appealing to Britain’s twinned interest in Latin American freedom and its own commercial supremacy meant that he had to find a way to make pro­gress tell a bidirectional story. Historical narrative form already interested Bolívar, who preferred history to all other studies and was especially fond of “historical po­liti­cal surveys.”35 Tellingly, according to Lynch, he read ancient history “not for practical lessons or exemplary institutions” but instead for, among other ­things, “the quality of its narrative.” Nor did he treat such narratives as having a fixed or sacrosanct form; he advocated, for instance, that students of history read it backward beginning from the pre­sent.36 Perhaps this explains why, as he wrote informal empire into existence, he was willing to revise the narrative forms of pro­gress that got in the way.

Sequence: Linearity and Increase The under­lying sine qua non of British informal empire in Latin Amer­i­ca was that it depended on the sovereignty of its target states, not as a precondition to empire but as a concurrent condition.37 But one of the signal formal features of the pro­gress narrative is its sequence, in par­tic­u­lar its relentless linearity and its structure of increase. It promises to be an engine of ever-­increasing upward advancement in technology, liberty, and the arts. U ­ nder a progressive epistemology, therefore, the prospect of informal empire suggested a paradox: that a nation might si­mul­ta­neously occupy two positions—­sovereignty and imperial subjugation—­which other­w ise appeared as sequential events on pro­gress’s upward curve. It implied both having sovereignty and being

54  Pro­gress and Informal Empire, 1808–1875

dependent, being both ­free and unfree. Not progressing away from e­ ither but ­toward both. So inviting ­Great Britain into this commercial relationship, where commerce somehow meant both imperialism and freedom, appeared to be conceptually irreconcilable. Bolívar’s solution, developed across many of his texts, was to describe informal empire as a developmental stage on the way ­toward complete in­de­pen­ dence. In an 1826 letter to José Rafael Revenga, Gran Colombia’s Minister of Foreign Relations, he describes his hope that Britain w ­ ill help guide and stabilize the Pan-­A merican confederation of states that he had long wanted to or­ga­nize. He sees this stewardship as a phase in Latin Amer­i­c a’s growing in­de­pen­dence: An alliance with G ­ reat Britain would give us g­ reat prestige and respectability. ­Under her protection we would grow, and we would l­ater be able to take our place among the stronger civilized nations. Any fears that power­f ul ­England might become the arbiter of the counsels and decisions of the assembly, that her voice, her ­will, and her interests might determine the course of its deliberations are remote fears; and, should they one day materialize, they cannot outweigh the positive, immediate, and tangible benefits that such an alliance would give at this time. First the Confederation must be born and grow strong, and then the rest ­will follow. During its infancy we need help so that in manhood we w ­ ill be able to defend ourselves. At pre­sent the alliance can serve our purpose; the ­future ­will take care of itself.38

Note first how steeped his language is in the assumption of progressive historical time. He conceptualizes international politics entirely through the figure of maturation, which is a direct function of pro­gress’s insistent sequentiality. Latin Amer­i­c a w ­ ill grow from “birth” to “infancy” to “manhood,” a tripartite development whose stages map onto po­liti­cal sovereignty (the birth of or­ga­nized self-­governance through the confederation), informal empire (Britain’s “protection”), and full in­de­pen­dence (the ability to “defend ourselves” as one of the world’s “civilized nations”). Marking ­these changes with the words “first,” “then,” and “­later,” Bolívar relies on the very relentlessness of pro­gress’s sequential form to suggest that informal empire is merely a stage in Latin Amer­i­ca’s upward trajectory—an improvement on colonization and a precursor to total in­de­pen­dence. H ­ ere sequence and teleology intersect, since pro­gress’s upward climb is so certain as to be inevitable; once set in motion, Bolívar writes, “the f­ uture w ­ ill take care of itself.” Informal empire, u ­ nder

(In)dependence  55

which Latin Amer­i­ca may find itself subject to E ­ ngland’s “voice, her w ­ ill, and her interests,” ­will apparently give way, inexorably, to total freedom. The forms of pro­gress do not merely afford it but in fact require it to be so. This means, however, that while elsewhere Bolívar firmly yokes Britain’s interest in power with her interest in Latin American freedom, he must h ­ ere split them apart. It is clear that inviting Britain into this council runs high risks: it might make ­England “the arbiter of the counsels and decisions of the assembly.” While calling ­those “remote fears,” Bolívar nonetheless admits they may come to pass and suggests that existence u ­ nder the sway of British power is preferable to no existence at all. Latin Amer­i­ca, in other words, may very well have to pass through another phase of imperial rule on its way to full “manhood.” Informal empire was a conceptual paradox in terms of progressive history b­ ecause it suggested that Latin Amer­i­ca must be both ­free and not ­free at the same time. ­Here Bolívar breaks that duality apart by arguing that British control of Latin Amer­i­ca is not in itself freedom. Allowing Britain to direct the assembly would indeed precisely not be self-­governance. This would itself appear to defy sequential pro­gress by returning newly in­de­pen­dent Latin Amer­i­ca to a state of de­pen­dency, but Bolívar manages this seeming contradiction by suggesting that informal empire is temporary, a lever for the attainment of freedom in the f­uture. In this way, he does not have to conceive of freedom and de­pen­dency as simultaneous states; he renders them sequential—­ first comes British imperial rule and then comes Latin American freedom. And so, b­ ecause pro­gress does not afford a concept of informal empire—­ because it formally deters it—­Bolívar uses pro­gress’s own relentless sequence to crack informal empire apart, to split its two constitutive drives (domination and liberation) into sequential rather than concurrent states. He is now, however, courting informal empire while undermining its basic structure. This 1826 letter is far from the only instance in which Bolívar mapped out this stagist trajectory for the ­future of Latin Amer­i­ca. He had implied the same ­thing in his 1815 Jamaica Letter for a British audience, writing: “When we are at last strong, ­under the auspices of a liberal nation that lends us its protection, then we w ­ ill cultivate in harmony the virtues and talents that lead to glory; then we ­will follow the majestic path ­toward abundant prosperity marked out by destiny for South Amer­i­c a.”39 And he put it even more succinctly in an 1823 letter to Bernardo de Monteagudo, his colleague in Peru: “All t­ hings considered, we s­ hall have guardians during our youth, masters during our maturity, and freedom in our old age.”40 In both of ­these examples

56  Pro­gress and Informal Empire, 1808–1875

we can again see the sheer relentlessness of the sequential forms of pro­gress as Bolívar understands it. It is inexorably linear and increasing. And he is insistent that despite t­ hese forms, he can appeal to both Britain’s self-­interest in power and her altruistic interest in Latin American freedom by splitting them into consecutive events, disarticulating informal empire’s constitutive claims in order to argue for it. But even as he tries to unwind the paradox, we see it reemerge: in depicting the state of informal empire that he is promoting, he is forced to describe British influence as having “masters in our maturity,” a phrase that reintroduces the very simultaneity he is trying to cleave apart. This image challenges the developmental logic of imperial pro­gress by suggesting that the childlike need for paternalistic rule (“masters”) coexists with an adulthood (“maturity”) that implies the obsolescence of that very paternalism. No ­matter how he tries to re-­form it, British informal empire simply defies the logic of the pro­gress narrative. It should be obvious at this point that Bolívar was comfortable with both strong central power and compromise. His highest priority was in­de­pen­dence from Spanish colonial rule, and he was willing to sacrifice both individual liberties and national sovereignty in order to declare Latin Amer­i­ca in­de­pen­ dent. For instance, while he was a vocal abolitionist, he also feared that a nation as young and heterogeneous as Venezuela was not ready for demo­cratic princi­ples. His thinking contains a blend “of Enlightenment and democracy, of absolutism and even counter-­revolution.”41 And so he admired the model of a strong, centralized, pseudo-­monarchical government that might improve individual lives without imposing a potentially dangerous social equality—­a configuration he borrowed from the British “reform-­minded aristocracy.”42 Even before the British arrived to manage Latin American industries and influence their policies, therefore, Bolívar and ­others (see chapter 4) ­were already working to model their new nations ­after British institutions. Countries like Venezuela and Argentina emerged already heavi­ly influenced in their very constitution by British thought. So at least he may have been right to argue that real in­de­pen­dence was still waiting in the ­future. But Bolívar nonetheless remained optimistic that Latin Amer­i­ca’s subjection to British influence would in fact be temporary. Indeed, his narrative solution to frame informal empire as a mere way station on the route to full sovereignty is appealingly ­simple. But it also relied on a dif­fer­ent version of the pro­gress narrative than the one the British adhered to—­that is to say, Bolívar

(In)dependence  57

was working with a conception of pro­gress from Latin Amer­i­ca’s point of view, while pro­gress to the British meant their own. One area of disagreement would likely emerge over the implication, embedded in Bolívar’s sequencing, that informal empire is a weaker or lesser form of colonialism, a slackening of power’s grip before it lets go. As Gallagher and Robinson famously describe it, however, informal empire is in fact the primary form of colonial power, operating more efficiently and therefore being more desirable to the imperial metropole.43 And historically we have seen the ultimate preference by power­ ful actors (nations or corporations) to gain leverage by deploying merchants instead of soldiers. The worldwide shift from territorial colonialism to informal empire represents not the loosening of control by the global north but rather the economizing of it. As two stages in a sequence, then, formal and informal empire read to Bolívar as pro­gress ­toward the in­de­pen­dence of Latin Amer­i­ca, but to Eu­rope they likely implied pro­gress t­ oward their own global hegemony. Secondly, as we know, “empire” and “temporary” are not often bedfellows, particularly not from the point of view of the imperialists. Bolívar seems confident on this point, writing that “the f­ uture w ­ ill take care of itself,” as though graduation from colonial structures r­ eally is as inevitable as aging. But imperial powers like Britain worked hard to delay, dispel, and foreclose the eventual maturation implied by the pro­gress narrative. Though they deployed the rhe­toric of parents helping to civilize their ­children, they had no intention of ever letting ­these ­children mature to in­de­pen­dence.44 What telos, in other words, was this history marching ­toward? Latin Amer­i­ca’s pro­gress narrative demanded freedom, while Britain’s demanded their own power. Bolívar’s effort, therefore, to plot informal empire as a developmental stage in Latin Amer­i­ca’s pro­gress needed further management. It was not enough to rely on pro­gress’s inexorable sequence and structure of increase, nor even its teleology, to secure a vision of Latin Amer­i­ca’s eventual freedom. That is ­because Britain’s own view of the pro­gress narrative relied on ­those very same forms—­sequence, increase, and teleology—to describe its own ever-­ increasing international control. Bolívar might have produced a vision of British influence in Latin Amer­i­ca as a kind of paradoxical but mutual position of advantage. But which direction would they go from ­there—­toward Latin American freedom or ongoing British rule? Pro­gress was still a relative concept, and for that reason, Bolívar needed another revision: he had to change the protagonist.

58  Pro­gress and Informal Empire, 1808–1875

Protagonist To the extent that narratives of history are authored, they support the sociopo­ liti­cal goals and values of ­those who write them. In writing world history, therefore, a nation w ­ ill use a formal structure that f­ avors its own self-­perception as exceptional. Hayden White calls this a “narrative center,” a perspective that satisfies the “impulse to rank events with re­spect to their significance for the culture or group that is writing its own history.”45 Drawing on literary formalism, we can use the more familiar and perhaps more evocative term “protagonist.” Nations cast themselves as protagonists of history, which, u ­ nder the regime of progressive historical consciousness in the nineteenth ­century, meant casting themselves as the protagonists of pro­gress. This is why Bolívar’s vision of Latin American pro­gress through British informal empire was still a formal prob­lem. His hope that Latin Amer­i­ca would pass through a stage of de­pen­ dency on G ­ reat Britain and then mature out of it made one very unlikely assumption: that despite their own self-­identity as the protagonist of history, Britain would be content to seize power in the Amer­i­cas and then allow that power to wane. Latin Amer­i­ca was no exception to White’s rule; the new nations wanted to self-­determine, to be protagonists of their own new progressive histories.46 But it was not immediately clear who the “us” of that story would be. As Matthew Brown notes, “nations ­were much more the consequence of the wars of in­de­pen­dence than they w ­ ere their cause,”47 and in the 1810s and 1820s the Creole elite w ­ ere suddenly tasked with what Eric Hobsbawm calls the “invention of tradition”—­the rapid crafting of national identities where ­there had been none. That identity was a complicated category. Even before becoming entangled in late eighteenth-­century globalization and the aftermath of decolonization, Bolívar’s continent was already the site of clashing Eu­ro­pean and indigenous epistemologies and sensibilities.48 The revolutionary Creoles wanted to claim native connection to the land via indigenous history and the tragic narrative of the Conquest, but they also wished to declare a place in the civilized world through their Spanish heritage, the valor of the Conquest, and a power­f ul Enlightenment pro­gress narrative. Crafting “one nation with a common memory . . . ​unified by a shared past”49 was a narrative prob­lem, and Bolívar, lover of historical narrative, was acutely aware of the importance of defining a protagonist. Rojas notes that his Jamaica Letter is “uno de los pri­ meros textos en que se hace explícita la representación de la tensión que registra

(In)dependence  59

el término nosotros, desde el cual se intenta definir lo identitario latinoamericano.”50 In it, Bolívar argued that his ­people ­were both “Americans by birth and endowed with rights from Eu­rope,”51 and in his famous address to the Congress of Angostura he declared that ­because of migration, slavery, and intermarriage, “es imposible asignar con propiedad a qué familia humana pertenecemos.”52 Part Eu­ro­pean, part American, part African, and part indigenous, it was no ­simple task to say who the “us” of Latin American history was. This, however, was a boon to Bolívar in the m ­ atter of his progressive formal paradox. Since it mattered a ­great deal whose pro­gress narrative informal empire formed a part of, and since Latin American identity was already uncertain, Bolívar seized an opportunity to merge British and Latin American identity into a shared protagonist of history. In cultural, po­liti­cal, commercial, and institutional ways, he repeatedly tried to join Britain and Latin Amer­i­ca into not merely partners but kin.53 In addition to planning for E ­ ngland to join a Pan-­A merican confederation and offering citizenship rights to any Britons living on South American soil, he also sought British investors to purchase and operate local Latin American businesses, and he hoped that Latin Americans would “emulate the British and embrace their moral code.”54 He even ­imagined Latin Amer­i­ca as a site for the literal replication of British values, writing to British merchant Maxwell Hyslop in 1815 that the states of Latin Amer­i­c a “only await the dawn of liberty to take to their bosom the continental Eu­ro­ pe­ans and in a few years make another Eu­rope of Amer­i­ca.”55 He wrote the Bolivian constitution to be, in his own words, “an alliance between Eu­rope and Amer­i­ca, between soldier and civilian, between democracy and aristocracy, between imperialism and republicanism,” seeking and receiving British approval of the way it emulated British institutions.56 Bolívar, it is clear, wanted much more than a merely utilitarian allegiance with Britain; he looked to blur the bound­aries of their i­magined community and give the British shared authorship in his emerging national proj­ects. Britain’s own institutions allowed for the blurring of national identity, too. An existing law prohibited British soldiers from fighting on behalf of other nations, but it said nothing about nations in formation, nor revolutionary uprisings on behalf of nations not yet born. The liminal status of Latin Amer­ i­c a, therefore, allowed the British government to look the other way while thousands of volunteers, ­either suffused with emancipatory enthusiasm or weary of poverty, left to fight ­under the Venezuelan banner. London outfitters produced Venezuelan uniforms, and the new conscripts showed them off

60  Pro­gress and Informal Empire, 1808–1875

in the streets before embarking for Amer­i­c a. Support for the liberty of the Spanish colonies flowed through the newspapers, and the public responded positively to t­ hese volunteer soldiers, who ironically would not have been legally permitted to wear the Venezuelan colors if Britain had recognized the very national liberty they w ­ ere g­ oing to fight for.57 Both sides, therefore, participated in a growing cultural and institutional intimacy that spoke to shared rather than competing interests. Such permeable i­ magined community helped Bolívar envision informal empire as a temporary stage in the pro­gress narrative ­because it suggested that Britain and Latin Amer­i­ca ­were together a singular historical protagonist. If pro­gress was Britain’s story and Latin Amer­i­c a’s story separately, then their interests would inevitably diverge, resulting in a zero-­sum strug­gle over resources. Likely foreseeing this, Bolívar instead i­magined a network of nations held together in mutually beneficial relations and seeking the best interests of all. He called this “Universal Equilibrium,” a concept sometimes linked to the intellectual under­pinnings of the United Nations.58 It was his lifelong hope to see international politics conducted on a federalist model in which a central authority (such as a congress of nations) would set guidelines for the success of all members, while still allowing each to develop its own culture and institutions. His vision is clearest in his plan for Pan-­A merican confederation—­the Panama Congress—­with which he intended to unite the hispanophone American states and G ­ reat Britain. In a drafted code for the relations between member-­states, Bolívar outlined seventeen concrete benefits to uniting in such intimate connection, ranging from military defense to shared cultural practices. Referring again to the notion of shared identity with Britain, he promises that “el carácter británico y sus costumbres las tomarían los americanos por los objetos normales de su existencia futura.” In the same list of outcomes he also says that relations between E ­ ngland and Amer­i­c a “lograrían con el tiempo ser unas mismas,” that “un equilibrio perfecto se establecería en este verdadero nuevo orden de cosas,” and that “en la marcha de los siglos, podría encontrarse, quizá, una sola nación cubriendo el universo— la federal.”59 It was a hope he shared with—­a nd perhaps learned from—­ Miranda, who likewise “viewed the Atlantic world as a unified po­liti­cal space” in which “liberty was a shared proj­ect; its advance in one region would guarantee its pro­gress in ­others.”60 In other words, if “the Atlantic world” (or even the entire globe) is the protagonist of history, then pro­gress cannot be zero-­ sum but instead must be shared.

(In)dependence  61

Bolívar’s set of plans to unite the Amer­i­cas and Britain was the very document he was referring to when he assured Revenga that “­under [Britain’s] protection we would grow, and we would ­later be able to take our place among the stronger civilized nations.” This, then, reveals the deeply intertwined nature of Bolívar’s two formal revisions to the pro­gress narrative. As the statement to Revenga shows, he ­imagined that informal empire could be a sequential stage in the progressive unfolding of Latin Amer­i­ca’s history, in which Britain’s self-­interest might first be appealed to in order to secure their influence, and their altruism might then be appealed to in order to shake it off. But this gambit, uncoupling the dual drives of informal empire into consecutive rather than concurrent states, assumed that the British w ­ ere not invested in their own progressively increasing power. Which is why Bolívar directly ties his experimental progressive sequence to his experimental progressive protagonist, imagining that t­ here are not competing pro­gress narratives but a single one that produces the best pos­si­ble outcome for all the world’s nations. ­Under this vision the ­future of sovereignty and prosperity would indeed simply “take care of itself.” Bolívar was not naive about British aspirations to power, but “if Britain wanted to assert itself in América, Bolívar wanted to guide it.”61 That guiding, as we can see, took place as a negotiation of the formal properties of historical pro­gress. He believed that shaping the forms of history meant dictating the shape of international relations.

Paradox The paradoxes of informal empire, however, would escape and defy even ­these acrobatic revisions to the pro­gress narrative. This is due to the massive economic imbalance between Britain and Latin Amer­i­ca that was both necessary, ­because it made informal empire enticing in the first place, and also fundamentally disruptive to a singular vision of pro­gress. The fledgling nations of Latin Amer­i­c a desperately needed industry and po­liti­cal recognition, and they had precious l­ittle to bargain with. From our vantage point, Bolívar made startling offers to G ­ reat Britain in exchange for support. In his 1815 letter to Hyslop, he requested ­rifles, ships, money, and soldiers, suggesting that “with this aid, the rest of South Amer­i­c a could be protected from danger; and, at the same time, the provinces of Panama and Nicaragua could be turned over to the British government for the latter to make of them the center of commerce by building canals which, ­a fter the

62  Pro­gress and Informal Empire, 1808–1875

dikes guarding both oceans have been broken, ­will reduce all distances, however long, and permanently establish British commercial supremacy.” In the same letter he also let Hyslop know that in South Amer­i­c a “­t here could be extracted in the short period of only ten years more precious metals than ­those which now circulate in the entire world. The mountains of New Granada are of gold and silver. A small number of mineralogists could discover more mines than ­those of all Perú and New Spain. What im­mense expectations this small part of the New World holds for British industry!”62 We can see Bolívar ostensibly discussing partnership but realistically inviting colonial rule, offering to “turn over” Panama and Nicaragua to British interests and handing over unfettered access to the natu­ral material riches of the region in support of Britain’s “permanent” “commercial supremacy.” In the end, Bolívar’s efforts helped usher in the financial structures that all but ensured Britain’s influence in Latin Amer­i­ca throughout the nineteenth ­century. He welcomed foreign investment and foreign immigration and was satisfied with South American exports being primarily agricultural. Over the first half of the nineteenth ­century, South Amer­i­ca made l­ittle pro­gress in developing its own industry and manufacturing, relying on imports and losing badly in international price competition. Bolívar “was not unduly concerned for the survival of artisan industries or the achievement of economic self-­sufficiency,”63 and his economic thinking “showed l­ ittle sign of that nationalist reaction to foreign penetration that l­ ater generations expressed.”64 He set an example that would become the norm, renting and selling his own copper mines to British investors and recommending the same practice to the Peruvian government.65 British influence was materially enticing ­because Britain was so rich. But Bolívar’s narrative vision depended on this imbalance as much as his commercial vision did. Despite envisioning the pro­gress narrative as a globally shared form rather than a function of individual nationalisms, Bolívar’s hope for Latin American stability through British finance still required Britain to be a prominent superpower. In an essay titled “Reflexiones sobre el estado ­actual de la Europa, con relación a la América,” published in the Gazeta de Caracas in June 1814, he argued that Britain’s main motivation for helping Latin Amer­ i­ca was that it would not want to lose its own clear position of primacy in Eu­rope.66 And in his draft code for the Panama Congress twelve years ­later, he retained this dependence on precisely ­England’s im­mense power, arguing that “la reforma social, en fin, se habría alcanzado bajo los santos auspicios de la libertad y de la paz, pero la Inglaterra debería tomar necesariamente en sus

(In)dependence  63

manos el fiel de este balanza.” Tellingly he concludes by admitting that “la Gran Bretaña alcanzaría, sin duda, ventajas considerable por este arreglo.”67 Britain’s involvement in Latin Amer­i­ca depends on their lopsided power and their ongoing pursuit of their own gain. So although he imagines the world in “Universal Equilibrium,” Bolívar repeatedly reveals his dependence on a ­Great Britain that works on behalf of its own interests and its own dominance over the rest of the world. His aspiration to see the Latin American nations become part “of a larger international community that could reduce conflict and protect the interests of the weak” failed, according to Ewell, “­because his idea of Spanish American unity was premature. The nineteenth-­century age of romantic liberalism favored national proj­ects over international ones.”68 Ewell’s point is couched in the ideological context of the age; I would put it in formal terms. Bolívar wanted “freedom and peace” as part of a universal international pro­gress, but achieving this goal required Britain to pursue its own “considerable advantages” as a self-­interested and discrete national actor. This is the paradox of informal empire: it argues for Latin Amer­i­ca’s increasing freedom and Britain’s increasing power, and both are essential, constitutive ele­ments of the relationship. Informal empire depends on both visions of pro­gress—­t hey are differently defined and mutually exclusive, but this conflict is precisely what informal empire consists of. For this reason, Britain’s self-­interest simply cannot be dissolved into Bolívar’s utopian vision of shared global benefit. T ­ here is no informal empire in the first place without Britain’s self-­interest, and Britain’s self-­interest ­will pursue the entrenchment, not the eventual lifting, of informal empire. Occasionally, Bolívar’s attempts to justify allegiance with a power the size of ­England betray his fearful awareness of their implications, as in this remarkable 1825 letter to the vice president of Colombia, Francisco de Paula Santander: [Los ingleses] exigen para reconocernos que sacrifiquemos algunos de nuestros principios políticos . . . ​y sí no los sacrificamos, la Inglaterra nos disuelve como el humo, pues yo repito que su omnipotencia es absoluta y soberana. La prueba de esto es que una pequeña escuadrilla francesa nos está bloqueando, insultando impunemente. ¡Qué poder! ¡Qué resistencia la nuestra! Saquemos partido de esta vejación y liguémonos de alma y cuerpo a los ingleses, para conservar siquiera las formas y las ventajas de un gobierno ­legal y civil. . . . ​[N]o podemos existir

64  Pro­gress and Informal Empire, 1808–1875 aislados ni reunidos en federación sino con el beneplácito de la Inglaterra. . . . ​ Este es el imperio romano a fines de la república y a principios del imperio. La Inglaterra se halla en una progresión ascendente, desgraciado del que se le oponga: aun es desgraciado el que no sea su aliado o no ligue su suerte a ella. Toda la América junta no vale a una armada británica; toda la Santa Alianza no puede contrarrestar a la fuerza compuesta de sus principios liberales con sus inmensos tesoros; medios empleados por una política sagaz e invencible, que todo lo que intenta logra.69

Written some years ­a fter the final achievement of in­de­pen­dence, this letter could be said to perfectly describe both the failure of Bolívar’s vision and Latin Amer­i­ca’s already abject subordination to Britain. Though ­free of Spain, the new nations had not yet received international recognition as sovereign states, a carrot that E ­ ngland used to extort egregiously lopsided trade deals. In this letter Bolívar laments to Santander that in exchange for a treaty of formal recognition the British are “demanding that we sacrifice some of our po­liti­cal princi­ples,” and he argues that if they do not agree, Britain ­will “dissolve us like smoke.” This is a textbook definition of what scholars have now termed informal empire: the compromising of po­liti­cal sovereignty in exchange for a financial relationship that is necessary to survival. “We cannot exist,” Bolívar writes, without capitulating to British desires. The paradox that informal empire forces Bolívar into, then, is that he needs the very lopsided British power that in turn refuses to be shared. Latin American survival depends, in Bolívar’s view, on British support, but the reason it is British support and not French, German, or Italian is precisely ­because Britain is a massive imperial force. And so, whereas elsewhere he argues that Britain’s dual love of liberty and love of wealth w ­ ill combine to make her act in the best interests of Latin Amer­i­ca, h ­ ere he suggests that t­ hese very same dual attributes (“the combined force of her liberal princi­ples and her im­mense wealth”) give Britain “absolute and insuperable” “omnipotence.” This exposes the way that this duality is in fact an opposition—­British self-­interest and British liberal princi­ples might both belong to informal empire’s strange logic, but they cannot be resolved into a single settled idea. Each w ­ ill always emerge to disrupt and challenge the other. His attempt to establish equilibrium with the Panama Congress seven months l­ater might therefore be seen as a last desperate attempt to persuade himself and the world that ­England would not be “absolute and insuperable” permanent masters of the f­ ree New World.

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Conclusion As this chapter has begun to show, and as the following chapters ­will expand upon, informal empire clashed with the dominant historical model of the nineteenth c­ entury: pro­gress. The notion of imperial influence in sovereign states implied both Latin American sovereignty and British imperialism, both a pro­gress narrative belonging to Latin Amer­i­ca and one belonging to Britain. Their irreducible mutual exclusivity was the very stuff of informal empire. ­Because he sought informal empire, ­because he welcomed and aided it, Bolívar faced the challenge of writing it into the histories he was already helping draft on behalf of new nations, and which he fervently hoped would have progressive shape. The only way to fold informal empire into the forms of pro­gress was to revise t­ hose forms, but even this was not enough to defuse the paradox at its core. He could find no narrative form that would describe both Britain’s unstoppable global ascendancy and Latin Amer­i­ca’s place in an equitable global alliance. And since he could not imagine informal empire without the former, he could likewise not persuasively plot informal empire as a path to the latter. He instead circled around and around the two ideas (sovereignty and subjection, partnership and hierarchy, the idea of having “masters in our maturity”), using their friction to court informal empire and therefore never being able to eliminate e­ ither. In the next chapter we w ­ ill hear the echoes of his rhe­toric in British voices, but Simón Bolívar is not the author of informal empire. The idea preexisted his turn on the world stage, and interested British parties worked avariciously to advance it during his time. Nonetheless, he did participate in a conversation among Americans and Eu­ro­pe­ ans that came to define Latin Amer­i­c a’s material relations to the global economy. And his efforts have something to teach us. ­Because Bolívar knew that pro­g­ ress might well be a vehicle only for the already power­ful—or as Marx would ­later put it, ­because “all pro­gress of the spirit has so far been pro­gress against the mass of mankind”70 —he tried to write a narrative in which Eu­ ro­pean self-­promotion and the advancement of peripheral parts of the world could be mutually driving. It was, we might say, hopelessly utopian. (It certainly would not be Marx’s model.) But in the very context—­Latin American in­de­pen­dence—in which Benedict Anderson suggests that nationalism was born,71 we see the Liberator experimenting with transnational and global models of belonging. The age of “romantic liberalism” may have favored

66  Pro­gress and Informal Empire, 1808–1875

nationalism, but Bolívar shows us how its forms could be recombined into alternate social visions as well. Returning to his formal experimentation, therefore, reveals the vast implications embedded in the smallest instances of narrative form, and it reminds us that this may still be a story worth trying to revise and rewrite.

c h a p t e r t wo

“Dependant Kings” Anna Barbauld and a Paradox Deterred

The year 1811 was a pivotal one for an unlikely pair of figures who prob­ably never met: youthful Venezuelan revolutionary Simón Bolívar and elder stateswoman of British lit­er­a­ture Anna Laetitia Barbauld. In July of that year, Caracas declared in­de­pen­dence from Spain, an event that would change the course of Atlantic history and both thinkers’ lives. For his part, Bolívar took to the battlefield in Venezuela and began what would be his enormously successful military and po­liti­cal ­career. Meanwhile, Barbauld took to the pen and wrote Latin American revolution into what would be the final poem of her ­career. She called it Eigh­teen Hundred and Eleven. ­A fter four de­cades as an author, Barbauld retired ­because of the scathing reviews London critics heaped on Eigh­teen Hundred and Eleven. But their hostility to the poem was less an indictment of its quality than it was a sexist and jingoistic reaction to a ­woman who dared to controvert E ­ ngland’s status as a global power.1 Eigh­teen Hundred and Eleven is a bold, 334-­line prophecy in heroic couplets, warning that b­ ecause of its participation in the Napoleonic Wars, combined with its materialism and corruption, Britain is poised to fall into ruin like so many empires of the past. Described this way, Barbauld’s poem ­doesn’t seem at all concerned with Bolívar’s revolution. But the Napoleonic Wars ­were not only a Eu­ro­pean affair; they ­were also the direct catalyst of Latin Amer­i­ca’s in­de­pen­dence. Barbauld was well aware of this concurrence: her poem begins by lamenting war in Eu­rope but concludes with the power­ful image of South Amer­i­ca bursting the yoke of Eu­ro­pean imperialism and stepping forth as the next ­great civilization to fill the void left by ­Great Britain’s collapse. The poem thus prophesies not only the fall of the British Empire, but also, significantly, the transfer of world leadership to Latin Amer­

68  Pro­gress and Informal Empire, 1808–1875

i­ca. Its title commemorates a year in which simultaneous war on both sides of the Atlantic augured a radical shift in global power. Like Bolívar, and like many of her own countrymen, Barbauld recognized that Britain was likely to seize on Latin American in­de­pen­dence as a chance to dominate new markets and grow its own commercial power. And like Bolívar, she recognized that t­ here was something inherently contradictory in this idea, which saw the British espousing two competing impulses ­toward Latin Amer­i­ca: to liberate it and to rule over it. Eigh­teen Hundred and Eleven, therefore, was timely. As one of the first British literary works to consider a postcolonial Latin Amer­i­ca, it entered directly into the new conversation about what we now call informal empire. And although that term did not yet exist, Barbauld was certainly thinking critically about the emergence of financially driven pseudo-­independence as a troubling category. Anne Mellor and Maggie Favretti have both noted that Eigh­teen Hundred and Eleven condemns Britain’s corrupt and unfair commercial policies.2 But Barbauld’s critique specifically links this corruption to informal empire when she describes London as a city [w]hose merchants (such the state that commerce brings) Sent forth their mandates to dependant kings. (ll. 163–164)3

This compact couplet perfectly captures the mechanisms of informal empire. Imperial power ­here does not take the traditional territorial form; the word “kings” reminds us that the foreign lands in question are not territorial colonies but self-­governing in­de­pen­dent states. But ­these sovereigns are nonetheless “dependant”—­not on the British crown but on its “merchants.” The densely evocative phrase “dependant kings,” therefore, evokes not only informal empire’s defining structure but also its defining paradox, verging on an oxymoron that describes foreign states as si­mul­ta­neously sovereign and subordinate. As Barbauld savvily—­presciently—­notes, this paradox is rapidly becoming the new normal ­under global capitalism. It is simply “the state that commerce brings.” And while ambitious officials expected informal empire to expand British power, Barbauld casts this paradoxical arrangement as one of the reasons that London has become a corrupt metropolis hurtling ­toward collapse. As I argued in the previous chapter, this paradox puts informal empire into direct conflict with the dominant nineteenth-­century model of civilizational change: the pro­gress narrative. And I suggested that Simón Bolívar sought

“Dependant Kings”  69

rhetorical solutions to this paradox ­because he urgently wanted both Latin American in­de­pen­dence and the stability of British protection. In this chapter I ­will show that Barbauld’s Eigh­teen Hundred and Eleven, by contrast, exposes the conflict between informal empire and the dominant models of historical form. Its metahistorical forms reveal that both cyclical and progressive histories, like any stories, have distinct formal features, specifically a protagonist, a linear sequence, and a telos. From this basis, the poem suggests that Britain’s competing impulses t­oward Latin Amer­i­ca—to liberate it and to dominate it—­cannot be combined into one coherent narrative of historical time. Rather than papering over the formal paradox of informal empire, then, Barbauld’s poem lingers over it, ultimately rejecting it as a structurally untenable doctrine. By envisioning British decline and Latin American ascendancy, Eigh­teen Hundred and Eleven narrates a f­uture in which informal empire stands outside of historical pro­gress and cannot be assimilated within conventional imperial discourse. Therefore, the poem’s most damning critique of informal empire appears at the level of its discontinuous narrative form. Barbauld’s vision of British power relocating to the new capitals of South Amer­i­ca ultimately constitutes a savvy critique of informal empire in the very moment that it began to coalesce and take discursive form.

Barbauld and Historical Narrative Anna Barbauld was certainly not the only Londoner thinking about the rumblings of war in Caracas. In fact, to say that the possibility of Latin American revolution got Britain’s attention would be stating the case mildly. For generations the British had been telling and retelling the bloody story of the Spanish Conquest, but the con­temporary real­ity of Latin Amer­i­ca lay hidden in obscurity ­behind strict Spanish and Portuguese control. The dawn of the nineteenth c­ entury rapidly lifted that curtain. In the span of just a few years British ideas about Latin Amer­i­ca shifted abruptly from the historical and romanticized t­ oward the con­temporary, immediate, military, and commercial. The revolutionary unrest dangled the tantalizing prospect of reopening a massive portion of the globe that had been off-­limits for centuries, and almost overnight it became pos­si­ble to imagine Central and South Amer­i­c a fi­nally throwing open their borders. But while the British w ­ ere desperately interested in Latin Amer­i­c a, their ­actual foreign policy lacked coherence. It was at times overtly colonial, such

70  Pro­gress and Informal Empire, 1808–1875

as when British military squadrons invaded Buenos Aires and Montevideo in 1806 and 1807. The public, however, was thoroughly compelled by the in­de­ pen­dence cause, which inspired British writers, soldiers, and merchants alike. ­These two opposite impulses—to colonize and to liberate—­had each been integral to British post-­Enlightenment foreign policy, but not usually at the same time in the same place. And yet as unrest in Latin Amer­i­ca threatened to create a power vacuum of unpre­ce­dented geographic scale, both empire and in­de­pen­dence ­were appealing visions. Informal empire embraced both. This duality was readily vis­i­ble, as in James Mill’s 1809 declaration that in the case of Latin Amer­i­ca, Britain need only decide “­whether she ­shall secure to herself an im­mense advantage . . . ​­whether t­ hose colonies s­ hall be enabled, ­under the protection of G ­ reat Britain, to constitute themselves a f­ ree and in­de­pen­ dent nation.”4 It was quite easy to assume, apparently, that Latin Amer­i­c a might be si­mul­ta­neously “­free” and “secured” to Britain, si­mul­ta­neously in­ de­pen­dent and “­under the protection” of a foreign government. But although informal empire caught on, it was a strange idea, one that had to be reconciled against the linear, teleological drive of the pro­gress narrative. Pro­gress could help explain both empire and in­de­pen­dence, but wrapping pro­gress around both ideas at once was difficult to conceptualize. Eigh­teen Hundred and Eleven is directly concerned with this question of historical and narrative discontinuity. Regardless of their par­tic­u­lar point of entry, critics have long noted that the poem is awkwardly multivocal—­that it contains heterogeneous perspectives. ­Those focused on its politics have debated w ­ hether it offers a specific critique of British involvement in the Napoleonic Wars or a much more general anti-­imperial manifesto.5 Penny Bradshaw suggests that in terms of genre, Eigh­teen Hundred and Eleven manages to be both an En­glish dystopia and a New World utopia. And Evan Gottlieb notes a gendered tension between “a female-­centered viewpoint [and] a globe-­ spanning scope.”6 By invoking national, transnational, and global communities, the poem forces its readers to ask where it plants its feet. What kind of in-­group does it belong to, and upon whom does it cast its gaze? It seems by turns to be anchored in En­glish nationalism, in aspirational Enlightenment cosmopolitanism, in the postcolonial Amer­i­c as, and in the longue durée of historical change. Nicholas Birns is most succinct when he describes Eigh­teen Hundred and Eleven as having a “multifocal” vision.7 This refrain of multiplicity, however, can tend to imply disor­ga­ni­za­tion. I would like to schematize ­things somewhat by arguing that ­these are all concerns of narrative form.

“Dependant Kings”  71

­ hether the poem is Eu­ro­pean or American, national or global, present-­or W future-­oriented, are questions about how it combines the formal ele­ments of narrative into an ideological ­whole. Approached this way, the poem’s overall form reveals a fundamentally coherent logic. Focusing on narrative form draws our attention to an oddity that critics have consistently bypassed: Eigh­teen Hundred and Eleven is unmistakably split into two distinct halves. For 214 lines, it recounts the rise and fall of ancient empires, the rise and fall of ­Great Britain, and the subsequent ascendance of the Amer­i­cas. This narrative concludes and then, at line 215, starts over, telling the same historical events over again but in a dif­fer­ent configuration. To illustrate this, I have “graphed” the poem’s two narratives (chart 1). This image does not represent the form of the poem. Nor am I suggesting we should consider Barbauld’s poem as a historical narrative per se. Eigh­teen Hundred and Eleven is a complex assembly of forms, including couplets and personifications, allegories and action. Rather, what this chart shows is how each half of the poem imagines history itself to be formed—­how each half understands world events like the rise and fall of empires to be meaningfully arranged into a narrative. ­These two distinct unfoldings of the same events each rely on one of the prominent historical theories of Barbauld’s day: the idea that history climbs upward along the pro­gress narrative, and the idea that it simply repeats cyclically.8 In the dawning age of intense historical consciousness, pro­gress had begun to usurp cyclicality, but each well-­k nown theory represented an entire epistemological orientation ­toward time. The first narrative of Eigh­teen Hundred and Eleven places ­Great Britain at the center of a story about pro­gress and decline. The second version, however, insists that this story is not singular but repeated, reproducing over and over in a kind of narrative sine wave. Each offers a theory about the formal structure of history. Though they recount the same events taking place over the same number of years, one tells a story of national exceptionalism; the other tells a story of repetitive global change. By presenting the same events in two dif­fer­ent narrative forms, Barbauld’s poem shows how such reconfigurations produce distinct ideologies of historical change. I argue, therefore, that the most fruitful way to approach the multifocal nature of Eigh­teen Hundred and Eleven is to see it as a product of multiple “narrative centers” that give form to distinct geopo­liti­cal ideologies. I borrow the idea of a narrative center from Hayden White, who defines it as the central subject of a historical narrative that provides an organ­ization of events and a

72  Pro­gress and Informal Empire, 1808–1875

Narrative 1 British Empire

World history

Narrative 2 Babylon


Great Britain

Latin America

United States as afterlife for British culture line break 214/215

Chart 1

meaningful way of interpreting them.9 At a glance, the difference between the poem’s two narratives appears only to be one of scale. The first history looks simply like a subsegment of the second, magnified and expanded. But as phi­ los­o­pher David Carr puts it, dif­fer­ent scalar levels of historical narrative are not merely dif­fer­ent in scale: rather, it is “the reference to the we” that separates them.10 They may retell many of the same historical events, but their forms alter their audiences and their arguments about history. As literary scholars know, a change in “narrative center” or “the we” of a story—­what we might call a protagonist—is no superficial formal move (think of the two narratives in Bleak House): it corresponds to differences in setting, pace, narrative arc, tone, perspective, and even person. A protagonist has the power to include and exclude audience members, or in Carr’s terms, to establish the “we” of the text. By equating White’s “narrative center” with the literary term “protagonist” I am explic­itly arguing that not only do narratives shape both nations and texts, but also that much like a national boundary, a protagonist crystallizes the collusion between formal structure and ideological orientation, or form and content. In what follows, I w ­ ill elaborate the significance of the dueling narrative forms of Eigh­teen Hundred and Eleven. Its two histories, I w ­ ill show, have ideo-

“Dependant Kings”  73

logically distinct protagonists: (1) ­Great Britain and (2) world culture. One is nationalist, the other globalist; one progressive, the other cyclical. By suggesting that each one might tell a dif­fer­ent version of world history, Barbauld’s poem reveals that the narratives used to justify empire are constructed, non-­ universal stories with geographic and ideological leanings. And protagonism affects other narrative forms as well: both the setting and the sequential forms of history, such as linearity and increase, shift in relation to narrative perspective and give dif­fer­ent form to historical events. By ending her second narrative (and therefore the poem) with Latin American in­de­pen­dence, Barbauld suggests that ­these stories are not only subjectively formed but also especially vulnerable in the face of revolution, with its inherent power to threaten narrative continuity. The poem seems to won­der how something as cataclysmic as New World in­de­pen­dence can be incorporated into a Eurocentric history, ­whether progressive or cyclical in form. In conclusion, I w ­ ill argue that Eigh­ teen Hundred and Eleven intervenes in informal empire’s paradoxical desire to both colonize and liberate Latin Amer­i­ca; by depicting Britain’s imperial ambitions and its pretensions as a global emancipator as two dif­fer­ent temporal moments in history, the poem uses sequential form to expose informal empire as a narrative paradox and a moral hy­poc­risy.

Historical Protagonism and Setting The first half of Eigh­teen Hundred and Eleven assumes a narrative historical form, or a version of historical unfolding, in which ­Great Britain is the protagonist. This story has a first-­person narrator whose diction and tone clearly mark her as a British nationalist: Yet, O my country, name beloved, revered, By e­ very tie that binds the soul endeared, . . . . . . . . . . . . . Not like the dim cold Crescent shalt thou fade, Thy debt to Science and the Muse unpaid; Thine are the laws surrounding states revere, Thine the full harvest of the m ­ ental year, Thine the bright stars in Glory’s sky that shine, And arts that make it life to live are thine. (ll. 67–78)

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This speaker uses a formal invocation and possessive diction—­“O my country”—to give Britain elevated, exceptional status. That she further expresses the sacrality of the nation’s very name and her “soul’s” thorough bondage to it suggests the fetishistic operations of nationalism. So while she does the narration, she recedes in importance compared to the nation she eulogizes. Addressing Britain directly, and emphasizing that direct address by the repeated anaphoric “thine,” she sets her country apart as both the audience and central subject of the narrative. This is apt for national narratives, which take the nation as their subject but which also summon that very national community into existence as an audience. The speaker, therefore, serves as narrator, while Britain occupies the role of protagonist. Protagonism is indivisible from a narrative’s other features, such as setting and plot structure. So naturally this story about Britain is set almost exclusively in and around London. The narrator makes her geographic biases explicit in line 75 when she describes other nations as “surrounding” Britain in a fancifully heliocentric vision that bolsters blinkered nationalism. This perspective (inside looking out) enables the narrator’s belief that even in its collapse Britain is exceptional, since unlike empires of the past its legacy w ­ ill never “fade” (l. 73). And it also circumscribes the possibilities for emplotment. In this nationalist history, world history does not unfold chronologically; rather, the story begins and ends in London and only considers past and ­future empires in their relation to the British capital. Consider the closing scene of this narrative, in which US Americans, at the height of their own imperial power, choose to return to the ruins of London: Oft ­shall the strangers turn their ­eager feet The rich remains of ancient art to greet, The pictured walls with critic eye explore, And Reynolds be what Raphael was before. On spoils from ­every clime their eyes s­ hall gaze, Egyptian granites and the Etruscan vase; And when midst fallen London, they survey The stone where Alexander’s ashes lay, ­Shall own with humbled pride the lesson just By Time’s slow fin­ger written in the dust. (ll. 205–214)

“Dependant Kings”  75

This final scene positions E ­ ngland as a kind of museum that h ­ ouses not only the US Americans’ cultural past but all the impor­tant pasts of world history. Egypt and Rome are not elaborated in their historical fullness but rather subordinated to the ways in which they have been experienced—­and collected— by the British. Re­nais­sance Italy, metonymized by Raphael, appears only so that it may cede its place to Britain and Reynolds. As the narrator made clear ­earlier when she exulted that “Thine are the laws surrounding states revere, / Thine the full harvest of the ­mental year” (ll. 75–76), culture culminated in the British Empire and still rightfully belongs t­here even a­ fter its demise. Even though Britain passes the torch to the United States, therefore, this does not imply cyclical history b­ ecause Britain remains the locus of attention, culture, and heritage. The entire narrative of history revolves around it. The form of the poem’s narrative, then, does not match the form of the historical narrative it conveys. We understand historical events to have occurred chronologically, but the poem’s first narrative pre­sents them out of order, in a looping structure that begins and ends in Britain. The strangeness of this disordered syuzhet does not suggest that the fa­bula of history is itself circular; rather, the looping structure of the poem’s narrative implies the progressive, linear form of historical narrative. Its temporal and geographic anchor in Britain serves to stamp history with a nationalist perspective that elevates the significance of Britain’s imperial power above what came before and ­after, and it implies that history is relevant only insofar as it frames Britain’s exceptional pro­gress. (This is why, in chart 1, I have represented the diminished importance of the forelife and afterlife of ­Great Britain as truncated tails on the narrative arc.) Of course, in a key way this is not a traditional pro­gress narrative, in that it predicts its protagonist’s dramatic fall. But Britain’s afterlife in the United States offers a consolation that salvages exceptionalism even in the transfigured telos of this alternate pro­gress narrative. A British protagonist and setting, therefore, produce a version of historical events that takes progressive form. This ending does not end the poem, however; at line 215, history begins all over again, returning to the beginning but with a dif­fer­ent speaker, protagonist, tone, setting, and plot structure. G ­ reat Britain is no longer the central subject of history—­this time history’s protagonist is the entire world. The second narrative opens with this dramatic couplet:

76  Pro­gress and Informal Empire, 1808–1875 ­There walks a Spirit ­o’er the peopled earth, Secret his pro­gress is, unknown his birth. (ll. 215–216)

This is an abrupt change of subject and tone from the preceding lines, in which US American pilgrims stood over Alexander’s grave. Our setting now is not London but the entire “peopled earth,” and our protagonist is not Britain but a disinterested “Spirit,” whose “unknown birth” ties him to no par­ tic­u ­lar culture. This quasi-­Hegelian Spirit is an anthropomorphized incarnation of translatio imperii, who catalyzes the rise and fall of empires by traversing the globe and shining “the animating ray” of civilization (l. 261) on dif­fer­ent nations in turn. This couplet also indicates that the reader ­will now follow the Spirit’s “walk,” a linear movement over the earth rather than the circular motion of egress and return that helped center the first narrative in Britain. In this sense, t­ here is a certain irony to the way Eigh­teen Hundred and Eleven depicts historical form. The circularity of its first narrative conveys progressive unfolding, while the linear movement in the second narrative conveys cyclicality. Literary form ­here (which is to say the poem’s plot structure) does not mirror or reflect the external, socially shared narrative forms of history as such. Rather, its own expressive use of form conveys the sense of that differently formed institution, revealing a way in which form connects the literary to the social without operating as a rigid container overdetermined in advance. It is no accident that the very meaning of the word “pro­gress” changes in the first couplet of this second narrative. The first narrative was concerned with the pro­gress of British civilization, but ­here we are given to understand immediately that it is now “his pro­gress” (the Spirit’s “walk”) that ­matters. Pro­gress no longer means civilizational advancement in the hierarchical sense; it means relocation in the strictly spatial sense. The change to a setting and protagonist that are both global and non-­exceptionalist, therefore, produces a new plot structure—­not a progressive history but a cyclical, chronological wave. This version of history recounts each empire—­Babylon, Troy, Rome, and Britain—by narrating each one in the order the Spirit visits it, in the detached third person, and with equal textual space. The second-­person address to G ­ reat Britain (“thy,” “thine,” “my country”) dis­appears, and the story of ­England’s rise and fall fades in importance, becoming just one among many such rises and falls that blend into an “impressionistic list of regions and

“Dependant Kings”  77

city-­states”11 and concludes with the Spirit’s visit to South Amer­i­ca. By demoting ­Great Britain from its status as protagonist, then, the poem has also made the corollary shift to a global setting and a cyclical narrative structure. The shift is not one of scale, per se, but rather of audience and perspective; instead of an in-­group or i­magined audience that belongs to one national community, this narrative is instead centered on a global consciousness, one in which the shared object is not British culture but culture itself. This brief look at how protagonism is bound up with setting and structure reveals that the two narratives in the poem are ideologically—­because formally—­incompatible. One progressive and one cyclical, their forms produce dif­fer­ent orientations ­toward time, community, and exceptionalism. They are not merely dual, but dueling.12 And as I w ­ ill now show, t­ hese distinct structures lead to dif­fer­ent conclusions about the possibility of British authority in the New World.

Telos I turn now to how protagonism and setting interact with the sequential forms of historical narrative, beginning with telos. Endings are crucial to establishing narrative perspective, or as White puts it: “The demand for closure in a historical story is a demand . . . ​for moral meaning, a demand that sequences of real events be assessed as to their significance as ele­ments of a moral drama.”13 Conclusions, then, provide a moral in keeping with the ideological perspective of a given history’s “narrative center” or protagonist. At first glance, the two narratives of Eigh­teen Hundred and Eleven seem to end the same way: cultural hegemony passes to a newly in­de­pen­dent New World. And although the first narrative ends with the rise of the United States and the second with Latin Amer­i­ca, several critics have been tempted to read them as fulfilling the same function.14 ­A fter all, during Barbauld’s lifetime they both represented revolution and postcoloniality in the New World. At the time Barbauld was composing Eigh­teen Hundred and Eleven, the end of the American Revolutionary War was only thirty years in the past. In fact, the entire American Revolution took place a­ fter Barbauld published her first volume of poetry. The United States was a closely watched experiment in postcolonial nation-­ building, and Latin Amer­i­ca seemed to be following in the same path. And yet Barbauld’s choice to end the first narrative in the United States and the second one in South Amer­i­ca suggests that we need to think more deeply

78  Pro­gress and Informal Empire, 1808–1875

about how they afford distinct kinds of narrative closure. In the British nationalist narrative, the passage of civilization to the United States permits “a defeated and degenerate En­glish culture” to “find respite and renewal”15 in a nation they can claim as an extension of themselves. The patriotic narrator assures her country that although it is destined to founder, it w ­ ill never become obsolete. The lines “Thy stores of knowledge the new states s­hall know / And think thy thoughts, and with thy fancy glow” (ll. 87–88) conjure the United States as a kind of empty body animated by a British mind and soul. Nor w ­ ill the origin of such culture be forgotten, as the name of the British nation “­Shall live in light and gather all its fame” in t­ hese “transatlantic realms” (ll. 111–112). The closing image of US Americans making a pilgrimage to the ruins of London suggests that to the extent that the United States represents the ­future, it is precisely b­ ecause its past is British. This, as Nicholas Birns and Francesco Crocco both point out, is a kind of cultural imperialism that “remakes the p ­ eoples of the Western hemi­sphere in the image of 16 middle-­class Britons.” The “moral meaning” of this narrative’s conclusion, then, posits the exceptionality of British culture by imagining its continuing ability to colonize, even in decline. This is where South Amer­i­ca appearing as the predicted inheritor of civilization in the second narrative grows significant. Latin Amer­i­ca differs from the United States in the crucial, ­simple fact of its cultural, ancestral, and colonial ties to Spain rather than to E ­ ngland. This is not the deeply networked anglophone transatlantic of the northern hemi­sphere; this is the hispanophone global south. A ­ fter its ­imagined ­future rise to power, therefore, Latin Amer­ i­ca is not likely to “glow” with the “fancy” of En­glish culture, which is separated from it by language and history. And indeed, the second narrative of Eigh­teen Hundred and Eleven registers precisely this radical break. Consider the closing lines of the second narrative, which bring the poem to a dramatic finish atop the windswept Andes at the moment of revolution: For see,—to other climes the Genius soars, He turns from Eu­rope’s desolated shores; And lo, even now, midst mountains wrapt in storm, On Andes’ heights he shrouds his awful form; On Chimborazo’s summits treads sublime, Mea­sur­ing in lofty thought the march of Time; Sudden he calls:—­“ ’Tis now the hour!” he cries,

“Dependant Kings”  79 Spreads his broad hand, and bids the nations rise. La Plata hears amidst her torrents’ roar; Potosi hears it, as she digs the ore: Ardent, the Genius fans the noble strife, And pours through feeble souls a higher life, Shouts to the mingled tribes from sea to sea, And swears—­Thy world, Columbus, ­shall be ­free. (ll. 321–334)

The geographic particularity,17 sublime rhe­toric, and sense of historic moment in ­these final lines indicate Barbauld’s awareness of, and her interest in, South Amer­i­ca’s specific character at this juncture. And importantly for the implications of historical narrative form, this history, in which Britain has no exceptional status to speak of, makes no return to London. No Peruvian or Argentine pilgrims visit ­England to gaze on Egyptian stones or Alexander’s ashes. No Anglo-­Saxon descendants continue to read Milton, Locke, or Paley, and no one glorifies British l­egal institutions. The global protagonist of this narrative, alternately referred to as the “Spirit” or the “Genius,” shows no remorse as he leaves Britain ­behind altogether. And so it is not British ancestry that animates this new civilizational center, as it was in the poem’s first history, but rather the neutral Genius. His investment in liberation inspires the plural, heterogenous populations of South Amer­i­ca—­“tribes,” descendants of “Columbus,” and the found­ers of new “nations”—to author their own radical break from Eu­rope. While the first narrative’s conclusion in North Amer­ i­ca offered a way for British power to live on, South American ascendancy places a final stone over Britain’s forgotten tomb. The telos ­here is true American in­de­pen­dence. So what exactly is the significance of t­ hese distinct narrative forms? As I ­will now show, they have profound implications for the conceptual possibility of British informal empire in Latin Amer­i­ca in the early 1810s. ­There was at this time ­little to no cultural overlap between London and South Amer­i­ca. Barbauld’s poem exposes this gap, but many of her contemporaries sought precisely to close it. Figures on both sides of the Atlantic like James Mill, George Canning, and Simón Bolívar saw Latin American revolution as a chance to replace Spanish influence in the region with British—to make Latin Amer­i­ca more “British.” (See previous chapter for more on this.) Authors even began representing the British as ancestrally kindred to the South American

80  Pro­gress and Informal Empire, 1808–1875

indigenous.18 In other words, Bolívar’s revolution dangled the possibility that Latin Amer­i­ca might, in fact, function just as Barbauld pre­sents the United States: as a kind of “descendant” of British culture and innovation, which might be made not only financially subordinate but also culturally cognate. By imagining this possibility in the United States but rejecting it in Latin Amer­i­ca, Eigh­teen Hundred and Eleven communicates the value of Latin Amer­ i­c a’s distinct identity and the preservation of its sovereignty. In terms of closure, then, both the second narrative and the poem as a ­whole end on a startling moral lesson: that British imperialism is a nationalist idea that belongs to a nationalist narrative but has no place in a wider global ethics of freedom.

Sequence and Paradox Both narratives of Eigh­teen Hundred and Eleven question progressive history. The first implied historical structure is progressive but predicts a reversal due to the hubris of exceptionalism embedded within it. And the mere existence of the second narrative reveals that a nation’s “pro­gress” is a subjective idea, a nationalist and singular outlook on world events. The poem suggests that when you look at multiple perspectives—­not only Britain’s, but Rome’s or Latin Amer­i­ca’s—it becomes unmistakable that one empire’s pro­gress means the decline of ­others. Empires do not share success with each other, nor with their colonies. This understanding seems to demand a vision of world history as cyclical, a narrative in which global powers take turns pursuing their own pro­gress. But once again, the poem’s first narrative is not simply nested within the second. To see the world as taking turns at the helm of power is to change perspectives altogether, to reject exceptionalism and the exceptional afterlife of any imperial culture. And so while both historical narratives in Eigh­teen Hundred and Eleven contain ele­ments of progressive historical form, they also each reject it in distinct ways. And crucially, each one also points out the fundamental conflict between historical sequencing and informal empire. Britain’s exceptionalist progressive history has no cultural connection to Latin Amer­i­ca, and the insistence on linear sequence in both narratives deters the possibility of simultaneous British power and American sovereignty. While the poem questions pro­gress, therefore, it also insists that one of pro­gress’s key forms—­its relentless linearity—­directly impedes the possibility of informal empire.

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In her recent book Forms, Caroline Levine argues that forms—­such as hierarchy, network, and rhythm—­operate at the level of both the literary and the social.19 Performing what she has elsewhere termed “strategic formalism,” Levine understands discourses and institutions as having recognizable patterns that structure social life but that can also be challenged by other social or literary forms that compete for the power to or­ga­nize us.20 ­Every form, she argues, affords certain pos­si­ble outcomes. Hierarchies can afford exploitation. Rhyme schemes can afford memorization. In terms of Barbauld’s poem, we can see how a London setting helps to afford nationalism, and how cycles can afford neutrality. Levine also shows that affordances are ­limited; for instance, tongs may afford grabbing, but they do not afford slicing. It seems to me, however, that forms can also actively deter. If an army squadron formation affords safety, it also deters improvisation: one finds it hard to begin skipping syncopatically while surrounded by other bodies moving in a left-­right march. This deterrence is not an incidental result of the form’s l­imited set of affordances; it is a design feature that specifically limits h ­ uman be­hav­ior. The concept of “unpleasant design” similarly uses deterrence to actively manage our use of cities; railings, knobs, and spikes are routinely placed in public spaces to deter sitting, sleeping, or skateboarding. And in the case of Eigh­teen Hundred and Eleven, sequential forms like linearity operate as a deterrent to the paradoxes of informal empire. As I have shown, proponents of the policies that we now identify as the basis of informal empire rested their claims on a paradox. Simón Bolívar argued that Spanish Amer­i­ca could find “freedom” in “­England’s shadow,” and George Canning suggested it might be both “­free, and . . . ​En­glish.” In ­these nearly identical formulations, informal empire depends on the paradoxical idea that Latin Amer­i­c a is to become both ­free and dependent—­si­mul­ta­ neously. It is to have its sovereignty and have its sovereignty ­limited by British interests. In the first narrative of Eigh­teen Hundred and Eleven, Barbauld’s compact phrase “dependant kings” describes the paradox of two opposed conditions operating at the same time. Simultaneity, as this two-­word phrase shows, is crucial to paradox. What makes a paradox a paradox is that two conflicting ideas try to exist at the same time. Narrative sequence, on the other hand, affords the separation of events, states, or ideas across time. One effective way to defuse a paradox, therefore, is to pull apart its two halves and place them in sequential order. Socrates’s famous paradox “I know that I know nothing” ceases to be paradoxical with a single change in verb tense: “I

82  Pro­gress and Informal Empire, 1808–1875

know that I knew nothing.” ­Because the two ideas are no longer simultaneous, the paradox is emptied of its central contradiction. Sequence, in other words, deters paradox. The second narrative of Eigh­teen Hundred and Eleven displays this fact by insisting on a rigid linearity that forcibly keeps world events separate. The unfolding of history never returns to a prior state, not even in its cyclical form, ­because a new nation seizes power with each turn of the wheel. The embodiment of this rigid linearity is the catalyst for civilization, the Spirit whose “pro­g­ ress” across the earth means that hegemonic power quite literally cannot be in two places at once. His geographic enactment of sequential time renders such simultaneity impossible. The end of the poem reminds us of this specifically, noting that the Spirit can only arrive in Latin Amer­i­ca a­ fter leaving “Eu­rope’s desolated shores” (l. 322). As Suvir Kaul notes, Barbauld’s “historical schema . . . ​makes inescapable the understanding that the rise of the American nations spells the doom of Britain; their freedom presumes its decline.”21 The insistence on the sequential rises and falls of dif­fer­ent regions in turn keeps American and Eu­ro­pean power separate across the bounds of ocean and time,22 a formal choice that radically undermines the emergent discourses of informal empire. When Mill says that Latin Amer­i­ca ­will be “­free” “­under the protection of G ­ reat Britain,” he suggests that it can si­mul­ta­neously be (1) sovereign and (2) dependent on Britain. The inexorably linear sequence of the second narrative of Eigh­teen Hundred and Eleven prevents t­ hese two ideas from occurring si­mul­ta­neously (and thus creating a paradox) by separating them across time, making Latin American liberty structurally subsequent to British empire. Empire and sovereignty cannot coexist in this timeline any more than past and ­future can. Therefore, Britain’s imperial nature becomes part of the past, a story of corruption and decline, while its emancipatory politics become part of a ­future in which it relinquishes its own power. Sequence disarticulates the two opposed halves of the paradox of informal empire, formally precluding British imperialism—­political, cultural, or financial—in ­free Latin Amer­i­ca. In light of this reading, the famous final line of the poem resonates with new force: “Thy world, Columbus, s­hall be f­ree” (l. 334). This line ascribes owner­ship of Latin Amer­i­c a to the peninsular empire—­“Thy world, Columbus”—­while si­mul­ta­neously asserting its liberty from said empire—­ “shall be ­free.” The words “thy” and “­free,” bookending the phrase, figure the duality of Latin Amer­i­ca as both a possession of, and a rejection of, Eu­rope.

“Dependant Kings”  83

At a glance the line seems to hold two contradictory claims: that Latin Amer­ i­ca both belongs to Columbus and belongs to no one. This reading would reproduce the paradox of informal empire that envisioned Latin Amer­i­ca as ­free but not ­free of Eu­ro­pean control. But just as in the example of Socrates’s paradox, verb tense converts simultaneity into sequence. The line does not read “Thy world, Columbus, is ­free.” That syntax would place Columbus’s owner­ship and Latin Amer­i­ca’s freedom in the same plane of time. Instead, the ­future tense (“­shall be ­free”) reasserts the poem’s overall argument that history moves sequentially from empire to liberty. The movement from “thy” to “­free” therefore indicates a transition from an imperial to an anti-­imperial perspective. In that sense, this cyclical history ends on a vision of pro­gress, concluding with an open-­ended vision of Latin Amer­i­ca’s rise to sovereignty and power. Of course, it is the Spirit, a kind of anthropomorphic incarnation of Eu­ro­pean Enlightenment thought, who seems to bring this pro­gress to trailing Americans. But while Latin Amer­i­ca may rise via the inheritance of western culture and historical pro­gress narratives, it ­will rise at their expense, not as their subordinate. The sequential forms of this history make pro­gress for Latin Amer­i­ca incompatible with the ongoing British power that would be si­mul­ta­neously necessary for informal empire. Lest the formal argument against informal empire appear too subtle, Eigh­ teen Hundred and Eleven includes a pointed reminder of what exactly it is that the now-­defunct British Empire ­will not be able to take from Latin Amer­ i­ca. As the Spirit arrives in South Amer­i­ca, he directs his message of liberation to two audiences in par­tic­u­lar: La Plata hears amidst her torrents’ roar; Potosi hears it, as she digs the ore. (ll. 329–330)

This couplet references two extremely impor­tant sites of British imperial desire in South Amer­i­ca. “La Plata” is the river that opens up the Montevideo–­ Buenos Aires region, which was the main point of ingress to the continent and had been the site not only of contentious Spanish blockades and British smuggling, but also the British military invasions of 1806 and 1807. It was the foothold required to rule the region from e­ ither a commercial or military standpoint. And “Potosi” refers to an infamous Andean silver mine that had become a symbol of the vast wealth G ­ reat Britain was eagerly eyeing in the continent’s interior. The two references in fact echo each other, as the Rio de

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La Plata translates to Silver River. The image of a river of silver, then, doubly conjures a passage into South Amer­i­ca and the flow of precious metals that might pass out of it from mines like Potosi—­a dual flow Joseph Conrad would capture well some ninety-­t wo years l­ater in Nostromo, his novel of British imperial silver mining in South Amer­i­ca. The “torrents’ roar”23 and the digging of the “ore” are therefore sharp reminders, linked by rhyme, of the commercial and resource networks that the British desperately wanted to control, but that this version of history places out of reach. London cannot be enriched by the rise of La Plata and Potosí ­because its time has already passed. Rebecca Cole Heinowitz argues that Eigh­teen Hundred and Eleven expresses “the ideological limit” of Britain’s emancipatory politics, since it could not support Spain’s defense against Napoleon and also support Latin Amer­i­c a’s revolt against Spain.24 Evan Gottlieb also sees a subversive logic in the poem, arguing that it provoked critics b­ ecause it “[took] the Whig narrative of pro­g­ ress . . . ​to its logical extreme” by foretelling Britain’s collapse.25 This squares with Uday Mehta’s persuasive claim that the imperial pro­gress narrative rested on an inherent contradiction to begin with, ­because it envisioned universal ascent and growth while willfully denying the inevitable conclusion that colonies would someday outgrow the empire.26 It is also consistent with Eran Shalev’s claim that the British tolerated their own imperial nature ­because of their exceptionalist belief that the British Empire offered more liberty than ­others—­a view made pos­si­ble ­because of their marriage of “Whig notions of liberty . . . ​and Tory notions of territorial expansion.”27 To all ­these points, I say yes. But it helps to acknowledge that ­these paradoxes are not merely po­ liti­c al but also formal. They occur at the sites at which politics borrow the forms—­protagonist, linear sequence, telos—of narrative storytelling. The Enlightenment pro­gress narrative offered ideological support for both empire and emancipation but not typically at the same time. The new discourse of informal empire proposed to view Latin Amer­i­ca as both a postcolonial nation and a colonial possession si­mul­ta­neously, a paradox that defied expression within progressive historical forms—­and, as Eigh­teen Hundred and Eleven seems to suggest, cyclical ones as well. If Britain fancied itself an exceptional empire that could both expand its own wealth and increase the liberty of its subjects, Barbauld’s controversial poem rejected that fiction. It separated British power and the liberty of o­ thers across the uncollapsible expanses of time and space, exposing the contradictions of informal empire.

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Some scholars of informal empire would disagree with my description of it as a paradox in the first place. In their view, Britain’s espousal of both colonial and emancipatory views is not a troubled discourse but a canny one. British expressions of solidarity, kinship, and re­spect for Latin Amer­i­ca ­were never sincere in the first place, they would say, only serving to help the imperial goals of assimilation and domination to hide b­ ehind noble motives.28 This may well have been true for some. But this critical orientation also raises a paradox of its own: if open support for Latin American freedom can be co-­ opted for the proj­ect of subordinating Latin Amer­i­ca—if increasing freedom only means increasing dependence within the ­free market—­then how can one speak out effectively on behalf of Latin American sovereignty? What does an effective critique of informal empire look like?

Narrative as Metahistory Barbauld’s poem, I argue, produces effective critique by using narrative form to expose informal empire’s ill fit within master narratives of geopo­liti­c al change. This is pos­si­ble ­because Eigh­teen Hundred and Eleven is fundamentally metahistorical. By presenting two versions of world historical narrative form—­one exceptionalist and one cyclical—­the poem denaturalizes history itself, revealing that it is a story written from and mediated by interested parties. The Romantic period has been called “the stage at which history became self-­conscious,”29 and as early as the mid-­eighteenth ­century this awareness of historical narrative as a rhetorical act separate from history itself was accompanied by an anxiety that the presence of an author might preclude unmediated transparency.30 Barbauld’s poem plainly picks up this idea when it reveals that t­ here is an outside to the British narrative of national exceptionalism, and that from a global perspective such a narrative loses meaning. Both Reinhart Koselleck and Hayden White claim that t­ here is a difference between “events” that can be narrated and “structures” that can only be described. Monique Morgan’s related argument—­t hat long narrative poems of the nineteenth ­century often use meta-­awareness of their structure to provide a timeless lyrical perspective over and above their narrative form—­helps us to read the multiple disjointed event narratives of Eigh­teen Hundred and Eleven as achieving a structural description of historical writing.31 In a kind of collateral impact, the constructed nature of history in Eigh­ teen Hundred and Eleven coincides with the constructed nature of nation. The

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poem’s vision of the world is best described as globalized, with fluid and impermanent bound­aries. Even in the first narrative the British nationalist speaker describes maps as being drawn with “dotted bound­aries and penciled shores” (l. 36), depicting the nation as a mutable, constructed ele­ment whose borders have no inherent essentiality or legitimacy unto themselves. And the United States and Britain are much less often hailed by name than they are implied synecdochally through the use of landmark, topography, and subnational po­liti­cal units such as states and cities, all of which places the poem’s emphasis on the local rather than the national. Moreover, ­there are two local survivors who inhabit the wasted landscape of fallen ­England, and it is precisely their relative mastery of history that seems to determine ­whether they retain national belonging to their bygone country. When the American pilgrims meet a man who recalls the detailed national history of E ­ ngland (and in par­tic­u­lar the history of ­battles in which E ­ ngland’s nationalism would have been at fever pitch), he is described as a “Briton.” But the other local inhabitant is “unconscious of the mighty dead” and is described with no national label; he is simply a “peasant.” It is thus the death or survival of British historical narrative that erases or preserves the nation as a unit to which one may belong. All of this suggests that “nation” exists only inasmuch as its story can be told. Eigh­teen Hundred and Eleven, therefore, performs the surprisingly radical work of denaturalizing nineteenth-­century master narratives that legitimize the nation and universalize history. It asks w ­ hether history is universal and generalizable, or subjective, mediated, and plural. It questions ­whether nations are essential and exceptional or constructed and mutable. And ultimately, looming freedom in Latin Amer­i­ca—­and the question of how Britain ­will involve itself ­t here—is the event that provides the most radical challenge to received wisdom about imperial power. Through its own metahistorical form, Barbauld’s poem exposes the fact that informal empire does not fit into existing forms of historical narrative. It succeeds in refusing British informal empire in Latin Amer­i­ca by showing that it cannot be coherently represented by historical narrative—­neither a pro­g­ ress narrative that depends on cultural continuity with the United States, nor a cyclical one that assumed Britain’s final collapse. This poem thus gets outside of the bind that scholars have left us in—­the bind in which, b­ ecause informal empire depends on arguments for in­de­pen­dence, both logistically and rhetorically, anti-­imperial sentiment turns out not to be an effective counterargument against informal empire. Eigh­teen Hundred and Eleven refuses

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this paradox by exposing it; it escapes the blackmail of informal empire by critiquing the forms that blackmail takes.

Conclusion The first two chapters of this book have overlapped in ways that might surprise some readers. Neither historians nor literary scholars have ever put Anna Laetitia Barbauld and Simón Bolívar into serious conversation with each other. It’s easy to see why, not only ­because they seem to come from such dif­fer­ent worlds, but also ­because of the disciplinary and linguistic bound­aries separating scholars in British studies and Latin American studies. And yet the convergence between Barbauld and Bolívar is remarkable. I ­don’t mean historically. To be sure, Bolívar’s 1810 visit to London was discussed in the British press, the British public was aware of the Latin American uprisings, British newspapers and texts made their way into revolutionary Venezuela, and Barbauld and Bolívar ­were both remarkably well versed in international politics. So it is tempting to infer that at some point they knew of each other. They may have; we d ­ on’t know.32 But proof of a historical overlap would only marginally augment the more impor­tant ways their work helps us track the transatlantic emergence of the discourses of informal empire. Both authors w ­ ere steeped in the Eu­ro­pean Enlightenment in all its complexity and contradiction;33 both w ­ ere skeptical of it in dif­fer­ent ways; both professed liberal and anti-­imperial sentiments; and both had an acute awareness of continental and Atlantic politics. As my readings have shown, they took very dif­fer­ent views on the relationship G ­ reat Britain would have with Latin Amer­i­ca a­ fter its in­de­pen­dence. Bolívar encouraged the kind of involvement that would become informal empire while Barbauld refused to draft it into history. And yet, despite their opposed positions, both authors thought about the question in formal, narrative terms. Both understood British–­L atin American relations as forcing them to confront the contradictions of empire and pro­gress. Their writing shows that Latin American in­de­pen­dence momentarily disturbed the clarity of the historical narratives that would underwrite the coming ­century. David Carr argues that national narratives are often forged in the face of potential disintegration—­this is something Britons and Latin Americans both faced at the dawn of the nineteenth c­ entury when war seemed likely to determine their ­future. ­These crises ­were bringing about new forms of empire, and they

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necessitated rethinking the narrative forms that describe the movement of history. The Atlantic Ocean became not merely a shifting space for trade and travel but the arena in which the mechanisms of past and ­future would make themselves known. Would the Atlantic unite the forces of a new global array of shared power? Or would it be the conduit through which Eu­ro­pean power slipped away into new horizons? Was the world advancing together? Or was Amer­i­c a advancing at the expense of the old empires? Might some or all of t­ hese possibilities go by the name of pro­gress? Visions of an unpre­ ce­dented ­future invited onlookers to rethink the past and what its explanatory operations might be. ­These are also questions about whose story the f­ uture w ­ ill be. Who w ­ ill be the protagonist, and what events w ­ ill they emphasize in the unfolding of history? It comes as no surprise that both Bolívar and Barbauld, when they write about the impact of Latin American in­de­pen­dence on Atlantic politics, turn to the figure of translatio imperii. Both Eigh­teen Hundred and Eleven and the Jamaica Letter (1815) close with the image of civilization, ­a fter its passage through “the Orient” and Eu­rope, coming to rest in South Amer­i­ca.34 And yet the two texts describe this similar ­future very differently. In Eigh­teen Hun­ dred and Eleven, power is a zero-­sum game: each time a new nation rises, its pre­de­ces­sor must fall. By contrast, Bolívar rejects the zero-­sum model of history, turning instead to what he calls “Universal Equilibrium,” in which the ascendance of South Amer­i­ca w ­ ill benefit the w ­ hole civilized world instead of leaving ruin in its wake. Consider how he phrases this in a letter to Sir Richard Wellesley (also 1815): “Sciences, arts, industry, culture, every­thing that currently constitutes the glory of the Eu­ro­pean continent and arouses the admiration of its ­people ­will find swift passage to Amer­i­c a. ­England, almost exclusively, w ­ ill see prosperity flow back to her shores from that hemi­sphere which must depend, almost exclusively, on her as benefactress.”35 The first sentence could be a gloss of Eigh­teen Hundred and Eleven, describing the “sciences, arts, industry [and] culture” of Europe—­the very components of Barbauld’s “Spirit” of civilization—­flying to Amer­i­ca. But crucially for Bolívar, prosperity w ­ ill then also flow back to ­England. In Barbauld’s zero-­sum historical forms, all that flows back to E ­ ngland are pilgrims who come to see the ruins of a once-­great empire. Bolívar instead imagines that power moves increasingly in networked fashion across the Atlantic, and pro­gress is best defined as the strengthening of this network among ­free nations.

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By invoking translatio imperii, both authors think beyond the nation-­state as historical protagonist,36 but Barbauld’s protagonist is a neutral agent who nonetheless continues to emphasize competition among the nations, while Bolívar’s is an increasingly unified global community. Barbauld’s historical protagonist suggests that nations compete for rather than share power, while Bolívar’s drives a progressive story ­toward increased unity and power for all. And yet while Barbauld’s narrative seems on its face to be more cynical, hers is the one that rejects the paradox of informal empire by refusing to permit the old empires to continue draining resources from the Amer­i­c as. It is Bolívar’s idealistic vision of a unified global economy that ends up looking more like t­oday’s f­ ree market and enabling the de­pen­dency of sovereign nations. Though he ­doesn’t have our term “informal empire,” his vision of interconnected nations is just that: he promises ­England an “almost exclusive”—an impor­tant enough phrase to repeat within the same sentence—­mono­poly on the resources of a ­free Amer­i­c a who ­will necessarily be in a position of “depend[ence].” Barbauld places liberty and de­pen­dency into two dif­fer­ent phases of history, while Bolívar links both ­under the banner of global ­free trade and opens the space for informal empire. Both authors, however, despite their opposed visions, find that the form of world history is disturbed by, inadmissible of, or in need of revision to account for informal empire. Chapters 1 and 2 have spanned the years of the Latin American wars of in­ de­pen­dence, from 1810 u ­ ntil the mid-1820s. During this period the piracy and smuggling that defined e­ arlier centuries was giving way to freer trade in Buenos Aires, and British travelers w ­ ere beginning to explore the possibilities of farming and industry in the interior. T ­ oward the end of the war years, many new Latin American nations sought loans from London to stabilize their precarious economies, which would lead (in some cases through default) to even greater British control over their national policies. However, widespread British owner­ship of local industry and development would not occur u ­ ntil closer to midcentury. In the next chapter we w ­ ill move forward into that period to see how, even once British informal empire became more power­ful and well defined, it still remained a prob­lem of imperial and historical narrative coherence. But in the revolutionary era, British economic influence in Latin Amer­i­ca was tentative and highly unsystematic. Therefore, at the time that Barbauld and Bolívar wrote, their discussions of a British imperial presence reflect less a response to on-­the-­ground material real­ity than a forward-­looking

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awareness of the imperial potential of the British economy more generally. They illuminate a moment in which Britain and Latin Amer­i­ca gazed intently upon each other, but their work also suggests that this mutual gaze called attention to and disrupted existing conceptions of history, narrative, and ­imagined community. This convulsion in Atlantic power structures churned the w ­ aters of Enlightenment thinking, forcing certain contradictions to the surface, such as the uncertain compatibility of empire and liberty that informal empire was beginning to demand.

c h a p t e r t h r e e

Anthony Trollope and the Collapse of Historical Telos

A single page turn from the last chapter carries us forward several de­c ades. From Simón Bolívar and Anna Barbauld’s revolutionary 1810s and 1820s, we move now to Anthony Trollope and the mid-­Victorian 1860s and 1870s. I w ­ ill say a few words about the transformative intervening years in just a moment, and part II begins with a chapter on the 1830s and 1840s that ­will help fill in the historical space—­readers interested in chronological continuity may wish to turn t­ here now. But in my pursuit of form, I have dedicated the three chapters of part I to the formal entanglements between informal empire and the pro­gress narrative, and therefore Trollope serves as a kind of bookend, a point of comparison between Romantic and Victorian elaborations of ­t hese discourses. The juxtaposition ­will illuminate, on the one hand, how pro­gress and informal empire developed new significance within new Victorian contexts (such as explosive industrial and financial innovation) and newly popu­ lar genres (travel writing and the realist novel). On the other hand, I w ­ ill use Trollope to show that despite ­these changed contexts, the forms of informal empire and pro­gress continued to trou­ble one another in much the same way they had five de­cades e­ arlier, carry­ing out their strug­gle for narrative dominance in serialized fiction as opposed to couplets, and in debates about railroads instead of war. This leap forward, then, is part of my aim in each half of the book to show the per­sis­tence of informal empire’s formal prob­lems across genres, contexts, and time. And persist they did. Barbauld and Bolívar used their writing to reveal two competing narratives at work in the idea of informal empire in Latin Amer­ i­ca: that Britain might increase its commercial supremacy over the new nations, and that ­these same nations might become increasingly in­de­pen­dent of outside control. This dual appeal to subjugation and liberation, as we saw,

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was not only ethically hypocritical but formally paradoxical; it implied two dif­fer­ent narratives of the ­future, e­ ither of which might take the form of pro­g­ ress but not in unison. Remarkably, a half ­century ­later, Trollope was still highlighting the same duality. The Way We Live Now (1875) and The Prime Minister (1876) (written with so l­ittle pause in between that they are almost two halves of the same thought) both feature a villain who brings economic and social ruin to London by peddling fraudulent investment schemes in Latin Amer­i­ca: respectively, Augustus Melmotte and a Mexican railroad, and Ferdinand Lopez and South American guano. In The Prime Minister, when Lopez’s guano scheme collapses, he tries to escape the humiliation by convincing wealthy ­widow Lizzie Eustace to run off with him and back yet another informal empire proj­ect, this time a mine in Guatemala. In his unavailing pitch, Lopez offers Lizzie two arguments: first, that she can depend on the “certainty of [a] 20 per cent” profit, and second, that their voyage w ­ ill be a romantic echo of the liberation movement fifty years e­ arlier: “­Here our hero took advantage of his name. Don Diego di Lopez had been the first to raise the banner of freedom in Guatemala when the kings of Spain became tyrants to their American subjects” (416).1 Both visions are false (one an unrealistic speculation about the ­future, the other a historical invention), but they are nonetheless rhetorically familiar. It is now fifty years into British informal empire in Latin Amer­i­ca, and Lopez is recounting the same old double narrative—­pro­gress of one kind (liberty) for Latin Amer­ i­ca and pro­gress of a dif­fer­ent sort (profit) for the British. This scene quickly reminds us that the narrative still d ­ oesn’t cohere. When Lizzie proves skeptical, Lopez intensifies the profit narrative, but this forces him to abandon the liberation narrative, as he promises that to be wealthy in Guatemala “is to be a king ­there, or to be but very common amongst commoners ­here” (418). As he fills Lizzie’s imagination with im­mense wealth, Lopez naturally turns to the rhe­toric not of liberation but conquest; his pursuit of the 20 ­percent profit w ­ ill make him “king,” thus not simply precluding his commitment to liberty but reversing it and reinstalling a Eu­ro­pean as ruler of Guatemala.2 Once again we see the prob­lem with the old dual narrative of si­mul­ta­neously increasing British profit and Latin American freedom—­when pressed even lightly, one or the other has to give way. We might well won­der why Lopez references the Guatemalan in­de­pen­ dence movement at all. Why, fifty years ­after its successful conclusion, when the romance of revolution has long since cooled into the realism of trade deals, would a pure cynic like Lopez even bother to dredge up the old image of colo-

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nial liberation? What do the revolutions of the past have to do with the exploitation of the pre­sent? The answer, as always, is narrative. First, ­because in the case of Latin Amer­i­ca, freedom continues to be a necessary co-condition of exploitation. What seems like Lopez’s empty rhe­toric upholds a logistical necessity: informal empire works only if the Spanish colonies are no longer Spanish, so while he d ­ oesn’t need a genuine ideological commitment to the sovereignty of Guatemala, he does need Guatemala to have been made ­free. Second, for Lopez to jump so quickly to the image of Guatemalan in­ de­pen­dence shows that even three generations ­later, the British still closely associate Latin Amer­i­ca with its millenarian break from Spain. The event retains the power it first had in the 1810s to signal the directional, teleological drive of civilization—to forcefully evidence the progressive view of history. The image of Guatemala’s in­de­pen­dence, then, serves the sequence of the narrative of empire (movement from liberty to oppression) as well as the sequence of the narrative of pro­gress (movement from oppression to liberty), making it an indispensable historical plot point in both cases. But of course the two sequences, as mirror images of each other, are formally incompatible; Lopez reveals that his desires in one direction—to echo the liberation movement—­will be swallowed up by his desires in the other direction—to be king. In the 1810s, Britain’s interest in the image of a f­ ree Latin Amer­i­ca had often been ambivalent and could convey genuine interest in the fall of tyranny; for Trollope in 1876, the continuing paean to liberty has become so patently hypocritical that he puts it in the mouth of one of his slickest con artists. By 1904 Joseph Conrad ­will be so cynical about it that he ­will write Nostromo, in which Eu­ro­pean investors and developers take up the cause of liberating South Amer­i­ca from itself and literally recolonize it. But although we can see continuity in how the narratives of informal empire clashed with the pro­gress narrative throughout the ­century, Trollope also wrote from a ­future that Bolívar and Barbauld might have found hard to imagine. By the mid-­Victorian period, their age of unending revolution had quieted into relative po­liti­c al stability, and the idea of informal empire had materialized as an institutional real­ity, thanks to the formal in­de­pen­dence of most of Latin Amer­i­ca, explosions in industrial and technological innovation, and the rapid rise of speculation, which supported investment in international development. By 1822, most of Latin Amer­i­ca was in­de­pen­dent. In 1823, the London Stock Exchange began trading in foreign securities, and by 1824, “an estimated 624 joint-­stock companies, ranging from domestic canal and railway proj­ects to foreign metal-­mining companies, had joined the Exchange’s

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domestic and foreign securities (representing principally Colombian, Chilean, Peruvian, Mexican, and Brazilian loans).”3 The following year, 1825, Parliament repealed the ­Bubble Act, allowing for more and riskier speculations. This rapid internationalization and intensification of financial risk helped institutionalize informal empire and bring about the age of “regular, constant crisis”4 that was the mid-­nineteenth c­ entury. The British “witnessed two cycles of fraudulent railway promotion and manic speculation” in the 1840s and 1860s,5 and by the time Trollope wrote The Way We Live Now, which features one such fraudulent railway scheme in Mexico, the speculator had become a symbol of “what many En­glish p ­ eople feared as the chief economic disease of 6 their time.” In other words, the end of po­liti­cal upheavals was only the beginning of economic ones. But despite plenty of financial turbulence and individual bankruptcy, the second half of the nineteenth c­ entury also saw an overall trend ­toward British control over Latin American industries; to take one example, by 1890 British investors in Costa Rica “controlled the ports, mines, electric lighting, major public works, and foreign commerce as well as the principal domestic marketplaces.”7 When Trollope visited Central Amer­ i­ca in 1859, he would have been well aware of ­these two forces in mutual relation: the volatility of British investment capital and its rapidly tightening control over Latin Amer­i­ca. To look upon all of this through mid-­Victorian eyes was to see familiar social narratives in flux. The age of revolution had come to an end, but narratives explaining the links between past, pre­sent, and ­future remained deeply unsettled. Trollope had a par­tic­u ­lar interest in master narratives, and as he would l­ ater explain in his Autobiography, he had ­these very questions in mind when writing The Way We Live Now: ­W hether the world does or does not become more wicked as years go on, is a question which prob­ably has disturbed the minds of thinkers since the world began to think. That men have become less cruel, less violent, less selfish, less brutal, ­t here can be no doubt;—­but have they become less honest? If so, can a world, retrograding from day to day in honesty, be considered to be in a state of pro­g­ ress? . . . ​Instigated, I say, by some such reflections as t­hese, I sat down in my new ­house to write The Way We Live Now. (353–355)

The novel is animated, therefore, by a very large question: w ­ hether the pro­g­ ress narrative still applies to ­human society. J. Hillis Miller suggests that its

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abiding concern is that “society as a w ­ hole . . . ​is no longer moving in a gradual curve of change,” instead threatening to make “a radical break with the past.”8 Trollope’s novel certainly gives a sweeping indictment of speculation ­bubbles and the financiers who exploit them, but he also uses that satire to focalize the question of social change, asking how such systems introduce alternate and aberrant social narratives—­how they convert pro­gress into “retrograde,” for instance. According to Timothy Alborn, Victorian economists tended to interpret financial crises as “­little more than [outliers] on the rising curve of commercial prosperity,” while novelists often saw in them “an early augury of institutional decay.”9 This nicely highlights the question that runs through The Way We Live Now, and the question I w ­ ill explore in this chapter: ­Under the conditions of financial speculation and informal empire, how was the form of Britain’s shared social narrative changing? Was it best described as progressive or retrogressive, curved or jagged, continuous or broken? This chapter w ­ ill offer brief readings of The West Indies and the Spanish Main (Trollope’s travelogue about Central Amer­i­ca) and an extended reading of The Way We Live Now. As I ­will show, The Way We Live Now is incessantly concerned with temporality—­evident in character names like Slow, Hurtle, and Bideawhile—­and its par­tic­u­lar concern is how the temporal dynamics of speculation and accumulation may not merely adjust society’s “curve of change,” but send it into perpetual stall or radical disjuncture, thereby robbing progressive history of its teleological and diachronic forms. Moreover, Trollope’s choice of Mexico as the site for his fictional railroad—as opposed to anywhere in Britain he might have selected—­connects the novel’s concerns with temporality to the specific context of informal empire in Latin Amer­i­ca. In fact, all three texts discussed in this chapter—­The Way We Live Now, The Prime Minister, and The West Indies and the Spanish Main—­explore the implications of British proj­ects in Latin Amer­i­c a, and all three figure them as formally troubling to a progressive view of history. In his travelogue, Trollope worries that they forestall or reverse the teleological drive ­toward freedom, and in his novels their embroilment with speculation fraud means that they lack content altogether; they ­bubble up with no connections to the past and offer no ­future (a lack of narrative continuity he also links to the figure of the rootless Jew). For Trollope, then, both the real­ity of informal empire in Latin Amer­i­c a and the instability of speculation pre­sent formal challenges to the progressive view of history; when combined, ­these proj­ects actually resist narration altogether; they cannot be told as stories but only described as structures

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that corrode and corrupt. ­These structures have become the structure of the age—­“the way we live now”—­a nd through their temporal stasis and absent teleology (what we might call ateleological form), they contribute to the un-­ forming of humanity’s progressive history. So although t­ hese texts show us that Bolívar’s and Barbauld’s concerns about the problematic conjoining of liberation and dominance narratives continued through the ­century, they also expose new formal misalignments between informal empire and the pro­gress narrative. In trying to formally reconcile informal empire with pro­gress, Barbauld and Bolívar revealed how the strange sequence of Latin Amer­i­ca’s re-­subjection to Britain and the ambiguous protagonists of history u ­ nder informal empire disrupted Britain’s image of itself as civilizational telos. But while they wrote alternative narratives of history that reconciled that disrupted telos within a broader global story of pro­gress, Trollope’s work lingers over the disruption itself, describing it, exposing it, and refusing to resolve it. In this chapter, I ­will leverage Trollope’s unease about collective social narrative to ask what forms an interrupted or absent telos might take. What does a nonteleological history look like to Victorians, and how do we describe it in formal terms? Drawing on Trollope’s thinking and theories of capital, I ­will have occasion to refer to disjuncture, stasis, synchrony, ateleology, and the treadmill, and to ask: To what extent are ­these forms? To what extent do they disrupt the forms of pro­gress, and how does informal empire contribute to that disruption? My argument w ­ ill perhaps be surprising b­ ecause Trollope generally supported the empire. He frequently espoused that brand of Victorian anglocentrism defined by landed-­class sensibilities, social conservativism, and support for the civilizing mission that pushed such values in the colonies. His body of work displays a consistent under­lying belief in the superiority of the En­glish and their mandate to civilize the world, and his travel writing in par­ tic­u­lar is heavi­ly laden with scientific racism and ethnocentric bigotry. And yet as some critics have noted, he is also a “partial skeptic” about par­tic­u­lar methods and sites of imperial expansion.10 In his Australian travels in 1871, for instance, he finds some of the British colonies ­there in­effec­tive, unpromising, and better abandoned.11 And elsewhere in the empire he e­ ither celebrates or anticipates the in­de­pen­dence of British colonies once t­ hey’ve reached a sufficient state of civilization.12 In other words, Trollope is not persuaded that empire is always effective, and he is content to imagine that due to failure or success it may end. The picture is further complicated by Trollope’s views on

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the informal empire, or “so-­called colonies,” which J. H. Davidson argues that Trollope rejected: “Certainly he did not believe in the informal empire of investment beyond or in advance of colonial bound­aries.”13 What my reading of Trollope’s texts reveals is a certain fault line between the formal and informal empire that might have soured even imperial apologists on the latter. That fault line is progressive historical form.

Character and Narrative In The Way We Live Now, Trollope explores coherent versus ruptured narratives in two registers: individual characters and social institutions. I w ­ ill discuss each in turn before moving to Latin Amer­i­ca to show how informal empire contributes to the prob­lem of nonteleological historical form. First, character. Two characters in The Way We Live Now are obvious foils, residing at opposite poles of the novel: Augustus Melmotte is the fast-­dealing foreigner who promotes a fraudulent railway proj­ect designed to fleece gullible investors, and Roger Carbury is the stable En­glish gentleman who only wants to win the heart of his respectable cousin and live in quiet retirement away from the fray of the nouveau riche. Melmotte sets in motion the financial plot that ­will wreak devastation, and Carbury kicks off the marriage plot that ­will bring peace to the novel’s end (though no wife for himself). Melmotte is a force for entropy and dissolution, while Carbury meticulously stitches together community and resolution. I begin with t­ hese two men b­ ecause they represent a dichotomy constitutive to the novel on almost e­ very level of its construction: what can be narrated and what cannot. Carbury, unsurprisingly, is the former; I would argue that as a character, his role in the novel is to signify narrative itself—he is an embodiment of connected events across time. He is first introduced to the reader in volume I, chapter 6, which both begins and ends with his full name, “Roger Carbury,” and which in between is entirely devoted to his deep f­amily history and his more recent personal history. As beginning, ­middle, and end, Carbury is the chapter, and thus seems to have a natu­ral alignment with the very forms of realist prose. Consider ­these opening lines: Roger Carbury, of Carbury Hall, the owner of a small property in Suffolk, was the head of the Carbury ­family. The Carburys had been in Suffolk a ­great many years—­certainly from the time of the War of the Roses—­a nd had always held

98  Pro­gress and Informal Empire, 1808–1875 up their heads. But they had never held them very high. It was not known that any had risen ever to the honour of knighthood before Sir Patrick, g­ oing higher than that, had been made a baronet. They had, however, been true to their acres and their acres true to them through the perils of civil wars, Reformation, Commonwealth, and Revolution, and the head Carbury of the day had always owned, and had always lived at, Carbury Hall. (v.I, 47)14

Carbury’s f­ amily history is distinguished most by its diachronic continuity—it may not be full of drama, but its unbroken links make it replete with four hundred years of tellable details, including a list of the ­house staff in the year 1800 and the precise current income of the estate. Trollope expresses the scale of this history with temporal markers like “the War of the Roses” and “Reformation, Commonwealth, and Revolution,” entwining the ­family’s longue durée with the nation’s and making Carbury part of the most common shared narrative in ­England. As Lauren Goodlad argues, Trollope saw ­England’s sovereignty as manifest in the “rootedness” of its elite class,15 and in this way Carbury and ­England are mutually constituted through the form of historical narrative. And despite upheaval in the nation’s history, Carbury’s ­family, having “always owned, and . . . ​a lways lived at, Carbury Hall” and “been true to their acres,” are a through line amid crisis.16 Their history can be told in narrative form, therefore, b­ ecause generation a­ fter generation remain chained together by the linkages of land owner­ship and primogeniture, itself a narrative force that sorts the noise of a sprawling ­family into the signal of a single line. In fact, by the time we meet Roger Carbury ­here in chapter I.6, we have already met Lady Carbury (his sister-­in-­law) and the hapless Sir Felix Carbury (his rake of a nephew), ­either of whom might have inspired a ­family history, but the novel withholds it u ­ ntil we meet Roger, the current inheritor of the Carbury line, who has “lived on his own land among his own ­people, as all the Carburys before him had done” (v.I, 48). His life’s goal is to see this legacy preserved through the creation of a new generation of Carburys. And so Roger is invested with the attributes of narrative itself: origin, diachronicity, linear continuity, and telos. In fact, and this is highlighted by his alignment with the nation, Roger embodies the pro­gress narrative in par­tic­u ­lar, as his ­family’s status has begun to increase from knighthood to baronetcy. This increase, however, is specifically ploddingly paced, and we ­will see that although Trollope fervently adheres to a progressive vision of history, he is skeptical of the pace of acceleration.

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If Roger Carbury represents diachronic narrative, Augustus Melmotte is his foil, in that he has status only in the ­here and now and is utterly untethered to e­ ither past or ­future. Compare the first sentence of Carbury’s introduction to the first sentence of Melmotte’s: Roger Carbury, of Carbury Hall, the owner of a small property in Suffolk, was the head of the Carbury ­family. (v.I, 47) The giver of the ball was Augustus Melmotte, Esq., the ­father of the girl whom Sir Felix Carbury desired to marry, and the husband of the lady who was said to have been a Bohemian Jewess. (v.I, 30)

Carbury’s introduction begins with his name and his connection to the land that bears it, followed by a strong verb of identity—­“was”—­t hat assertively gives him a lineage. Melmotte’s introduction inverts this structure, beginning not with his name but with a cataphoric absence of it, presenting him to us as “the giver of the ball.” Hardly a stable identity, this establishes him as someone whose primary characteristic is not who he is but what he does in the h ­ ere and now. His name appears ­after the verb of identity—­the very same “was”—­ and while that verb places Carbury within a four-­hundred-­year f­amily line, it places Melmotte only within a four-­hour soiree. As the sentence continues, his identity is doubly and triply subordinated to pre­sent contingencies, as the ­father of Felix’s current love object and the husband of a subject for current gossip. He and his f­amily have no identity older than the wants, thoughts, and social habits of the current London season; they are defined by what ­people say now, who they want to marry now, and where they dance now. I ­won’t put each sentence of the two men’s introductions side by side (though such analy­sis would be fruitful), but simply observe how Melmotte’s continues in the unrelenting style of deferral and omission: The giver of the ball was Augustus Melmotte, Esq., the ­father of the girl whom Sir Felix Carbury desired to marry, and the husband of the lady who was said to have been a Bohemian Jewess. It was thus that the gentleman chose to have himself designated, though within the last two years he had arrived in London from Paris, and had at first been known as M. Melmotte. But he had declared of himself that he had been born in E ­ ngland, and that he was an En­glishman. He admitted that his wife was a foreigner—an admission that was necessary as she spoke very ­little En­glish. Melmotte himself spoke his “native” language fluently, but with an accent that betrayed at least a long expatriation. Miss Melmotte—­

100  Pro­gress and Informal Empire, 1808–1875 who a very short time since had been known as Ma­de­moi­selle Marie—­spoke En­glish well, but as a foreigner. In regard to her it was acknowledged that she had been born out of ­England—­some said in New York; but Madame Melmotte, who must have known, had declared the ­great event had taken place in Paris. (v.I, 30)

In a stark contrast to Carbury’s pre­sen­ta­tion as embodied narrative, this passage incessantly performs the Melmottes’ lack of f­ amily narrative altogether. Melmotte “declares of himself” that he is En­glish and “[chooses] to have himself designated as “Esq.,” but ­these are mere per­for­mances belied by his vestigial French address and foreign ­family. The “Esq.” title is another parallel to Carbury, but of course where the latter derives it from his lineage, Mel­ motte has simply applied it to himself in place of a history that does not exist. Through its mediations and deferrals—or as Anna Kornbluh puts it, a “proliferation of ungrounded representations”17—­ this passage introduces Mel­motte as someone with no narrative ­behind him; he may come from any nation, Mrs. Melmotte may or may not be a Jewess (and by implication rootless), and as we ­later learn, Marie may or may not be their child. In other words, while Carbury’s ­family chain goes back centuries, the Melmottes lack a single link to the past or even to the child who lives with them. And while Carbury sees himself as a link in a chain—­a steward of diachronicity—­ whose goal is to hand the past off to the ­future, Melmotte only wants to amass wealth and influence in the moment. The Melmottes are, in short, radically rootless, seeming to exist only in the pre­sent. All this might imply only that the Melmottes are unknowable, not that they are untellable, since a lack of information is not necessarily the same as a lack of narrative. But The Way We Live Now figures the prob­lem as precisely that. For instance, when Marie Melmotte laments to Felix that “nobody ever told me anything about myself,” he replies, “I should like to tell you every­ thing about yourself, from the beginning to the end.” Information, in other words, is narrative. To know something about the Melmottes would make it pos­si­ble to tell a story with a “beginning” and an “end.” In response to Felix, Marie simply says, “Ah—­but you ­don’t know” (v.I, 38), reminding him and the reader that such a story cannot be told. And Georgiana Longestaffe perfectly captures the Melmottes’ re­sis­tance to narrative when she says, “No one knows who they are, or where they came from, or what ­they’ll turn to” (v.I, 119), expressing their missing data as a kind of inverse narrative, a durational absence of content.18 The prob­lem with the Melmottes, then, is that

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they cannot be told across time.19 The novel itself, which particularly in Trollope’s hands is a form indebted to diachronic continuity, seems less so when the Melmottes appear: Roger Carbury’s chapters, such as “The Carbury ­Family,” “Roger Carbury and Paul Montague,” and “Carbury Manor,” situate him within a stable history, community, and space, while Melmotte f­amily chapters like “Madam Melmotte’s Ball,” “Mr. Melmotte is Pressed for Time,” and “Mr. Melmotte on the Day of the Election,” place them within fleeting moments that exist only in the pre­sent and give them no links to the past or ­future. This unnarratability is, of course, inextricable from the Melmottes’ ambiguous Jewish racialization—­a feature of Ferdinand Lopez in The Prime Minister as well. As Lauren Goodlad notes, Trollope’s novels conceptualize the En­glish as locally “rooted” through the financial and generational inheritance of the landed gentry, while they isolate “the pernicious effects of cap­i­tal­ist globalization” as a prob­lem negatively associated with cosmopolitanism and “the shadowy attributes of Jews.”20 As much as they are about absent facts or features, such “shadowy attributes” are, I would argue, also about an absence of story. In contrast to the narrative continuity implied by primogeniture and the genealogical pedigree of the En­glish gentleman, The Way We Live Now traffics in ste­reo­t ypes of Jewish rootlessness to craft the Melmottes as antithetical to narrative itself. I do not mean that the Melmottes are opposed to the form of the novel; indeed, their lack of identity and stability creates structurally necessary conflict. As with the other chapters in this book, I am less interested in the form of Trollope’s narrative than I am in the forms his text presumes social narratives to have. The Way We Live Now is rather traditionally formed—­containing several marriage plots and plenty of financial intrigue, consisting in dozens of regular chapters split into two volumes, and producing increasing conflict ­until its climax and resolution—­but ­these familiar forms combine to represent social narratives—­history, pro­gress—­that are all out of whack. Carbury’s ­family history is compatible with the pro­gress narrative, given its linked events across time that make it pos­si­ble to track change and growth, and especially given its overlap with the ­actual history of the nation’s pro­gress. Meanwhile, the Melmotte ­family is narratively aberrant, or rather, absent. ­Because while Trollope worries in his Autobiography that retrogression is the opposite of pro­g­ ress, and Uday Mehta argues that imperial powers work “to align a deviant and recalcitrant history with the appropriate f­ uture,”21 Melmotte’s narrative

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is neither retrogressive nor deviant; it ­c an’t be realigned ­because it simply ­doesn’t exist. While Carbury has a narrative that connects him across time, the Melmottes are less narrative than they are morphological structure, their corrosive influence spreading not durationally across time but spatially across London’s pre­sent.22 They exhibit being-­in-­space, rather than becoming-­in-­ time. So the difference between Carbury and Melmotte is formal, but not in terms of the novel’s form; rather, they are each figures for certain kinds of social form. One represents origin, diachronicity, linearity, and telos, and the other represents groundlessness, synchronicity, disruption, and ateleology.23 One makes it pos­si­ble to see British society as a series of linked events, and the other raises the specter of a denationalized society that is no longer held together by such links and therefore cannot be narrated across time.24

Capitalism, Diachronicity, Telos ­ hese individual characters evoke larger forms (social narratives and social T structures), but institutions, being themselves social, render ­these forms even more immediately. Carbury, as we have seen, is tied to institutions of inheritance and property that tell a national and aristocratic story. Conversely, Melmotte, as the chairman of the South Central Pacific and Mexican Railway Com­pany, is tied to the new institutions of financial speculation that are both risky and intangible. And t­ hese institutions appear in the same terms as Melmotte does: through a lack of information that equates to a lack of narrative. It is frequently “said” that Melmotte’s rail com­pany is prospering and likely to make the fortunes of its investors, but—­a gain like Melmotte—­rumor is never supplemented by fact, not even among the board members themselves. Paul Montague, our moral center on the board, can never get any information about the ­actual state of the venture, concluding exasperatedly at one point, “I doubt if t­ here be any one t­ here who does understand this m ­ atter” (v.I, 378). Paul, however, i­sn’t ­after just any information at all; he is specifically in search of information that has links across time. Venting his frustration at a board meeting, he demands: “We ­ought to know where the shares ­really are. I for one do not even know what scrip has been issued. . . . ​I am determined to know what is being done with the shares” (v.I, 346). Paul asks about the shares in multiple tenses b­ ecause he wants their diachronic history—­not only where they “are” now and what “is being done” with them in the pre­sent, but also what “has been” done with them already. But Melmotte and his

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associates are particularly uninterested in discussing the past, preferring to talk about the pre­sent in the vaguest terms: “I am able to tell you that we are prospering,” Melmotte tells the board in this same meeting, summarizing the com­pany’s affairs in comically insufficient fashion (v.I, 345). The present-­ tense gerund “are prospering” suggests less the durational narrative Paul seeks than a suspended animation of the ongoing pre­sent. This subversion of the past in ­favor of an ongoing pre­sent speaks to the specific temporality of capitalism itself. As a force for constant crisis and change, capitalism reduces the predictive value of the past as compared to other, more stable systems and looks instead to a constantly emerging and new ­future.25 As William H. Sewell Jr. argues, capitalism is fundamentally “eventful,” in that “new business ventures are launched daily; firms go bankrupt; stock exchanges and f­ utures markets oscillate dizzily, develop ­bubbles or crash; [and] hedge fund man­ag­ers become instant billionaires.”26 The development of capitalism therefore helped produce an experience of “time as progressive and open-­ended.”27 This, of course, shows the overlap between cap­i­tal­ist temporality and the pro­gress narrative. We might then expect Trollope’s novel to celebrate capitalism as a conducive temporal framework for the unfolding of civilizational pro­gress he wished to see. And yet, while we ­wouldn’t call The Way We Live Now anti-­capitalist per se, it pre­sents this very “propulsive futurity,”28 the headlong rush of change, as corrosive to pro­gress. How could that be—­how could Trollope desire civilizational pro­gress while critiquing a financial system that produces progressive temporalities? It helps to understand that capitalism has more than one tempo. In addition to its headlong rush into the ­future, capitalism also manifests a “strange stillness—­what one might call a ‘stillness-­in-­motion.’ . . . ​­There is constant movement, but the movement is constantly repetitive. For capital at its most abstract, the movement is like ­running on a treadmill.”29 That is to say, while capitalism produces the constant change we associate with pro­gress—­ technological innovation, new social arrangements, changing value—­such change is merely the byproduct of capital’s principal dynamic of endless accumulation.30 And the temporal expression of endless accumulation is not futurity but an uncanny kind of stasis. For instance, ­because the nature of capitalism is to produce surplus value, it is constantly developing innovations to increase productivity, which in turn increases the value-­per-­hour of ­labor. But new levels of productivity become the new normal, which restabilizes value at its previous level.31 Moishe Postone calls this the “treadmill effect,”

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­ nder which he says that “value is an expression of time as the pre­sent.”32 So capiu talism has a paradoxical “temporal duality—an ongoing, accelerating flow of history, on the one hand, and an ongoing conversion of this movement of time into a constant pre­sent, on the other.”33 The endless accumulation of capital consumes diachronic history, past and f­uture disappearing into a suspended and eternal synchronous pre­sent with an ateleological temporal form.34 Accumulation is endless in the sense that it ­will never cease, but also in the sense that it has no grounded “end” or aim outside of itself—­accumulation for accumulation’s sake is a “directionless,” “contentless,” and “self-­valorizing . . . ​ pure pro­cess”35 with no telos.36 Far from serving the narrative demands of pro­gress, then, capitalism in this sense “has no history at all.”37 Time is no longer duration; it is setting—it is the endless “now” in which we live. Pro­gress, for Trollope, makes coherent diachronic links across past, pre­sent, and ­future, is linear and increasing (though at a steady, not accelerating pace), and unfolds teleologically. Accumulation does not take t­ hese forms, and so the experience of time accumulation produces is less narrative than stasis. The Way We Live Now draws this contrast through Paul’s search for a coherent durational narrative of the railroad com­pany and his adversaries’ subversion of that narrative into an ongoing pre­sent. And he explic­itly connects this to the operations of capital through untrustworthy board members like Felix Carbury, who are precisely interested in riding the treadmill of endless accumulation: “[Felix’s] object in this commercial transaction was to make money immediately by reselling the shares,—­a nd to go on continually making money by buying at a low price and selling at a high price. He no doubt did believe that, being a Director, if he could once raise the means of beginning this game, he could go on with it for an unlimited period;—­buy and sell, buy and sell” (v.I, 268). As far as Felix understands it, the tempo of accumulation is both “continual” and “unlimited,” neither varying nor reaching ­toward any other “object” than accumulation itself. Though Trollope ­doesn’t use the figure of the treadmill, his language nonetheless evokes it in this passage, as it does elsewhere in the novel’s frequent return to the verb “to float.” When the narrator tells us that “the object of Fisker, Montague, and Montague was not to make a railway to Vera Cruz, but to float a com­pany” (v.I, 77), the contrast between the two verbs “to make” and “to float” conjures a difference of an ontological order. To “make” a railroad implies an action that must begin, develop, and be completed—in other words, a durational narrative act. By contrast, “to float” evokes only a static suspension, as Fisker, Melmotte’s American coun-

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terpart, explains: “In a t­ hing of this kind, when it has once been set agoing, ­t here is nothing ­else to do” (v.I, 85). An initial action may be required, but every­thing ­else is subsumed into an ongoing “agoing”—­a constant pre­sent—­ after which “nothing” need happen. One can, like Felix, simply “buy and sell, buy and sell” and “continually” accumulate capital “for an unlimited period.” So the railway com­pany, like Melmotte himself, fails to account for itself in the past or claim any external telos beyond its own meaningless self-­ perpetuation through capital. Put another way, it refuses both the diachronicity that would give it narrative form and the teleology demanded by a specifically progressive narrative form. Instead it lapses into an undifferentiated and inescapably synchronic pre­sent, a pure structure. But the temporal rhythms of the railway com­pany are only partly governed by accumulation. They are also influenced by the logic of speculation, which produces its own vari­ous and contradictory temporal forms. On the one hand, while accumulation may be said to subsume time into the pre­sent, speculation vaults over the pre­sent altogether. The concept of “­f utures” literalizes what Anna Kornbluh calls the proleptic nature of all financial transactions, in which both parties act as though ­future values are real and grounded in the pre­sent. Finance, she says, “operates in the f­ uture anterior tense,” leaping over a pre­sent that can be given meaning only by an as yet unrealized f­ uture; this is the “logico-­temporal leap” that undergirds speculation and capital itself.38 Or as Paul Montague puts it, the railroad “is one of t­ hose hazardous t­ hings in which a man can never tell w ­ hether he be r­ eally prosperous till he is out of it” (v.I, 247). Kornbluh points out that Melmotte and com­pany speak in tautologies, paradoxes, and metaleptic promises, all of which are forms that echo speculation’s temporal overleap and which, I would add, preclude narrative linearity. On the other hand, speculation has a tightly dependent relationship with narrative, since companies court investment precisely by telling persuasive stories about how the f­ uture w ­ ill unfold.39 And while speculation is inherently risky b­ ecause ­these narratives tell the story of an as yet unknown f­ uture, investors run a lower risk when such stories are grounded in the past, in prior outcomes and trends that ­can’t ever guarantee a par­tic­u­lar f­ uture but may increase its likelihood. So it’s l­ittle surprise that Roger Carbury, the man diachronically connected to the past, is also able to predict the ­future accurately from quite early in the novel: “Sorrowfully looking forward through the vista of ­future years, he thought he saw that Henrietta would become Paul’s wife”

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(v.I, 74). Not only does he predict the story’s end, but he also brings it about by placing Paul and Henrietta next in line for the Carbury h ­ ouse and titles, thus rendering even their f­ uture beyond the text nearly inevitable. Meanwhile, Roger’s constantly speculating nephew Felix “never could see the end of anything” (v.I, 22), and much like all the novel’s speculators he gets no final conclusion. Just as Melmotte’s body is “carried away, no one knew whither” (v.II, 357), we only learn that Felix has been successfully kept out of E ­ ngland “up to this time”—­forever suspending his narrative in the present-­tense moment of the final page. In other words, w ­ hether it comes to speculation or inheritance, a grounding in the past—or a narrative that connects the past to the pre­sent—­renders the ­future much more legible. Consider how the effect of such grounding scales up in the case of the pro­gress narrative, where tracing change in the past is what makes it pos­si­ble to interpret historical unfolding as teleological. That is to say, when it comes to our largest narrative of all, understanding the past reduces uncertainty about the ­future so completely that it appears inevitable. So it’s no won­der that in order to assuage his anxiety about the railway com­pany’s f­ uture, Paul is constantly looking to its past, though he is just as constantly rebuked: “When he asked some questions as to the manner in which the shares had been allocated, he was told that all that would be arranged in accordance with the capital invested” (v.I, 206; emphasis mine). Lacking grounding in what “had been,” the com­pany’s assurances about what “would be” are much less persuasive. But as Trollope is fond of pushing satire into absurdity, the com­pany is not only unable to articulate links between past, pre­sent, and ­future; they cannot even create links between two sentences. Toasting the com­pany at a dinner, Melmotte can only “blurt out” disconnected and halting platitudes, which, “not varying much one from the other, he jerked out like so many separate interjections” (v.I, 88–89). And one farcical board meeting is even worse: Miles read the short rec­ord out of the book,—­stumbling over ­every other word, and g­ oing through the per­for­mance so badly that had t­ here been anything to understand no one could have understood it. . . . ​“Gentlemen,” said Mr.  Mel­ motte, “it may perhaps be as well if I take this occasion of saying a few words to you about the affairs of the com­pany.” Then, instead of g­ oing on with his statement, he sat down again, and began to turn over sundry voluminous papers very slowly. . . . ​Montague sat profoundly listening,—or ready to listen when

Anthony Trollope and the Collapse of Historical Telos    107 anything should be said. . . . ​“I understood that we w ­ ere to have a statement,” said Montague. “­You’ve had a statement,” said Mr. Cohenlupe. (v.I, 342–345)

The “rec­ord” presumably contains com­pany history, but narrative disjuncture is now occurring at such microscopic intervals that Miles cannot even connect two words together, “stumbling over ­every other” one. This increasing frequency of non-­communication reaches its logical conclusion when, instead of giving an account of the com­pany’s affairs, Melmotte simply d ­ oesn’t speak at all, a silence that Cohenlupe absurdly declares has in fact been a statement. The reader is always aware that ­there is no content to the com­pany, but since the business of business is to spin a lot of nothing into coherent tales of ­future pro­gress, the real satire is not their lack of substance—­it’s their comprehensive inability to do the work of narrative, to make diachronic connections at any level at all. The temporal rhythms in which they operate are “blurting,” “jerking,” and “stumbling,” which in formal terms produce only breaks, gaps, and endless caesuras. If some of the constitutive forms of narrative are diachronicity and connectivity, Melmotte’s com­pany expresses itself in their opposite. To summarize, capitalism operates in multiple and conflicting tempos, and The Way We Live Now is concerned with how ­these are formally out of joint with the pro­gress narrative. In the ongoing pre­sent of accumulation, the proleptic leap of speculation, and the broken links between past and ­future, the novel explores the ways that modern financial institutions have corrupted the temporal experience of history as diachronic, linear, and teleological. The narrator expresses precisely this when he tells us that Melmotte’s successes have tended to arrive in “jumps” that defy predictability and leave too many ­people, including his ­family and even himself, unsure of “what ledge in the world the ­great man was perched at the moment” (v.I, 330). Reading the novel’s interest in temporal rhythm highlights the fraught relationship between the new forms of finance and the formal features of narrative.40 To borrow the names of three characters associated with the railway scheme, time s­houldn’t be Slow, it ­shouldn’t Hurtle, and it ­shouldn’t stand still and Bideawhile. If capitalism shapes the social experience of historical unfolding, speculation and accumulation disrupt the temporality of pro­gress by altering its constitutive forms. They suspend its forward drive, interrupt its linear continuity, and revoke its external telos, leaving b­ ehind alternate, dystopian “forms” like

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stasis, discontinuity, and synchrony. And if ­these are threatening to the homeland, they ­will be fatal to the mission of the empire.

Telos in the Informal Empire It would be easy to assume that The Way We Live Now is uninterested in empire, as Bernard Porter has argued.41 ­A fter all, the South Central Pacific and Mexican Railway proj­ect is designed to connect two nations outside of official British purview—­the United States and Mexico—­and, indeed, all of Melmotte’s rumored proj­ects lie in ­free nations like Rus­sia, Moldavia, and Austria. Lord De Griffin even makes a point to explic­itly refute a rumor that Melmotte has a proj­ect in India (v.II, 40–41). But the fact that Melmotte’s schemes are not part of any territorial colonies does not suggest that the novel is “absent-­minded” about empire; rather, it shows Trollope’s very specific interest in Eu­rope’s informal influence beyond the bounds of its colonies, an influence he codes as imperial in nature. The Mob, for instance—­aptly named for a newspaper that supports the wildly popu­lar yet ill-­understood railway proj­ect—­suggests that the Mexico scheme is noble ­because “a Napoleon” like Melmotte, “though he may exterminate tribes in carry­ing out his proj­ects, cannot be judged by the same law as a young lieutenant who may be punished for cruelty to a few negroes” (v.II, 171). Comparing unconventional business practices to “cruelty” and “extermination” during the pursuit of overseas military proj­ects suggests that the British public sees the Mexican railway as continuous with the formal empire. The Mob’s reference to colonialism is a meta­phor, of course, but American adventuress Mrs. Hurtle is much more literal when she pleads with Paul to join the proj­ect, saying: “The railway ­will make Mexico a new country, and then you would be the man who had done it. . . . ​Emperors and kings have tried their hands at Mexico and have been able to do nothing. Emperors and kings never can do anything. Think what it would be to be the regenerator of Mexico!” (v.I, 391). Using the civilizing mission—­the goal of “regenerating” Mexico—as a link, Mrs. Hurtle’s rhe­toric draws a straight line between the territorial colonialism of “emperors and kings” and the influence of this development proj­ect, even suggesting that capitalism might be the more effective means of achieving the same end.42 Adding that the railway developers “­will rule the Mexicans” (v.I, 394), she fully literalizes the notion that development proj­ects can lead to overseas rule and thereby unequivocally places the railway proj­ect ­under the umbrella of British imperialism.

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The novel is, therefore, interested in the specific dynamics that connect overseas development with overseas rule, but Mexico as the proposed railway site makes a yet more specific connection to informal empire in Latin Amer­ i­ca. It would certainly have been a familiar idea to Trollope’s readers; one year ­after publication of The Way We Live Now, Alexander Innes Shand reflected that English-­led rail proj­ects had boomed all over the world at midcentury, and we may find Trollope’s inspiration in an a­ ctual proposed rail line between Mexico City and Veracruz, promoted by a com­pany whose name—­the British Imperial Railway Com­pany—­made evident their self-­perception as imperialists.43 While that line was eventually completed, many w ­ eren’t, and Shand noted that railroad proj­ects in Latin Amer­i­ca had been prone to spectacular bust: “We know how freely [the British investor] honoured the drafts that Honduras, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, and St. Domingo drew on his credulity.”44 Trollope certainly chose Mexico for narrative reasons, as the distance from London increases its unknowability, and he was also likely tapping into readers’ idea that a Latin American railroad was less than a sure ­thing. But he was also unquestionably interested in the par­tic­u­lar nature of Eu­ro­pean informal empire in the newly formed nations of Central Amer­i­ca. The Way We Live Now cannot be fully understood without considering its connections to Trollope’s travel and po­liti­cal beliefs. To get a sense of how Trollope understands informal empire as a distinct phenomenon, it helps to consider his views on the formal empire, and—as with the home front—­pro­gress is paramount. His belief in the pro­gress narrative as it applied to the empire buttressed his racist belief in the civilizing mission as a benevolent force for elevating nonwhite p ­ eoples around the world. But he was somewhat unusual in how strictly he interpreted pro­gress’s specific formal features. Many Victorians used the pro­gress narrative to justify the acquisition of territory while refusing to imagine that the colonies’ pro­gress would ever lead to their in­de­pen­dence.45 Or as Trollope himself put it in his 1859 travelogue, The West Indies and the Spanish Main: “­There are they who . . . ​ ­will have it as an axiom, that when an En­glishman has been master once, he should be master always: that his dominion should not give way to strange hands, or his ascendency yield itself to strange races.” To put this in formal terms, the prob­lem with this view is that it d ­ oesn’t re­spect the teleological form of the pro­gress narrative. This passage, which is about Jamaica, continues: “A certain work has been ours to do t­ here, a certain amount of remaining work it is prob­ably our lot to complete. But when that is done; when civilization,

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commerce, and education s­ hall have been spread; when sufficient of our blood ­shall have been infused into the veins of t­ hese ­children of the sun; then, I think, we may be ready, without stain on our patriotism, to take off our hats and bid farewell to the West Indies.”46 ­Others merely use the civilizing mission as a rhetorical cover for perpetual exploitation—an ongoing “always.” For Trollope, however, pro­gress is not about creating perpetual states but achieving ends, and ­these ends are not only good, but in his own word, inevitable. Arguing that the in­de­pen­dence of the United States should make the British proud, he says he looks forward to “the inevitable, happily inevitable day, when Australia ­shall follow in the same path” (83; 138).47 Pro­gress ­doesn’t have the status of a natu­ral law for Trollope; he believes that it requires diligent work or p ­ eople ­will retrograde. But his pursuit of pro­gress is driven by his specific vision of its ideal form, which must not be static but teleological and must lead not to the ascendancy of Britain but to the universal elevation of man. In other words, empire cannot aim to create a suspended state. It must aim to write a narrative. It should not “float” but “make.” It is only logical, then, that Trollope views development proj­ects in the ­free world u ­ nder the same governing logic: they, too, should be undertaken in the name of pro­gress. He saw many such proj­ects firsthand during his travels in Central Amer­i­ca, and when he wrote about them in The West Indies and the Spanish Main he focused in par­tic­u­lar on t­ hose related to transit, especially the g­ reat pre-­c anal prob­lem of crossing the isthmus. In this potent passage about mankind’s increasing ability to move across the globe, which begins the chapter called “Central Amer­i­ca—­R ailways, Canals, and Transit,” Trollope reveals his general support for industrial development: The child when born is first suckled, then fed with a spoon; in his next stage, his food is cut up for him, and he begins to help himself; for some years a­ fter that it is still carved u ­ nder parental authority; and then at last he sits down to the full enjoyment of his own leg of mutton, u ­ nder his own auspices. Our development in travelling has been much of the same sort, and we are now perhaps beginning to use our own knife and fork, though we hardly yet understand the science of carving; or at any rate, can hardly bring our hands to the duly dexterous use of the necessary tools. (316)

Drawing on the classic childhood-­to-­adult meta­phor for civilizational advancement—­the very same that Simón Bolívar used to proj­ect Latin Amer­ i­c a’s post-­independence development—­Trollope affirmatively links new

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distance-­shattering travel technologies like the railway to the pro­gress narrative, naturalizing both pro­cesses as being as universal and inevitable as adolescence. Throughout The West Indies and the Spanish Main, he lends support to transit proj­ects that ­will form part of a “public world-­road” and claims that British efforts to connect the globe are done on every­one’s behalf: “Is it not true that we would fain make all ways open to all men? that we would have them open to ourselves, certainly; but not closed against any ­human being? If that, and such like, be not what our diplomatists are ­doing, then I, for one, misunderstand their trade” (324). In passages like this, we see that Trollope supports industrial development as a linchpin of pro­gress and that he also—­ just like Bolívar—­imagines this pro­gress might have a global protagonist, a universal “we” who ­will reap the rewards of man’s maturation. Trollope’s vision of pro­gress is both formally specific and universally applicable, to both imperial and extra-­imperial proj­ects. But too often, for Trollope, development proj­ects in the f­ ree world are not about pro­gress; they are about profit. That is, they are motivated by capitalism’s static accumulation drive rather than the telos of civilizational pro­gress, and—­crucially—­the two are not only distinct but opposed. Writing again in The West Indies and the Spanish Main, he warns the British away from such corrupt motives. Citing Britain’s treaty of decolonization with Honduras, he says that the British are obligated to help the country prosper through technology like the railroad, but that they should do it for the benefit of Honduras and the world, never seeking to monopolize any such lines (323–324). As Ferdinand Lopez’s mercenary motives in The Prime Minister likewise convey, the danger of pursuing profit is that it ­will negatively affect Latin American sovereignty. And so, although he writes in The West Indies that he supports increased transit and trade in Central Amer­i­c a, he also is disturbed that a French canal proj­ect ­will cause Nicaragua and Costa Rica to “sign away their lands and w ­ aters” (333) and (by permitting French war ships in Lake Nicaragua) amount to “a military occupation of the country” (331). Calling this an “occupation” and a cession of territory, Trollope frames it as a colonial maneuver inside nations that have already won their freedom from Eu­rope. If the motive for Eu­ro­pean development in Central Amer­i­ca is pro­gress—to open borders, share profits, and elevate all men—­then development serves the telos of history. But if the motive is profit—to claim territory, consolidate owner­ ship, and subjugate ­others—­then development ­will only reverse the pro­gress narrative, sending the ­free nations of Central Amer­i­ca backward into states

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of reduced sovereignty and hierarchical submission. Development, in other words, is pro­gress; imperial development—­informal empire—is regress. The prob­lem with t­ hese proj­ects in Latin Amer­i­ca is that they purport to be motivated by pro­gress, but this is only a pretense. Returning to The Way We Live Now, Mrs. Hurtle says that the railroad ­will “regenerate” Mexico, and Fisker speaks of the “world-­wide commercial love and harmony” it ­will provide (v.I, 89). T ­ hese could well be Trollope’s own words of support for colonial and industrial proj­ects. Such rhe­toric certainly serves his commitment to progressing civilization around the world, and even his specific interest in a global protagonist of that pro­gress. The prob­lem is not with the rhe­toric itself, but rather that it is only rhe­toric, that the com­pany has no ­actual interest in pursuing ­those ends: “­There was not one of them then pre­sent who had not ­a fter some fashion been given to understand that his fortune was to be made, not by the construction of the railway, but by the floating of the railway shares. They had all whispered to each other their convictions on this head. . . . ​That was to be their work, and they all knew it. But now, as ­there ­were eight of them collected together, they talked of humanity at large and of the coming harmony of nations” (v.I, 89–90). The notion of working t­ oward “the coming harmony of nations” captures the mea­sur­able diachronic change, global protagonist, and ultimate telos that define Trollope’s pro­gress narrative, but the com­pany w ­ ill of course construct nothing and civilize no one; they ­will only “float” shares. In other words, Melmotte’s rail com­pany promises to support the historical narrative of pro­gress, but under­neath that cover it operates through the anti-­progressive temporalities of capitalism.48 As we saw with the treadmill logic of accumulation, as well as in his support for colonial in­de­pen­dence, Trollope is averse to states of stall or perpetuity that do not pursue teleological pro­gress. In The West Indies and The Spanish Main, he articulates this same worry about development proj­ects in Central Amer­i­c a. Discussing the railway that Americans have built across Panama, he celebrates its contributions to global mobility and the potential regeneration of a backsliding Panamanian ­people. Empire brings pro­gress, of which Trollope approves. But while the US Americans, in his view, rightly own the railway now, he also worries that they ­will want to own it forever: The w ­ hole line ­shall become the absolute property of the New Granadian government when it ­shall have been opened for forty-­nine years. But who can tell what government w ­ ill prevail in New Granada in forty-­nine years? It is not

Anthony Trollope and the Collapse of Historical Telos    113 impossible that the ­whole district may then be an outlying territory belonging to the United States. At any rate, I should imagine that it is very far from the intention of the American com­pany to adhere with rigid strictness to this part of the bargain. Who knows what may occur between this and the end of the c­ entury? (237–238)

The proj­ect is good so long as it is being done for the benefit of ­human pro­g­ ress. But if pro­gress is the motive, then the American presence ­will necessarily be temporary as Panama grows stronger and takes control of its own resources. The danger Trollope foresees is that, motivated not by pro­gress but by profit, the Americans ­will seek a perpetual state of owner­ship that is temporally antithetical to the pro­gress it promised in the first place. Also at issue in this passage is the familiar prob­lem of uncertain ­futures. Speculation renders the past and pre­sent subordinate to a f­ uture that may not come to pass, and Trollope sees in Latin Amer­i­ca heightened uncertainty. So not only may the Americans seek a perpetual state of imperial control, but they are counting on the unknowability of Latin Amer­i­ca’s ­future to do so. For Trollope, the empire depends on working t­ oward a par­tic­u­lar f­ uture that fulfills the telos of pro­gress, but the agents of informal empire in Latin Amer­ i­ca are leveraging the proliferation of many pos­si­ble ­futures in order to convert the pro­gress narrative into a self-­serving stasis. So by setting the railway proj­ect in The Way We Live Now in Mexico, Trollope has not only placed it outside of the formal empire, but also suggested that it stands outside of the very narratives that he believes do—or at least should—­govern the shared experience of history. It may once again strike us as strange that Trollope would not see and support capitalism as an engine of the pro­gress he wanted—­especially given his interest in development proj­ects like railroads and canals. But as Ellen Meiskins Wood describes it, pro­gress ­isn’t one singular idea. “The idea of pro­g­ ress commonly associated with the Enlightenment was made up of two distinct but related strands. On the one hand, t­ here w ­ ere variations on the theme of ­human improvement as an essentially cultural and po­liti­cal phenomenon, the rise of reason and freedom. On the other, ­there was a kind of materialism which represented history as stages in the evolution of ‘modes of subsistence’, and specifically the maturation of ‘commercial society’, the last and most perfect stage.”49 Wood’s distinction between pro­gress as cultural improvement and pro­gress as commercial intensification helps illuminate how

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the two ideas might be separate for Trollope, rather than necessarily conjoined the way we so often take them to be. But he sees their separation as even more fundamental than Wood’s formulation, since in his view the triumph of capitalism is not a version of pro­gress but its antithesis and a threat to its existence—it evacuates history of its progressive narrative form. We can then see this divide as the same one along which Trollope places the two kinds of empire: the territorial colonies are part of the teleological narrative of “­human improvement” and even the “rise of . . . ​freedom” that inevitable decolonization promises, while the informal empire abdicates this or any narrative form in ­favor of the evacuated temporality of profit and accumulation. While the formal empire expands to serve the cause of advancing civilization, the informal empire expands only ­because of capital’s desire to mitigate risk by increasing its reach. While the formal empire w ­ ill only rule in the name of pro­gress, the informal empire w ­ ill happily stall pro­gress in the name of unending commercial and po­liti­cal rule.50 We may also be struck by the fact that in all of this, Trollope sees two distinctions that history does not support. We know that: (1) both the formal and informal empire w ­ ere pursued primarily for profit, and (2) international development and imperialism cannot be separated. We might even be tempted to say that by erecting such false bound­aries Trollope articulates an incoherent politics. But my argument is not primarily about what he believed; rather, it is about what his beliefs show us about the difficult rhetorical tightrope informal empire had to walk. What we learn from the first of ­these—­Trollope’s belief that territorial colonialism was about pro­gress and informal empire was not—is that the formal empire wore the civilizing mission more successfully as a cover, while informal empire could appear even to imperialists as hypocritical (or narratively paradoxical) on its surface. And in the second case, Trollope’s belief that development might be anti-­imperial shows that from the British perspective, informal empire was not always a goal, an inevitability, or a natu­ral expansion of imperial power, though it can be tempting to assume from our perspective in the pre­sent that it was all three.

A Network of Failed Narratives Trollope often spoke of the pro­gress narrative as both the explanatory mechanism for social hierarchy and the normative mechanism for leveling it. From our perspective ­today, he does not cut the most “progressive” figure; indeed,

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he used the idea of social pro­gress to justify empire and scientific racism. But what’s useful about his views from a formalist perspective is that his vision of pro­gress is consistently and strictly formal: it has a universal protagonist, diachronic continuity, a structure of increase, and a telos. T ­ hese are the forms that history has taken and should continue to take. In fact, much of Trollope’s complex politics (supporting both empire and decolonization, for instance) may stem from his investment in the precise normative claim that man should work to align history with its ideal narrative forms. Together, The West Indies and the Spanish Main and The Way We Live Now depict a network of informal empire’s component parts, all failing to uphold the par­tic­u­lar forms of the pro­gress narrative. While in theory development can be done in the name of global pro­gress, ­these proj­ects depend on speculation and accumulation, which produce synchronic and disjointed historical time. They reverse the in­de­pen­dence of f­ ree nations like Nicaragua and Mexico, re-­subjecting them to the “rule” of French engineers or British railroad builders like Paul Montague. They are susceptible to the temptations of individual profit over universal benefit, and they seek “ongoing” states of monopolistic control that perpetually stall Latin Amer­i­ca’s in­de­pen­dent development. In short, when aspects of informal empire—­its funding structures, its long-­term goals, its geopo­liti­cal interventions—­appear in Trollope’s writing, they tend to produce anti-­progressive forms of history. ­These anti-­progressive (ergo, failed) narrative forms return to ­England as unassimilable. In The Way We Live Now, individual and institutional narratives are always indicative of or implicated in the national narrative, such as Roger Carbury’s double condition of being highly narratable and inextricable from En­glish history. Likewise, Melmotte is not only unnarratable, but he is also so estranged from the national narrative that he d ­ oesn’t even know it: he knows “nothing what­ever of the po­liti­cal history which had made E ­ ngland what it was at the beginning of that half c­ entury. Of such names as Hampden, Somers, and Pitt he had hardly ever heard. He had prob­ably never read a book in his life” (v.II, 34). Of course, the prob­lem is precisely that he wants to insert himself into that history, both by becoming an MP himself and by remaking the London financial world. When both ventures fail, we might say that financial speculation in the informal empire has indeed failed to become part of the nation’s story, so much so that, as Miller points out, in suicide Melmotte “takes his secrets to the grave and remains a mystery to the end.”51 Before taking his life, he literally consumes the existing evidence of his history,

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“chewing the paper into a pulp till he swallowed it” (v.II, 119). That is to say, Melmotte’s bankruptcy and suicide bring the novel’s form to its climax and conclusion, but he remains diagetically extrinsic to ­England’s national narrative even in death. The En­glish, just as they wanted desperately to know Melmotte’s narrative during his life, try desperately to write its conclusion ­after his death, but you cannot narrate a man who has never had a narrative. A trial might have allowed the public to collect and or­ga­nize facts into a story, but the loss of both the man and his documents—­a long with Miles Grendall’s decision to “pass his autumn at some pleasant, but eco­nom­ical German retreat” rather than testify in court (v.II, 400)—­prevents that story being told. The public worries about him in narrative terms, wondering: “How would the story be told hereafter[?] . . . ​How would it tell in all the foreign newspapers, in New York, in Paris, and Vienna that this man . . . ​had been selected as the g­ reat and honourable type of British Commerce?” (v.II, 76). In response, the London papers suddenly claim that Melmotte’s ventures did pertain to the official colonies, as if they could only wrestle him into the national narrative by writing informal empire out of the story. But that assimilation still remains out of reach. The narrator tells us that “vari­ous biographies of the g­ reat man w ­ ere, as a ­matter of course, published within a fortnight of his death,” showing the fierce desire to explain the man in narrative form, but that “as to his birth, parentage, and early history,” none of the accounts could agree (v.II, 449). So while Trollope can use Melmotte as a structurally integral part of his own narrative, the novel’s diagetic London cannot absorb Melmotte’s corrupt forms into theirs. It is fitting, then, that the remainders of both Melmotte’s ­family (Marie and Mrs. Melmotte) and the Mexican railway (Fisker) are left in the United States. In so much nineteenth-­century thought, Amer­i­c a is a projection of the ­future, and in The Way We Live Now, it is also the source of “­futures,” since the Mexican railway proj­ect was launched ­there by Mr. Fisker. As Annette Van nicely puts it, Amer­i­ca is itself a temporal paradox where “history is not what has happened already (since nothing has) but what ­will happen in a millennial ­future. The thrust of inquiry is predictive, not retrospective. Amer­i­ca has altered time.”52 Given Trollope’s investment in connecting past, pre­sent, and ­future, and his seeming discomfort with the temporal implications of both financial ­futures and development proj­ects in the Amer­i­ cas, it is perhaps no won­der that he sends the corrupt ele­ments of his story ­there to end in obscurity. If informal empire pulls both En­glish resources and

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En­glish narratives overseas to become corrupted, Trollope is willing to simply let go of the threads that tie t­ hese proj­ects to ­England and send the Fiskers of the world across the ocean to continue their business, leaving E ­ ngland’s hands clean of such proj­ects—­and such stories.

Conclusion Of all the pro­gress narrative’s forms, Trollope seems least able to reconcile informal empire with its telos. The stalled temporality of both accumulation and mono­poly, the reversal of Latin Amer­i­ca’s in­de­pen­dence, and the pursuit of profit all flout the idea that humanity is moving steadily ­toward universal enlightenment. In the first two chapters of this book, I showed that Anna Barbauld and Simón Bolívar had the same concern a half ­century ­earlier in the throes of the in­de­pen­dence wars. But each of t­ hose writers sought formal solutions to their formal prob­lem: in order to reestablish progressive teleology, Barbauld wrote E ­ ngland out of history altogether so that the f­ ree world could advance unfettered, and Bolívar penned E ­ ngland as only one part of a global historical protagonist that would naturally seek its own universal liberation. Trollope, meanwhile, does not look for new narrative forms that might reconcile informal empire with teleological pro­gress; rather, he simply lingers over the multifarious ways that telos has been disrupted. Struggling, as he admits himself to be, with “­whether the world does or does not become more wicked as years go on,” ­whether “a world, retrograding from day to day in honesty, [can] be considered to be in a state of pro­gress,” he simply exposes the forces that are actively re-­forming pro­gress into antithetical states of regress or stall. A particularly corrosive cluster of ­those forces are the ones that make up informal empire. This chapter, then, in addition to offering a reading of Trollope’s texts and several claims about informal empire in the context of Victorian finance, also enables, by comparison with the first two chapters, several conclusions about the ­century as a ­whole, conclusions that give us our own sense of how historical time moves. In one way, we have seen continuity: informal empire emerged in the 1810s as a paradoxical set of claims about si­mul­ta­neously advancing liberty and increasing imperialism that challenged the coherence of the pro­gress narrative, and that set of prob­lems persisted in highly similar terms through Trollope’s time. In another way, we see evolution, in that the practices of informal empire gained ­legal and institutional scaffolding and

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adapted newly pliable forms of finance. And in a third way, a typical narrative of the nineteenth c­ entury has been challenged. For we may well have expected an inverted story: that it would have been our revolutionary writers who saw in the cataclysm of war a vacated or exploded historical telos, and a Victorian realist novelist would have been the one to craft subtle new narrative forms to placate and absorb historical change. That the reverse was true only reinforces what I hope is now a persuasive claim—­that informal empire did not run with but against the master narratives that nineteenth-­century Britons used to explain history and that nineteenth-­century scholars ­today often still give credence to. While ­these three chapters have been focused on pro­gress as a par­tic­u­lar master narrative that was always inevitably entangled in informal empire’s attempts at self-­presentation, t­here w ­ ere other narratives too. And Trollope’s writing shows that pro­gress is never far from a related master narrative: the ­family of man. We saw in the glorification of Roger Carbury’s ­family line that the narrative of E ­ ngland’s pro­gress is mutually constitutive with its genealogical self-­identification as a ­family. And Trollope’s investment in the empire’s civilizing mission links pro­gress to the rhe­toric of the imperial f­ amily that has ­England at its head. In part II of this book, I leave pro­gress b­ ehind and investigate how informal empire intersected—­discordantly—­with this second, cognate master narrative. In turning to the f­ amily of man, I w ­ ill likewise be re­orienting from narratives of the ­future to narratives of the past. By considering where revolution might lead and what pro­gress would continue to look like, Barbauld and Bolívar looked exclusively to the f­ uture, and while Trollope considered links to the past and the prob­lem of a stalled pre­sent, he did so b­ ecause he shared their concern about what form the f­ uture might take. ­These authors’ varying contexts—­revolution and intensifying capitalism—­led them to train their gaze on what was to come. But while pro­gress invites narratives of our ­future, f­ amily invites narratives of our roots. So in part II, as we track the collision between informal empire and the f­ amily of man, the forms in question ­will be genealogical, and the narratives ­will look not into unknown ­futures but alternate pasts.

pa r t t wo

Fa m i ly a n d I n for m a l E m pi r e , 1840 –1926 Origin, Generation, Relation, Hybridity

When Anthony Trollope traces the generational history of the Carbury f­ amily through ­England’s national history in The Way We Live Now (1875), he exposes the thick entanglement of two Victorian master narratives: ­family and pro­g­ ress. Both ­those narratives—­iterations of the power­ful historical and genealogical consciousness of the nineteenth ­century—­arose and thrived alongside the development of the nation, evolutionary science, capitalism, and the novel. Both had seismic implications for thinking about time, morality, governance, race, and empire in the nineteenth c­ entury and beyond. And like two vines that emerge from the same root system and grow in tandem, each helped define and buttress the other’s form. Pro­gress is most concerned with diachronic change, though it is easily deployed in the ser­vice of creating structural hierarchies; f­ amily more immediately conjures the synchronic, structural relations of h ­ uman grouping, though it also traces t­ hese genealogically. In a certain re­spect formal mirrors of each other, the two ideas are both inextricable and constitutive of some of the most deep-­seated Enlightenment assumptions about how ­humans ­ought to or­ga­nize and relate. This book honors the mutual development of pro­gress and ­family by not forcing them into a quarantined and artificial chronological sequence; part I (pro­gress) covers texts that span the years 1805 to 1876, and part II (­family) ranges from 1840 to 1926. The overlap in the m ­ iddle of the nineteenth c­ entury reflects the shared epistemological terrain of ­these master narratives, which was especially fertile around the midcentury debates about Darwinism and h ­ uman origins. But in my pursuit of their knotty relations with informal empire, I have also endeavored to show how each uniquely reveals distinct concerns at ­either end of the ­century. Pro­gress was especially connected to the rupture of revolution and the emergence of informal empire in the early nineteenth ­century, while the dual

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rise of evolutionary theory and British expansionism made f­amily a focalizing trope for formal and informal empire at the fin de siècle. It is now upon us to explore this second idea. Despite its surge in the second half of the nineteenth ­century, the idea of the nation as a f­ amily was hardly new. In fact, the word “nation” has its roots in the Latin natio, or “birth,” which points up the overlapping ideologemes—­ filiation, nativeness, community, belonging—­that animate both the f­amily and the modern nation-­state.1 Such conceptual intimacy may explain why, for Derrida, the expression of the nation in familial terms is nearly universal: “The concept of politics rarely announces itself without some sort of adherence of the State to the ­family, without what we ­will call a schematic of filiation.”2 Certainly by the turn of the nineteenth c­ entury this was commonplace, as a few con­spic­u­ous examples show. A c­ entury e­ arlier John Locke, for instance, had extolled the f­ amily as “the very model for civic governance.”3 Eu­ro­pean monarchy had long been a patriarchal, genealogical model of social power when the French Revolutionaries rather prominently turned instead to fraternity, spurring a new discourse of the domestic in Eu­ro­pean foreign affairs.4 And the idea of liberty as a generational inheritance, most famously promoted by Edmund Burke, became foundational to En­glish national exceptionalism and what Hannah Arendt calls its “race-­feeling.”5 As Arendt makes clear, the nation-­as-­ family trope used birth and race to delimit community in ways that always already had implications for international relations—­certainly Romantic writing about foreign countries was already using the rhe­toric of paternalism.6 Indeed, Rebecca Cole Heinowitz argues that Romantic writers helped advance the cause of informal empire in Latin Amer­i­ca by imagining kinship relations between the En­glish and the indigenous ­peoples of the Amer­i­cas.7 In short, by the beginning of the nineteenth ­century, the ­family was already a well-­worn trope in the imagining of both national and international communities. In the Victorian period, however, f­ amily acquired the status of master narrative. At midcentury and beyond, the increasingly dominant ideology of separate spheres helped establish the f­amily as a virtuous sanctuary in a potentially unstable or corrupt society—­and therefore a model for what that society could be. The nuclear ­family became a social and moral obsession for the Victorians, representing a stable combination of unified community and hierarchically determined roles.8 A number of recent studies have suggested that the image of the ­family was not entirely monolithic,9 but writing from the Victorian period nevertheless evinces a frequent preoccupation with how

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heteronormative, nuclear, patriarchal families might be the substrate for—­and formal model of—­a stable nation. This was, of course, also highly exportable to the ever more urgent question of international relations as the c­ entury progressed. The 1851 ­Great Exhibition pop­u­lar­ized the notion of the global “­Great ­Family of Man,” and the phrase “­family of nations” took on currency as way to describe interstate Eu­ro­pean politics.10 And even before the late-­ century imperial boom, Victorians used ­family to solve the “prob­lem of living together”11 created by increased international mobility and the abolition of slavery. A ­ fter the question “Am I not a man and a b­ rother?” had been answered affirmatively, the discourse of fraternity and f­ amily more generally helped shift British efforts from ending slavery to civilizing the “­children” of the world. The midcentury debate between polygenism and monogenism was fundamentally about the possibility of imagining the world as genealogically related, and when Darwinian theory helped confirm a single ­human origin, this only abetted fin-­de-­siècle imperial paternalism. Throughout the Victorian period, the domestic and the international f­ amily scales worked together, in fact, as the need to protect E ­ ngland’s moral familial core (gendered female) was often used to justify the violent (masculine) work of disciplining the global ­family overseas.12 So by the late nineteenth ­century, the ­family had become not merely a familiar bit of rhe­toric but an entire epistemology (what I refer to as genealogical consciousness), a master trope for organ­izing and explaining po­liti­cal community at home and abroad.13 Like the pro­gress narrative, f­ amily was especially devastating in its partnership with empire. Anne McClintock argues that ­after 1859, social Darwinism, scientific racism, and the pro­gress narrative combined to enable the hierarchization of mankind into an evolutionary ­family tree with white Eu­ro­pe­a ns in the most advanced position. Already ­under the sway of what McClintock calls the Victorian “cult of domesticity”—­and aided by the etymological slippage through which “domestic” becomes “domesticate” or “civilize”—­late nineteenth-­century imperial rhe­toric coded the En­glish as ­fathers charged with the development of their childlike colonial o­ thers. This schema, the “­Family of Man,” as McClintock calls it, became “the organ­izing trope for marshaling a bewildering array of cultures into a single, global narrative ordered and managed by Eu­ro­pe­ans.”14 The soon inescapable synthesis between domestic and imperial discourse had ramifications beyond the casting of racial ­others as ­children: colonial expansion was often justified as the rightful recovery of lands or ­peoples belonging to Britain’s genealogical past;

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the idea of Greater Britain helped unify the empire through the image of a di­ asporic Anglo-­Saxon ­family;15 colonial authority was achieved by policing ­actual families to discourage miscegenation or contain female and non-­ normative sexuality;16 and as part of the “intricate dialectic” between ­family and empire, domestic deviants at home in ­England ­were othered through the racialized discourse of savagery and primitivism.17 The use of familial meta­ phors to describe imperial relations was not new—­the relationship between Britain and its American colonies, for instance, had long been described as parental—­but the late Victorian period yoked geopo­liti­c al ­family to racial hierarchy in a newly comprehensive way. The F ­ amily of Man was so foundational to Victorian imperial ideology in large part ­because of its intimate collusion with the pro­gress narrative. The western preoccupation with linearity and causality has entirely naturalized our experience of being in diachronic time as genealogical. We perceive each moment as begetting or birthing the next, and we understand ourselves to have ancestral continuity with the past; this is what Eric Hobsbawm calls “the past as genealogy” and Patricia Tobin calls “the genealogical imperative.”18 So while pro­gress might seem to be a diachronic narrative form and f­ amily a synchronic structural form, in fact the formal features of pro­gress—­protagonism, linearity, and so forth—­a lso can be, and often are, expressed as genealogical relations between past and pre­sent. If the phrase “­mother country” captures how deeply ­family is embedded in our sense of community, the figure of “­Father Time” shows just how neatly it overlaps with our experience of temporality. Another way to say this is that western epistemology since the nineteenth ­century has been ­shaped by both historical consciousness and genealogical consciousness in tandem. And b­ ecause of their close partnership, f­ amily and pro­gress w ­ ere jointly foundational to the ideologies of British imperialism. On one side, what the Victorians understood to be progressive, evolutionary time helped explain why the ­Family of Man divided colonizer and colonized into the unequal developmental roles of parent and child. And in the reverse, the ­family offered an “alibi” to the imperial work of the pro­gress narrative by lending it the apparent naturalness of generational change. F ­ amily, then, became an equally power­ful explanatory framework for “both social hierarchy (synchronic hierarchy) and historical change (diachronic hierarchy).” 19 Where ­these two forms intersected, paternalism emerged as the hegemonic expression of not only individual families but all Victorian social relations, including and especially empire.

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Yet despite their etymological nearness, shared relation to the pro­gress narrative, and pervasive historical co-­use, f­ amily and empire w ­ ere not seamlessly overlaid. For some Victorians, like Anthony Trollope, the ­Family of Man legitimized Britain acting as the parent to its global ­children, but it also predicted the colonies’ eventual maturation ­toward adulthood and in­de­pen­dence. The ­Family of Man, that is, called for both the beginning and the end of imperial rule. F ­ amily was an unruly meta­phor that both hewed to traditional patriarchal authority and inspired visions of fraternal equality, that might be used to enforce hierarchies or plead for re­spect, that could be wielded by combatants on ­either side of the colonial encounter.20 It was si­mul­ta­neously so central to western imperial rhe­toric and so readily repurposed that authors in colonial and postcolonial spaces have frequently expressed re­sis­tance to empire by rewriting the bound­aries and relations of national f­ amily on their own terms.21 It is with this potential for slippage in mind that I once again turn away from the history of imperial discourses to focus instead on their forms. As with the pro­gress narrative, I am interested in the historical conditions that helped ­family become a dominant discourse and an accomplice of imperial thought, and I am interested in the work it did within Victorian lit­er­a­ture. But such historicization has been done extensively already. What I propose to show instead is how the master narrative of po­liti­cal ­family was composed of specific formal features, and how t­ hese variously enabled and troubled its imperial operations, particularly in the theater of informal empire in Latin Amer­i­ca. ­Because while ­family could have wayward effects in the traditional empire— as in Trollope’s support for decolonization—­I ­will show that its forms ­were a particularly recalcitrant fit with the rhetorical demands of informal empire. One way to think formally about the f­amily as a po­liti­cal discourse is to say that it is a meta­phor, or an analogy, or an allegory. The nations in question—­say, E ­ ngland and Jamaica—­are the tenor, and the familial relations—­parent and child—­are the vehicle. I am not especially interested in this kind of formal analy­sis ­because it strikes me as too static; moreover, real families and the ways they ­were policed and configured ­were part and parcel of empire—­t hey made up the ­actual stuff of community and imperial governance—­and the formal arrangements of ­these families both aided and evaded meta­phor. As we w ­ ill see in the chapters that follow, nineteenth-­century fiction was especially good at thinking about Britain and Latin Amer­i­ca in familial terms. Since the characters that populate a novel

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can both belong to a specific web of ­family relations and also meta­phor­ically stand for a nation, they neatly capture how international “relations” are inevitably, and messily, both specific and abstract at the same time. In Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park, for example, Sir Thomas Bertram is both a ­father and a national and imperial authority figure. T ­ hese roles overlap not only thematically and historically but also formally through repeated structures of relation. It is not, then, the meta­phor of ­family relations for international relations that I am concerned with, but rather the specific forms each set of relations takes—­the specific and par­tic­u ­lar alignments that orient Bertram within his families, both biological and po­liti­c al. W ­ hether we are talking about an individual ­family or the ­family as a trope for international politics, the relations among members have formal properties, and ­these formal properties help open the channels through which the levels of the real and the allegorical are traversed. They shape a f­ amily at the level of tenor and vehicle si­mul­ta­neously. In discussing the pro­gress narrative in the first half of the book, I labeled its highly specific forms. That is b­ ecause pro­gress was the version of historical consciousness—as opposed to cyclicality or equilibrium, for example—­ upon which British international relations ­were so singularly dependent. When it comes to genealogical consciousness, however, no single familial form dominated nineteenth-­century international discourse. One, to be sure, was the paternalistic, hierarchical F ­ amily of Man. But while this was a master trope of territorial empire, fraternity was often the model for peer or ally relations, and as I ­will show, Latin American relations frequently inspired discourses of marriage. T ­ hese vari­ous images of international f­ amily all differ in form, particularly the way they configure ancestry (origin), lineage (generation), connection (relation), and identity (hybridity). I ­will, therefore, discuss ­these four formal categories, showing how in vari­ous iteration and combination, they create distinct images of ­family. So instead of describing a par­tic­ u­lar form of genealogical consciousness and how it clashed with the demands of informal empire, I ­will rather show how ­family became a locus for competing ideas about informal empire, a site where arguments about international relations could be fought through competing configurations of ­family form. ­Battles over the familial form that informal empire in Latin Amer­i­ca should take ultimately expose the inconsistent and paradoxical ground upon which it stood to begin with.

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­ amily is both a network and a narrative. Of the four formal categories I F have identified, relation and hybridity describe synchronic, networked forms (­those that align f­ amily members structurally in the pre­sent), while origin and generation describe diachronic, narrative forms (­those that or­ga­nize a history of how such structures came to be). Taking the diachronic narrative forms of ­family first, we begin, appropriately, with the category of “origin.” This may seem like a difficult property to trace: Where, ­after all, in the endlessly recursive ancestry of a ­family line, is its beginning? But when ­family and politics overlap, t­ here is often an ­imagined origin: the phrase “founding ­father” gets at the way nations-­as-­families conceive of an originary paternity, and in conceptions of international ­family, ­there is often an ­imagined origin at the moment of “discovery” or first contact. Columbus’s arrival in the Ca­rib­bean, for example, is often framed as the establishing event that made it pos­si­ble to speak of Eu­rope and the New World in familial relation and that also facilitated the sexual vio­lence and intermarriage that produced mixed families in the Amer­i­cas. “Discovery” is a fiction, of course, but that is the point; as McClintock argues, the fantasy of colonial discovery is the man’s fantasy of penetrating a virginal feminized land and establishing himself as the f­ ather, of choosing an artificial origin from which any issue ­will be his.22 ­Because real f­amily origins are impossible to locate and po­liti­cal ones are purely mythical, the category of origin affords wide room for competing visions. Depending on who recounts the story, available frameworks for establishing the beginning of an international familial tie include (for example): rediscovery of an ancient connection, Edenic blankness first punctured, brutal violation, or love at first sight. Each of ­these places familial ancestors into unique, specific relations with one another and gives an ideological cast to the generations that follow. “Generation” is the formal category describing the narrative of descent that succeeds an originary encounter. It is what is commonly understood as a chain of causal, linear connections that tie a person to a homeland, give them a name, entitle them to land, provide them with a racial identity, explain their health or character, and/or place them into a social caste. It is the narrative we tell ourselves about where we come from and to whom we are connected, and its links can take many forms: biological, adoptive, linear, interrupted, patrilineal, matrilineal, exogamous, endogamous, and so on. In the west we have often chosen to tell this as a sequential story of iterative, biological paternity.

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Stories of generation ­matter tremendously in imperial contact zones, where generations tend (not accidentally) to reproduce the racial hierarchies that oppress the phenotypically nonwhite, helping arbitrary authority come to seem as natu­ral over time as birth. ­Family is a potent site through which power polices the relation between past, pre­sent, and ­future, which is why the specific formal pre­sen­ta­tion of generational concerns like inheritance or racial identity is of such po­liti­cal consequence. We w ­ ill see how informal empire in Latin Amer­i­c a inspired competing visions of both familial origin and the generations that follow it. Origin and generation shape the story of how families came to be—­and, importantly for empire, imply their trajectory into the f­uture—­but the synchronic structures of a f­amily network as it exists in the members’ pre­sent are just as crucial, if not more so, to dynamics of power, autonomy, and constraint. I use the broad category of “relation” to encompass the vari­ous formalized ways that two members of a ­family can exist in tensile connection, perceiving themselves as bound together by law, blood, love, and/or social norms.23 “Filiation” is of course the traditional term for relations that are specifically familial, but unlike the more capacious “relation” it heavi­ly implies parent-­child relations in par­tic­u­lar, a narrow framework I wish to escape. In this I follow Édouard Glissant, who theorizes filiation or “root identity” as the specifically linear, genealogical narrative that underpins the western imperial ­will to land and legitimacy, while “relation” describes a more inclusive, rhizomatic array of contingent, cross-­cultural connections.24 For our purposes, relation may describe the relative position of two members in a ­family as spousal, parental, sibling, or avuncular, to name a few. And it may also encompass the nature of ­these ties as hierarchical, equitable, coerced, voluntary, sanctioned, extralegal, loving, pragmatic, antagonistic, sexual, platonic, heterosexual, queer, and so on. When all t­hese possibilities are considered together, relation as a formal category runs the risk of proliferating into a meaningless array that erodes the very meaning of “form.” But I would argue that the sheer variety of ways that two p ­ eople can be related and still unmistakably be f­amily makes the impor­ tant case that ­family relations have the capacity to be both exceptionally flexible and markedly resilient at the same time—to be, in other words, recognizably formal. And the plasticity of this category makes it powerfully susceptible to the contestations of empire. Consider the many ways that forms of familial relation intersect with politics. The imperial ­Family of Man relies on relations that are parental, hier-

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archical, and based on assumptions of unity and structure. Po­liti­c al allies, meanwhile, as in the “mid-­Victorian ideal of Eu­rope as a ‘­family of nations,’ ”25 might rely on sibling relations that permit a greater play of autonomy and emphasize synchronic over diachronic linkages.26 Within Britain, according to Talia Schaffer, spousal relations could be conceived of as e­ ither romantic or companionate, each of which held dif­fer­ent implications for how a w ­ oman might achieve autonomy. As t­ hese examples show, the formalized relations between ­people, and formalized ­family relations in par­tic­u­lar, are crucial to the distribution of power. In the case of nineteenth-­century empire, the establishment of power typically relied on the eradication of any relations outside of the heteronormative, racially endogamous nuclear f­amily, and in the mid-­t wentieth ­century, Hannah Arendt warned that tyranny and terror depend on the absolute rupture of ­human relations altogether.27 Perhaps seeking to chart a course between the dual imperialisms of familial relations and no relations at all, recent critics have theorized colonial re­sis­tance as the strong articulation of specifically non-­familial ties. Jacques Derrida and Leela Gandhi both argue that friendship relations make a more power­ful and less hierarchical po­liti­c al model than f­ amily, and Donna Haraway urges us, in our con­temporary moment of supreme environmental and cap­i­tal­ist precarity, to break out of “genealogical and bioge­ne­tic f­ amily” kinship structures and instead embrace alternate, “tentacular,” “oddkin” relations within and beyond the ­human.28 In short, imperial power since the Victorian period has been tightly bound up with the specific forms of h ­ uman relations, particularly as they are conceived of as familial. The fourth and final category of familial form this half of the book ­will consider is “hybridity.” This is one permutation of the larger category of “identity,” but I focus on hybridity in par­tic­u­lar b­ ecause it is always at stake in the formation of intercultural f­ amily—­whether at the meta­phorical or literal level. The collision and negotiation of cultures, races, and languages constantly force the question of how f­ amily relations w ­ ill produce hybridity. It is the elusive set of shadows cast by relations, the dynamic result of spousal, parental, or fraternal couplings that shape each individual ­family member’s sense of self and nationality. In colonial contexts hybridity may be a source of anxiety for the colonizer, a passport for individual mobility, the rallying cry of colonial re­sis­tance, or, as Leela Gandhi warns, the calling card of a cap­i­tal­ist, privileged, and therefore quietist capitulation to globalization.29 It may be policed, celebrated, exploited, or feared, but its implications are always immediately

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germane to the creation of formalized familial relations in the context of international politics. Origin, generation, relation, and hybridity, then, are the four formal categories I w ­ ill use to interrogate the conceptualization of British–­Latin American informal empire as a f­ amily affair. T ­ hese are not specific formal attributes themselves but categories of form, within which the stakeholders of informal empire configured the po­liti­cal ­family in competing arrangements. One thesis of this book is that British informal empire in Latin Amer­i­ca was conceptually, and therefore formally, paradoxical, depending on visions of liberty and empire at the same time. The f­ amily trope makes this particularly vis­i­ble. On the one hand, the obviously imperial nature of informal empire correlated with the image so widely deployed in the territorial empire, the ­Family of Man. Using ­these four categories of ­family form, we can describe the ­Family of Man as constituting: an ­imagined white origin that gives the colonizer rights to the land; patrilineal generations; rigidly hierarchical, paternalistic relations between colonizer and colonized; and codified re­sis­tance to hybridity. But the discourse of informal empire also relied heavi­ly on the image of Latin Amer­i­ca as an in­de­pen­dent and sovereign partner, so that the familial image of its relationship to Britain was often one of marriage. And t­ hese marital arrangements had irreconcilably opposite forms: a cooperative originary encounter; uncertain and contingent lines of generation; elective, loving, equitable relations between partners; and the embrace of hybridity as both inevitable and just. ­These alternately paternalistic and spousal families show how contestable f­ amily forms w ­ ere, since they produced belonging in opposite ways—­one as possession and the other as community.30 At stake in this conversation, then, was the question of ­whether Latin Amer­i­ca belonged to Britain as an imperial possession and a familial dependent, or ­whether both sides belonged to a new Atlantic f­ amily as equals. Both visions circulated in Victorian literary depictions of British–­Latin American relations, offering a reminder that f­ amily relations on all scales are discursive, socially constructed understandings of position and function, legible through iteration rather than essentiality, both formally arranged and susceptible to reconfigurations within historical contexts. For ­these reasons, Victorian writers saw ­family relations as a power­ful way to explore the contradictions and ramifications of informal empire in Latin Amer­i­ca. The following chapters offer readings of letters, memoirs, and fiction, though they focus centrally on the novel. But ­because I am less interested in

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analyzing literary form than I am in assessing how lit­er­a­ture conceives the social in formal terms, I have not set out to pursue the novel in par­tic­u­lar, instead seeking out literary conceptions of British–­Latin American ­family and finding them in the novel. This, however, is prob­ably not a coincidence. Many critics have noted that the nineteenth-­century novel has a constitutive relationship with genealogy and f­ amily form; as Barry McCrea puts it: The ideas of narrative and f­ amily are so closely interwoven that it is hard to separate them. Narrative and ­family both attempt to plot a relationship between what came before and what comes a­ fter; both or­ga­nize the unknowable j­umble of events and ­people who preceded us into a coherent array of pre­ce­dence, sequence, and cause. They imagine continuity between dif­fer­ent moments in time, and they draw affinities—­“ kinship”—­between disparate or distant ­people and events. The rites and rituals of genealogy—­marriage and paternity—­are the basis for the classical frameworks of narrative.31

The nineteenth-­century novel leveraged ­these inherent connections between genealogy and narrative to emplot familial notions of nation and community, leading critics to coin such generic terms as “­family romance,” “genealogical plot,” “national romance,” and “colonial f­ amily romance”32 to describe novels of the period. So it makes sense that nineteenth-­century visions of British–­ Latin American ­family form can so frequently be found in the novel. This was a transatlantic phenomenon. Like their counter­parts in Eu­rope and the United States, Latin American revolutionaries figured their new nations as re-­formed families, breaking from the corrupt patriarchalism of the Spanish crown in ­favor of an American brotherhood.33 And just as Victorian writers hinged the nation and the novel together around the axis of the f­ amily, so too did post-­independence Latin American novelists use what Doris Sommer calls “national romance” to imagine their new national communities. As Sommer shows, novelists during the era of postcolonial national consolidation in Latin Amer­i­ca told love stories that served as allegories for national unity and the coming together of dif­fer­ent social strata. Their aim was “literally to engender new nations” by “proj­ect[ing] ideal histories backward (as a legitimating ground) and forward (as a national goal).”34 Like British novels of the same period, t­ hese stories took for granted a potent symbiosis among nation, ­family, and narrative, and ­were likewise invested in linearity and pro­gress. And in fact, as both Benedict Anderson and Timothy Brennan argue, it was New World—­and especially Latin American—­in­de­pen­dence movements that

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forged the modern concept of nationalism in the first place, yoked directly to the emergence of print culture and the novel.35 But this strong view of Latin Amer­i­c a’s pro­gress and sovereignty only intensified the nineteenth-­century problematic of representing Britain’s imperial ambitions in the region. ­Family models would have to account for the dualities of British–­Latin American relations, their Janus-­faced desires for in­de­pen­dence and dependence, pro­gress and regress, belonging and belonging all at once. It is the novel’s exploration of this precise crux—­how the contradictory impulses of informal empire could be represented as a single coherent model of international ­family—­t hat the following chapters w ­ ill pursue. In chapter 4, I turn to mid-­nineteenth-­century Argentine historian and novelist Vicente Fidel López, and in chapter 5, I look to British fin-­de-­siècle novelist H. Rider Haggard. Both writers, though separated by an ocean and several de­cades, produce strikingly similar responses to the question of how Britain and Latin Amer­i­ca might be conceived as members of the same f­ amily. Both write historical novels set during the era of Spanish conquest and early colonial rule, and both indulge the vision of a British-­led resistance—­not one that ultimately defies history by defeating the Spaniards, but one that permits a lengthy exploration of the alternate familial dynamics that might have structured a British, rather than Spanish, relationship with the Amer­i­cas. In ­doing so, they both use a sixteenth-­century setting to work through nineteenth-­ century geopo­liti­cal concerns, deploying familial form as the conceptual link between the two. López and Haggard are thinking through pos­si­ble genealogies of informal empire, seeking origins and lines of descent that might explain British–­Latin American relations in their pre­sent and near ­future. In both chapters, the historical novels I discuss are or­ga­nized around a romantic connection between a British man and a Latin American w ­ oman (indigenous or Creole), which models what international ­family might look like between the two communities. López and Haggard stage t­ hese romantic, spousal ­family relations as the kind of equitable, cooperative international partnership that both Britain and Latin Amer­i­c a claim to want with each other in the nineteenth c­ entury; they are love matches that blossom in the shadow of Spanish cruelty. Importantly for nineteenth-­century Atlantic politics, ­t hese marriages turn out to be incompatible with the exploitations of empire, as British husbands’ real love for their American wives interrupts any desire they might have for the kinds of profiteering that informal empire was threatening. That kind of plunder is by contrast associated with paternalistic familial relations like ­those the conquering Spanish are depicted as seeking.

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Haggard is ultimately less convinced that Britons and indigenous Americans can form a real connection across their cultural divide, while López’s greater optimism on this score leads him to be less wary of the threat of British power. But the similarity of the stories they tell permits us to draw some larger conclusions about the forms of informal empire. By erecting a contrast between two dif­fer­ent arrangements of international ­family, one imperial and one liberatory, López and Haggard split the dual drives of informal empire—­liberation and subjugation—­into two dif­fer­ent ­family forms. Informal empire, then, emerges as a paradoxical idea that cannot be represented by a single coherent model of ­family. Chapter 6, the final chapter of the book, continues to interrogate the dynamics of international f­ amily, though it focuses less on relational arrangements (spousal vs. paternal, for example) and turns instead to the question of how British–­L atin American contact does or does not produce hybrid subjects. I read across the body of work by a late-­nineteenth and early-­t wentieth-­ century author who was himself a hybrid subject of informal empire: William Henry Hudson. Born to US American emigrants who settled in Argentina, Hudson spent the first thirty-­four years of his life among the gauchos of the pampas before emigrating to Britain. Though best known for his naturalist and ornithological work, Hudson returned again and again to the subject of his native South Amer­i­c a, whose natu­ral beauties he believed ­were already nearly lost to the ravages of Eu­ro­pean industrial capitalism at the end of the Victorian period. Drawing on his letters, memoirs, and primarily on his novel The Purple Land, I explore the ways that Hudson ­imagined that the contact zone could turn an En­glishman Argentine and therefore, in his view, ward off imperial attitudes and actions. He suggests that marriage to a local ­woman is indeed one step t­ oward anti-­colonial hybridity, but that in fact the pampas are already doomed ­because true hybridity is impossible; En­glish and Argentine ­people can only gaze at one another across an unclosable cultural gap that he figures as a fundamentally dif­fer­ent understanding of both narrative and ­family form. Paradoxically, then, the closer understanding an En­glishman has of South American culture, the clearer it becomes that he is irrevocably divided from it. Hybridity produces its own impossibility, and it is through this gap that the forces of informal empire have slipped, leaving South Amer­ i­ca devastated by Eu­ro­pean greed. All the novels in ­t hese chapters could be said to revolve around British–­ Latin American marriages, though they are not marriage plots per se. Rather, their abiding concern for how their marriages instantiate the ­grand scale of

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international relations makes them more like what Doris Sommer calls “national romances.” This of course conjures Fredric Jameson’s famous declaration that in all “third-­world lit­er­a­ture” the destinies of individual characters allegorize the destinies of their nations.36 And in my readings, the form of the novel, with its rich descriptions of individual characters’ relationships and feelings, does allow t­ hese authors to think through the implications of the more abstract discourses of international relations in ways that resonate with Jameson’s account of allegory. Yet as Sommer reminds us, the first / third world distinction postdates the nineteenth c­ entury, when New and Old World w ­ ere the more salient categories. And more importantly, allegorical reading in Jameson’s sense does not quite capture the complexity of the relationship between f­ amily form, international relations, and the novel. T ­ hese texts know that individual families are not merely meta­phors for national and international communities; they are this, but also, national and international communities conceive of themselves as and through abstracted familial forms removed from any par­tic­u­lar instances, and also, national and international communities construct themselves through the arrangement and policing of ­actual families. The families at the center of t­ hese texts, then, are not simply allegories for the nation. Rather, ­family is a form si­mul­ta­neously social, literary, and geopo­liti­cal, one that describes relations among ­people and nations, tacking dynamically between the literal and the abstract in a pro­cess that constructs both reciprocally.37 As such, t­hese novels are also not straightforwardly pro-­or anti-­imperial. Rather, by maneuvering within the connective tissues that formalize ­family relations at both individual and international scales, they reveal the ways that informal empire’s dual rhe­toric of allegiance and domination implicitly called for families with paradoxical and unsustainable form.

c h a p t e r f ou r

Vicente Fidel López Re-­members the Nation

To begin exploring the incongruity between informal empire and discourses of ­family, I turn first to Argentina. A ­ fter securing in­de­pen­dence from Spain in the 1820s, the new Latin American republics worked to establish financial stability, national identity, and the institutions of statehood, but in Argentina ­these efforts stalled in the face of internal friction. Throughout the 1830s and 40s, Argentina remained a loosely connected set of provinces plagued by civil war and ruled by the violent totalitarian governor of Buenos Aires, Juan Manuel de Rosas. Frustrated by what they saw as Argentina’s failure to consolidate and modernize a­ fter in­de­pen­dence, a group calling themselves the Generación del ’37—­named for the year in which they opened their salon—­emerged as a liberal intellectual movement against Rosas’s dictatorship. The Gene­ ración del ’37 included some of the most impor­tant writers in Argentine—­ and Latin American—­history, such as Domingo Faustino Sarmiento, Bartolomé Mitre, José Mármol, Juan Bautista Alberdi, and Esteban Echeverría. Most of them w ­ ere born during the wars of in­de­pen­dence, and they saw themselves as sons and inheritors of the revolution. They sought to revive its promise of pro­gress and enlightenment by pushing for the formalization of a constitutional state and the creation of a postcolonial national imaginary through lit­er­a­ture. In fact, “the ideology of pro­gress in nineteenth-­century Latin Amer­i­ca was nowhere better expressed than in Argentina by the vocal Generation of 1837, an exceptionally articulate group of liberal intellectuals who bequeathed a formidable literary and po­liti­c al legacy.” 1 As dual writers and politicians, ­these men understood lit­er­a­ture and governance as twinned halves of their nationalist proj­ect. This chapter ­will discuss one novel to arise out of this generation’s efforts, La novia del hereje (The Heretic’s Bride), written in 1840 (but published in 1854) by Vicente Fidel López.2 Born in the ­middle

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of the in­de­pen­dence wars, López truly inherited the idea of a ­free Argentina: his ­father wrote the Argentine national anthem and held some of the highest po­liti­c al offices in Argentina before, during, and a­ fter Rosas’s rule. López, therefore, belonged to “one of the most well-­known families closely identified with the birth and history of Argentina as an in­de­pen­dent republic,”3 and La novia was forged in the fires of intensive national self-­fashioning. Novelizing the nation was not solely an Argentine phenomenon. During the post-­independence era across Latin Amer­i­ca, a “stunning” number of novelists ­were also po­liti­cal figures, and according to Doris Sommer they used stories of romantic love to figure the coming-­together of their new nations as families.4 ­These “national novels,” Sommer argues, defined a generation of Latin American lit­er­a­ture, becoming for l­ater readers “as plainly identifiable as national anthems.”5 They used ­family not only to figure national unity but also to orient their nations in relation to history. Standing at the historical turning point between centuries of colonial rule and an unknown but sovereign ­future, their aim was “to fill in a history that would help to establish the legitimacy of the emerging nation and . . . ​to direct that history t­oward a ­future ideal.”6 The discourses of pro­gress and f­ amily—or historical and genealogical consciousness—­were therefore deeply intertwined, not only in Eu­ rope but in Latin Amer­i­ca as well. The Generación del ’37 in Argentina was no exception, and López was particularly invested in the role that history could play in forging national identity: ­after Rosas’s defeat, he became one of “the two major nineteenth-­century historians of Argentina”7 (Mitre being the other) and “one of the precursors of modern Argentinean historiography.”8 For López, national culture emerged at the narrative intersection of history and fiction,9 a convergence he tried to capture with La novia. While it is not t­ oday considered a major work of Argentine lit­er­a­ture, it has been called “one of the best historical novels written in Spanish Amer­i­ca in the nineteenth c­ entury,” a “forerunner” of the Latin American historical novel, “one of the most in­ter­ est­ing novels of Hispanic-­A merican romanticism,” and “the [second-]most impor­tant narrative effort in the anti-­Rosas period.”10 So if it does not loom large in the Argentine canon, La novia is nonetheless an impor­tant exemplar of how the historical novel emerged amid Argentina’s effort to create national identity. Unlike many Latin American national novels, however, López’s vision of national ­family was decidedly international. Set in 1578 in the new city of Lima, La novia portrays the Spanish, who have recently defeated the Inca,

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formalizing their colonial rule. The story gets its tension from the arrival of En­glish pirates, who become champions of all ­those oppressed by Spain’s inchoate but tyrannical social order, and the novel closes happily on two marriages between limeña ­women and the En­glishmen who have rescued them. It is no coincidence that the British are the heroes of López’s tale. The setting of La novia—­incipient, uncertain, colonial Lima—is a spatially and temporally displaced analogue for López’s own turbulent new society—­incipient, uncertain, postcolonial Argentina in the second quarter of the nineteenth ­century—­which he hoped might likewise embrace the En­glish as a liberatory force. During ­those midcentury de­cades in Argentina, López and the Generación del ’37 fought for and achieved three interlocking goals: the formation of a constitutional republic, increased economic security, and a sense of national identity. They saw t­ hese as fundamentally intertwined, in large part ­because for each one they looked to the influence of France and especially Britain. Like other liberals across Latin Amer­i­ca, they sought to accelerate growth through British and French immigration and investment (Alberdi even suggested that Argentine w ­ omen o­ ught to marry British immigrants to create a new, prosperous race in Argentina),11 and by the mid-­to late-­nineteenth c­ entury, British capital increasingly began to dictate the terms of Latin American industrialization (much more on its influence on Argentine agriculture in chapter 6). The Generación del ’37 also self-­consciously looked to model both Argentina’s formal institutions and national culture on the ideals of British and French Romanticism, a movement they saw as marrying literary and po­liti­cal notions of enlightenment liberty. Despite the apparent remove of sixteenth-­century Lima, therefore, La novia del hereje exemplifies both López’s and Sarmiento’s belief that the historical novel could be “an instrument for pro­gress” in their efforts to establish a liberal national imaginary in the nineteenth c­ entury.12 Lima in 1578, like Argentina in the nineteenth ­century, was a new South American polity struggling for stability amid local tyranny and global capitalism, and López used this flashpoint between pre­sent and past to suggest that Britain could help orient Latin Amer­i­c a t­ oward a new enlightenment ­future. The novel elevates the British as a more attractive Eu­ro­pean partner than the Spanish, encoding this preference into the very national history that López and his circle ­were shoring up. (It is perhaps easy to see why the Latin American Boom novelists of the twentieth c­ entury would reject what they saw as “the linear logic of economic developmentalism” exhibited in national

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novels like López’s.)13 La novia, I w ­ ill show, precisely captures the ways that national identity formation ­under the specter of informal empire invited rethinking of the formal contours of an international f­ amily. In using the historical novel as a lever for national consolidation, both López and Sarmiento also believed they w ­ ere following a British model: that of Walter Scott. Sarmiento believed that Scott’s historical novels had raised Scotland out of barbarism, and he was proud when his own anti-­Rosas work of inventive non-­fiction Facundo (1845) was compared to Scott’s writing.14 Similarly, in the preface to La novia, López writes that Scott inspired him to write historical novels as an act of “the purest patriotism”: Parecíame entonces que una serie de novelas [historicas] . . . ​era una empresa digna de tentar al más puro patriotismo; porque creía que los pueblos en donde falte el conocimiento claro y la conciencia de sus tradiciones nacionales, son como los hombres desprovistos de hogar y de familia, que consumen su vida en oscuras y tristes aventuras sin que nadie quede ligado a ellos por el respeto, por el amor, o por la gratitud. . . . ​Esta es quizás la causa de que Walter Scott y Cooper sean únicos en el mundo moderno: es un hecho al menos, que los pueblos para quienes escribieron son los únicos en donde se respetan las tradiciones nacionales como una creencia inviolable. (11–12)15

In linking his literary effort to Scott’s, López argues that national history, as provided by the historical novel, gives a ­people “home and ­family.” This almost Burkean philosophy, the notion that a shared past unites a p ­ eople through “re­spect, . . . ​love, . . . ​[and] gratitude,” is one that López also believed operated in reverse, that strong ­family connections “would, in their turn, provide a foundation for the individual’s participation in public life in the coming demo­cratic age.”16 He goes on to say that his goal with La novia was “echar una mirada al pasado desde las fragosidades de la revolución para concebir la línea de generación que han llevado los sucesos, y orientarnos en cuanto al fin de nuestra marcha” (12).17 When he says that he aspired to “conceive the line of generation” of history, López’s use of the verb “concebir” (to conceive), a word that means both to perceive something that already exists and to bring something new into being, expresses his belief that history is not just found but created. This is what Raúl Ianes refers to as López’s desire to emulate Scott in creating “una prehistoria del presente nacional.”18 But the further connotations of pregnancy and descendancy in the words “conceive” and “generation” also suggest that this “prehistory” was specifically a genealogy.

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History, for López, establishes the bounds of the national f­amily. It constructs the nation by giving it familial form. This further aligns with his belief that the historical novel can bring back what’s lost to the historical rec­ ord, which is “­family life.” As he writes in the preface to the novel, “el novelista hábil puede reproducir con su imaginación la parte perdida creando libremente la vida familiar y sujetándose estrictamente á la vida histórica en las combinaciones que haga de una y otra para reproducir la verdad completa” (21).19 This combination of the major events of the historical rec­ord with the recreation of lost ­family experience is, for him, “the ­whole truth” of history. So it makes sense that in his novel about the clash between Amer­i­c a, Spain, and ­England, López tropes international relations through ­family and marriage plots. The novel’s full title, La novia del hereje: o, La inquisición de Lima (The Heretic’s Bride: Or, The Inquisition of Lima) captures this scalar homology between individual and international relationships: the heretic British sailor’s love for the Creole w ­ oman in López’s story is both a marriage plot and an allegory for shifting Latin American ties from Spain to Britain. Fantasizing that the British might historically have been more benevolent ­family members than the Spanish, and that they might, analogously, be so in the nineteenth ­century, the novel attempts to “re-­member” the nation, to suggestively insert the British into Latin American history as both po­liti­cal allies and loving ancestors. As I w ­ ill show, López uses the historical setting of La novia to suggest a con­temporary Latin American identity that is both post-­Spanish and pro-­British;20 he is, if you like, specifying the terms of a divorce and a new marriage for nineteenth-­century Argentina. His novel, therefore, articulates new pos­si­ble po­liti­cal relations by tapping into the convergence of historical consciousness and genealogical consciousness that pervaded mid-­nineteenth-­ century understandings of the nation. And yet ironically, perhaps troublingly, López finds that building Argentine identity is best done by following British and US literary models,21 and the plot of La novia enables a counterfactual fantasy in which the Latin American ­family tree grows out of British roots. So he turns to the historical novel as a form that can stitch past and pre­sent into the fabric of national identity, but this identity is also modeled a­ fter, financed by, and ancestrally descended from the British. The object of my investigation in this chapter, and in part II of this book generally, is the way lit­er­a­ture expresses this very convergence—­ Britain’s tightening informal empire a­fter Latin American in­de­pen­dence, and the understanding of this relationship in genealogical terms. López, who

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saw this convergence as central to Argentina’s earliest national self-­fashioning, participated in the construction of what I call geopo­liti­cal genealogy, or the expression of (inter)national history as familial relation. This, I ­will argue, is a set of forms that emerge clearly through their expression in lit­er­a­ture. In order to convey the simultaneous power and danger of Eu­ro­pean relations with Latin Amer­i­ca, López scales down common geopo­liti­cal ­family tropes to the level of individual characters and explores the ways that their dif­fer­ent forms—in par­tic­u­lar, origin, relation, and hybridity—­may e­ ither be exploited by oppressors or nurtured by allies. He describes the Spanish-­A merican ­family as having the paternalistic structure so commonly expressed in imperial discourse: its origins are pragmatic, its relations are forced, and its hybrid descendants are treated as hierarchically inferior. By contrast, he imagines the possibility of an Anglo-­A merican f­ amily that is not paternal but spousal, and whose forms are therefore inverted: it has affective origins, freely chosen relations, and hybrid members who enjoy equality. La novia, then, suggests that differently articulated forms of the geopo­liti­c al ­family meta­phor correlate with, and can perhaps even bring about, anti-­colonial forms of international relations. But as I argue throughout this book, while British informal empire in Latin Amer­i­ca invited revision of geopo­liti­cal master narratives like pro­gress and f­ amily, the tension between its liberatory and oppressive drives consistently elicited formal paradoxes—­which López would be unable, fi­nally, to reconcile into a happy po­liti­cal ­family.

Origin La novia del hereje is at once painstakingly intent on displaying its fidelity to the past and fascinatingly counterfactual. The story is set one generation a­ fter the major conquest of the Inca Empire and just a few years ­after the execution of Túpac Amaru definitively cemented Spanish rule in Peru. Lima is a new city, soon to become a centerpiece of Spain’s American empire, and the Spanish are rapidly building infrastructure, compelling the surviving indigenous ­people into l­abor, and consolidating religious and administrative power. López focalizes his narrative particularly on the outsize role of the Spanish priests and the Inquisition’s ability to command ideological order. But this setting is also multinational and multiracial, and the spark of rebellion has not entirely burned out. The narrative gets its tension from a simmering undercurrent of re­sis­tance by Eu­ro­pean, indigenous, African, marginalized Creole,22

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and mixed-­race p ­ eople opposed to Spanish rule; and the rumored arrival of En­glish pirates off the coast hints at the precarity of Spanish power. Meanwhile, López never lets us lose sight of the ruined Inca settlement Pachacamac looming over the city, a reminder that this has recently been—­and still is—­a contested space. Early in the story, the En­glish pirates, led by Francis Drake, arrive off the coast of Lima and successfully sack the yearly shipment of colonial profit that has just set sail for Spain—­a reference to the historical Drake’s sacking of the Spanish Cacafuego in the same year. But beyond this point, López begins to take liberties with history. He invents for Drake a strapping, heroic young second-­in-­command named Henderson, who falls in love with a high-­ranking limeña Creole named María, and their illicit affair sets off both romantic and po­liti­cal hostilities. B ­ ecause María has already been promised by her f­ ather to a Spanish aristocrat, her love for the En­glishman gets her imprisoned by the corrupt Spanish priests, who have worked hard to paint the En­glish as heretical dev­ils. Driven by his love for María and his abhorrence of Spanish tyranny, Henderson joins the re­sis­tance co­a li­tion, who uncover the hy­poc­risy of the church and, with the help of a timely earthquake, break María f­ ree. In the end, López is too constrained by history to imagine full defeat of the Spanish, but he leaves them to rebuild their collapsed city while Henderson and María, and—in the novel’s most remarkable counterfactual invention—­Drake and his new wife, Juana (María’s indigenous servant), make happier lives in ­England. López’s perhaps unsubtle thesis is that the Spanish have been the cruel, devil-­like “herejes” (heretics) all along, while the En­glish are righ­teous saviors who treat Creole and indigenous p ­ eoples as equals. This is a story deeply interested in origins—­particularly the historical and pos­si­ble origins of European–­New World relations. The Spanish Conquest is a power­ful origin story in this genre; it is the initial combustion that ignited centuries of empire and made pos­si­ble both the literal and figurative ­family ties that would define modern Latin Amer­i­c a. And although it was over by 1578, the recent history of plunder and slaughter hangs thickly in the narrative atmosphere of La novia, as in this description of Pachacamac lying ruined in the outskirts of Lima: La inmensa y opulenta ciudad yacía ahora derrumbada al derredor de la colina en que antes había ostentado sus grandezas, mirando, por decirlo así, desde la tristeza de su sepulcro, las coquetas gracias con que Lima se alzaba joven y flore-

140  Family and Informal Empire, 1840–1926 ciente a unas pocas millas en el mismo valle. Pachacamac había sido para los peruanos lo que Jerusalén para los cristianos, lo que la Meca para los musulmanes, el objeto de las peregrinaciones de los devotos. . . . ​El culto de Pachacamac y de Viracocha había excitado toda la indignación y la codicia de los españoles. Hernando Pizarro vino el primero, derribó los ídolos, saqueó los templos y las casas, e hizo abandonar la ciudad que en pocos años perdió sus techos y quedó en ruinas. (546–547)23

This origin is defined by two principal attributes: it is imperial, and it is undertaken in ser­vice of Spain’s self-­interest. Latin American cities like Lima owe their origins to the wanton destruction of a flourishing ­people who, just like Jews, Christians, and Muslims, built beautiful sites of worship. Ruined Pachacamac now lies condemned like a troubled ghost to watch from the purgatory of its “tomb” while Lima rises up in its place as the centerpiece of a new empire. The origin that La novia marks, then, is the moment when Spain violently subjugated the indigenous into the imperial hierarchy and familial intermarriage upon which modern Latin Amer­i­c a would be built. The pal­ impsestic geography in this scene, as the new city overwrites the old, depicts the zero-­sum nature of this imperial encounter—it is the beginning of a story in which only one protagonist ­will reap benefits. La novia also specifically conveys that the affect of this origin was pragmatic in nature. The novel begins with a lengthy historical account of the Conquest, emphasizing that it was conducted primarily so that Spain could revive its flagging economy and “oprimir” the rest of Eu­rope (29).24 So ­whether it was the “greed” of the conquistadors or the ambition of the kings who sent them, the origin of Spain’s American empire lies in its acquisitive, mercenary, pragmatic ambitions. By contrast, Francis Drake’s presence in the novel offers a vision of what it might have looked like had the British been the ones to “discover” Latin Amer­i­ca. ­A fter sacking the imperial Spanish galleon, Drake escapes to Panama, where he encounters and leagues with the Cimarrones. The Cimarrones ­were primarily escaped slaves, not indigenous ­peoples, but ­here they evoke European–­New World first encounter, being rather pointedly referred to as “la primera nación del mundo” (507).25 This scene, therefore, stages an alternate origin, a meeting between the En­glish and the “first” ­people of Panama. The Cimarron cacique (chief) begins by demanding to know w ­ hether Drake comes 26 “de paz ó de guerra” (508), to which Drake responds that as long as the Cimarrones are enemies of Spain, he not only comes in peace but ­will reward

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their assistance with half the loot from his raids. An allegiance is quickly formed. So although the parties elect peace instead of war, their mutual interest in safety and profit could suggest that English-­A merican encounter is, like the Spanish-­A merican one, primarily pragmatic. But the utilitarian is not nearly as prominent as the affective. Upon meeting, “en pocos momentos se comprendieron los dos jefes” (508),27 suggesting a mutual, nearly instinctive understanding between two men who, despite what we are reminded are Drake’s superior numbers and weapons, are dehierarchized simply as “the two chiefs.” Henderson’s approach to the cacique is even more pointedly presented as affective. He first tries to demonstrate his merit by shooting a bird, whereupon the cacique g­ ently suggests that real leaders do not fire arrows from their hands but from their souls. Chastised, Henderson says that he would like to “ser tu amigo,” to which the chief responds: “Veo que tenéis flechas para el corazón de tus amigos, y yo les abro mi pecho para que entren” (524).28 This scene, set up as a foil to Spanish-­A merican beginnings, offers a pointed contrast by invoking weapons. Henderson fires arrows at the heart of the Cimarron chief, but unlike the conquistadors’ real use of violent weapons, ­these are only meta­phorical arrows of friendship. This encounter, in fact, is explic­itly anti-­imperial: we are told that Drake’s alliance with the Cimarrones lasts for years b­ ecause he shares his spoils from the Spanish vessels with “brillante generosidad y honradez” (510)29 —­a literal return of ill-­gotten Spanish wealth to the hands of the slaves who ­were used to extract it. Whereas the originary moment in the story of Spanish-­A merican relations was pragmatic, zero-­sum, and colonial, this fantasy of an alternate English-­A merican origin is affective, mutually beneficial, and anti-­colonial. This same dynamic of affective, intuitive connection plays out a second time when the En­glish first encounter another group of Americans oppressed by Spain: the Creoles. Henderson and Drake first meet the Spanish and Creole residents of Lima when they seize their ship, aboard which is Spaniard don Felipe and his ­daughter María, whom we are ­later told is the quin­tes­sen­tial representative of the American Creole. Despite power­f ul Inquisition propaganda depicting the En­glish as literal horned dev­ils, and despite the fact that Henderson is ­there to loot her ­father’s vessel, María’s first impression is love at first sight—­she experiences immediate, instinctive kinship with the En­ glishman: “Al verlo no pudo contener el ¡ay! de admiración que le arrancara la belleza del joven que tenía por delante. Aquello le parecía un sueño; y sus miradas inexpertas y candorosas revelaban de más en más el predominio que

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estaban ejerciendo sobre su ánimo la hermosura y la gentileza de aquel hombre.—­¡Oh! ¡Dios mío! ¡este es cristiano como nosotros!” (97).30 It is not a pro­cess of rational error-­correction but rather an intuitively felt, “dream”-­like state of understanding that changes María’s perception and, in a single instant, communicates to her that she and the En­glishman share the bond of Chris­ tian­ity. Although they both speak Spanish, Henderson and María fall in love without words, sharing glances that are like “una fuerza inexplicable” and move María through “una emoción interna más fuerte que su voluntad” (124).31 María, of course, chooses this subrational love, this emotional understanding she shares with the En­glishman, over the cold, tyrannical abuse of her Spanish f­ ather. And like the Cimarron encounter, this one also suggests not empire but its disruption, as the En­glish rob Spain of the wealth they have used indigenous and Creole l­abor to plunder. T ­ hese scenes, therefore, echo the thesis that Americans might be better off leagued with affective, anti-­imperial ­England rather than pragmatic, imperial Spain. The idea of a Creole breach with Spain in ­favor of En­glish support is the very origin story López was hoping would play out in post-­independence Argentina. La novia antedates the seeds of its possibility. Yet another example appears in the encounter between the En­glish and the diverse re­sis­tance co­ali­tion operating subversively in Lima. By the 1570s, Lima, in the narrator’s words, “empezaba ya a ser entonces la famosa Babel americana” (42),32 populated with indigenous, African, Spanish, Creole, Eu­ro­pean, and mixed-­race ­people.33 ­W hether they are marginalized by race, wealth, religion, or sexuality, all ­those oppressed in Lima share, as their leader and Italian nationalist don Bautista says, “la misma causa!” (444)34 against Spain’s rule. And without even meeting Drake, don Bautista claims him as a natu­ral ally in that cause, telling Henderson: “El pirata, el bandido, el ladrón, el aventurero, el indio, todo aquél en fin, que quiera levantar una arma contra el rey de España, me contará entre sus aliados; por eso he servido a vuestro jefe [Drake]; que a fe mía, ¡bien lo merece por sus méritos!” (652).35 All t­ hose subjugated by Spain, then—­whether slave, Creole, indigenous, mixed-­race, or even Italian—­recognize the twinned traits of the En­glish: their intuitive connection with o­ thers and their anti-­imperial politics. And the novel fully drives home the contrast between Spanish-­A merican and English-­A merican origin stories when, in the story’s climax, Henderson’s rescue team meets their ally Mateo in the ruins of Pachacamac—­the very site the narrator has used to decry Spanish colonialism. The ruined city that sym-

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bolized Spanish intolerance and conquest becomes a symbol of British-­led liberation from the Spanish regime: in a scene that plays the Conquest in rewind, the En­glish march from ruined Pachacamac to Lima to rescue an Inca and a Creole, by disguising themselves as African slaves being led to sale. The novel’s fantasy of an En­glish origin story in Latin Amer­i­ca is therefore one of shared feeling and po­liti­c al equality that directly inverts the narrative of Spain’s own pragmatic, imperial New World encounter.

Relation ­ hese originary moments of contact between Eu­rope and Latin Amer­i­ca are T so impor­tant b­ ecause they lead, with the passage of time, to intermarriage and the creation of American f­ amily structures. La novia is particularly interested in the ways such f­ amily structures w ­ ere linked to larger forms of social orga­ n­ization. By 1578, t­ here w ­ ere many families in Lima formed through Spanish-­ American contact. And in an aside in the ­middle of the novel, the narrator argues that families headed by Spaniards, w ­ hether royal, middle-­class, or obscure, w ­ ere invariably or­ga­nized in the same oppressive, patriarchal forms as Spanish society itself: El organismo de la casa reposaba todo sobre el despotismo y la arbitrariedad del padre. El eje de la sociedad doméstica no era el amor, que es el único elemento moralizante de la domesticidad; sus formas carecían de la ternura, que no es sino la expresión educatriz y genuina de ese amor; y todos los resortes por fin se concentraban en el del miedo. . . . ​Apelamos a la historia para ratificar nuestras observaciones. Cualquiera que se tome el trabajo de inquirir el estado doméstico de aquellos países y aquellas épocas donde han aparecido grandes y bárbaros tiranos, donde la sociedad se ha visto sumida en mayor corrupción, hallará que el pri­ mero de sus rasgos es el despotismo paterno introducido en las relaciones de la casa. (317–318)36

The key phrase h ­ ere is “paternal despotism,” a notion that links individual ­fathers to oppressive monarchs by suggesting that paternalism is a relational form common to both the ­family and the state. Families partake of the same despotism as the po­liti­cal regime, and the po­liti­cal regime is just as paternalistic as the ­family. Domestic and national oppression occur in tandem,37 thus not merely offering the f­ amily as a meta­phor for the state but actually suggesting a scalar continuity between the two forms. The policing of domestic life

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was central to both the specific policies and figural language of Eu­ro­pean empires; this complex mutuality is what Ann Stoler calls “the affective grid of colonial politics.”38 And as Doris Sommer argues, this was precisely what Latin American novelist–­nation builders like López drew on as they penned stories that placed romantic love and national belonging into “mutual allegory,” a “contiguous, coextensive as opposed to merely analogous” relationship.39 What’s at stake in the central conflict of La novia, then, is the question of which Eu­ro­pean power w ­ ill shape the dual formal organ­ization of American social life and American families. This is clear in the fight the re­sis­tance co­ali­ tion is waging against the Spanish authority, as each of the three central conspirators—­Henderson, don Bautista, and Mercedes—­are motivated by both a moral objection to Spanish oppression and the loss of close f­amily members to Spanish vio­lence. Don Bautista tells Mercedes that their shared cause is “venganza sobre los opresores de tu patria y de tu familia” (444).40 This fight against Spanish rule is therefore irreducibly dual in nature; ­because families and nations are mutually producing, the anti-­Spanish co­ali­tion is battling equally for domestic and social liberation. To shorthand this complex overlap I ­will hereafter use the term “politico-­family” to refer to the ways that real families and the social organ­ization of a polity are both formally homologous and mutually constitutive—­that is, to the structural continuity between domestic and social form. Politico-­family is a categorical designation, of which Anne McClintock’s “­Family of Man” would be one example, but in La novia, politico-­families are formed in vari­ous ways, not only imperially. The relational organ­ization of the characters in the novel offers an explanation for why the Spanish-­American origin story produced imperial politico-­families while the counterfactual British-­American origin might have engendered a liberatory one. As I w ­ ill show in this section, La novia pre­sents three ways in which Anglo-­ American and Spanish-­ American families have dif­fer­ ent relational structures. First, like their origins, Anglo-­American ­family relations are affective while Spanish-­American ones are primarily pragmatic; as the narrator says in the passage above, what makes Spanish families “tyrannical” and devoid of “­free ­will”—in other words, imperial in form—is their basis in power rather than “love” or “tenderness.” The second difference is that the key Spanish-­ American relations are paternal while their Anglo counter­parts are spousal; and the third distinction is between Spanish-­American ­family relations that are imposed versus Anglo-­American ones that are freely chosen.

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Padre Andrés (Spanish)

Juana (Spanish-Inca)


Spanish-Creole family Don Felipe (Spanish)

Mamapanki (Inca)

Don Antonio (Spanish)



Spanish-indigenous family

María (Creole)

Chart 2

In the novel ­t here are two principal Spanish-­A merican ­family structures (chart 2). The Spanish-­indigenous f­amily is formed when a young Padre Andrés, the corrupt Inquisition priest who w ­ ill l­ ater spearhead María’s persecution, kills a well-­connected man in a fight and takes refuge in an Inca community. The Inca welcome him with open arms and even agree to let him to marry the beautiful young Mamapanki. Recalling all of this l­ater, Mamapanki’s s­ister Mercedes describes how their f­ather took Padre Andrés in: Mi padre le acordó el recinto de su casa con una bondad infinita de corazón: fue obra de un instante procurarlo un traje de indio; y guardarlo en la casa con un sigilo inviolable, nos fue fácil porque estando aislada nuestra raza del trato íntimo con la de los españoles se había establecido de suyo una asociación fraternal entre todos sus miembros: el hecho del uno era el de todos; y no necesitaba de compromiso expreso para producir acuerdo. Fue así como nuestro huésped se vio cubierto por todo el pueblo de los oprimidos, que aunque era débil era al menos el que se arrastraba entre la tierra de sus antepasados y la planta de sus opresores. (352)41

The Inca see f­ amily membership as an affective relation; the “infinite goodness of heart” of Mercedes and Mamapanki’s f­ ather makes Padre Andrés a member of the f­ amily nearly instantly, with all the rights and protections of the larger “fraternal” community. In fact, taking Padre Andrés into the domestic life of “our home” becomes just a few words ­later a ­matter of “our race,” ­because as a politico-­family, Inca affective domesticity is coterminous with the

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Inca’s ongoing strug­gle against Spanish rule. In two intertwined acts that cement his belonging, then, Padre Andrés promises to marry Mamapanki and helps her ­father plot a rebellion against the Spanish.42 But just as the Spanish first contact with the indigenous was driven by pragmatism and hence manifested as imperial hierarchy, Padre Andrés’s approach to Spanish-­Inca ­family is similarly mercenary, deceptive, and imperial. He joins this f­ amily not out of affection but fear for his own life. He offers to marry Mamapanki only once it is discovered that he has already seduced her. He fights in the Inca rebellion not out of true anti-­imperial sentiment but only so that he can play both sides and elevate himself at the expense of t­ hose he claimed to league with. And when, years ­later, he discovers that the ­daughter he fathered with Mamapanki is still living, he is willing to see her executed so long as the colonial authorities never find out the extent to which he betrayed both Spain and his own religion during his time with the Inca.43 Once again, therefore, the novel suggests that the Spanish approach relations with indigenous Americans from a primarily pragmatic perspective, seeking only their own gain, and that this is directly tied to their colonial treatment of them. Whereas the Inca see ­family as a bond of love and are likewise po­liti­ cally anti-­imperial, Padre Andrés not only uses his mixed ­family purely for his own gain, but that gain is also by definition an increase in colonial authority over that very f­ amily. Spanish-­Creole families turn out to be no dif­fer­ent. We see this through the Creole heroine of the novel, María, who is trying to escape both don Felipe, her tyrannical Spanish f­ ather, and don Antonio, the mercenary Spanish youth her ­father wishes her to marry against her ­will. Unsurprisingly, don Antonio is less interested in María than in her f­ ather’s wealth, and likewise, don Felipe is not merely a cold and tyrannical head of the ­house­hold in the mold of Spanish domestic despotism, but he is actually willing to sacrifice María to the Inquisition if it means preserving his fortune and reputation. The Creole w ­ oman has no rights—­not even to her own life—­because her male ­family members prioritize their own material gain and govern through discipline. When López’s narrator describes the rot common to both Spanish familial and po­liti­cal forms, he points specifically to royal filicide as an example of this overlap, suggesting that only when kings and ­fathers alike have such exorbitant power can even the bonds between parent and child cease to be sacred (318). This is pragmatic paternalism in its most extreme expression: American wives, like Mamapanki and (potentially) María, are mere tools to

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be used in their Spanish husbands’ pursuit of power, and American ­daughters, like Juana and María, have their lives made forfeit by their Spanish ­fathers’ pursuit of power. Marianne Hirsch argues that the western novel denies the “genealogy” and “verticality” of female characters in f­ avor of father/son relations and patriarchal figures.44 La novia figures genealogy and verticality precisely as the concerns of a patriarchally formed f­amily, in which w ­ omen are not merely, as Hirsch describes it, absent or unimportant, but victims of an imperial oppression mirrored in broader social forms. The politico-­family structure the Spanish offer to Americans, w ­ hether indigenous or Creole, is formed through relations that are interlockingly pragmatic, paternalistic, and imposed against the Americans’ ­will, and which, by extension, build imperial social relations at all levels. So what kinds of families might have emerged instead, had the fantasy of an Anglo-­A merican origin story borne fruit? As the novel imagines it, nearly opposite ones, emphasized by En­glishmen who enter into and disrupt ­these same two families: at the end of the novel, Henderson marries María, rescuing her from both her Spanish ­father and her Spanish intended, and Drake marries Juana, saving her from the Spanish f­ ather who would have killed her. The novel thus invites us to imagine ­these Spanish-­A merican families broken apart and re-­formed into Anglo-­A merican ones, continuing the counterfactual fantasy of a British-­A merican po­liti­cal genealogy in Latin Amer­i­ca. As we have already seen in Henderson and María’s unspoken emotional bond, the Anglo-­A merican ­family relationship is originally formed by power­ ful affective connection, rather than pragmatic or mercenary self-­interest. And affect continues to structure Anglo-­A merican ­family relations when the En­glish face a choice between the love t­ hey’ve found in Amer­i­ca and the loot they came for in the first place. A ­ fter sacking the Spanish galleon, the En­glish pirates have no reason to return to Lima, but Henderson and (the historically real) John Oxenham want to rescue María and Juana, the w ­ omen they have fallen in love with. Although Drake w ­ ill l­ater marry Juana a­ fter Oxenham dies,45 he does not yet love her and so he gives his smitten sailors a choice: depart the Amer­i­cas with him and keep their share of the booty, or stay and try to save the w ­ omen they love, giving up their riches and risking death in the pro­cess. As Drake pre­sents it to them, love and material gain are mutually exclusive for the En­glish in Spanish Amer­i­ca. To this choice, Henderson heatedly replies that he is irresistibly driven by love: “me mostrarías por precio de mi infamia el trono mismo de Inglaterra, pero deberíais estar seguro que aún

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así yo resistiría” (520).46 Henderson pointedly frames María as more desirable than “the very throne of ­England,” scaling up the contrast into one between love and imperial power. Drake seems to understand this, too, warning (an unpersuaded) Oxenham that by choosing love for a ­woman, he is abandoning duty to his “pabellón y . . . ​patria” (528).47 In other words, love and mercenary pragmatism are not only incompatible on a personal level, but the stakes are also international: an En­glishman cannot pursue the liberation of Americans from oppression and also be motivated by nationalist greed. The En­glish, of course, choose their love for María and Juana over material self-­ interest. Throwing this choice into relief is the fact that don Felipe and Padre Andrés face the same choice as well: they could instantly save María and Juana—­t heir d ­ aughters—­from the Inquisition simply by sacrificing money and power. They, of course, choose material self-­interest over their ­daughters. This choice between love and profit had im­mense ramifications for López’s mid-­nineteenth-­century context and the specter of British informal empire in in­de­pen­dent Latin Amer­i­ca. As this book shows, liberation and colonialism, ­family and plunder, love and oppression, ­were intertwined impulses in the discourse of informal empire. Translated into f­ amily form, one half of t­ hese pairings calls to mind the paternalistic, hierarchical structures like ­those Anne McClintock, describing the formal empire, calls the ­Family of Man. The other half suggests a much more equitable f­ amily. But if, as some leaders like Simón Bolívar feared, and Rebecca Cole Heinowitz argues was historically the case, love and empire ­were the surface and depth of one reservoir—­that is, if the British spoke of loving partnership only as a cover for financial exploitation—­ what kind of ­family was that? La novia refuses the question, instead arguing that love and profit—­and the families they engender—­are two sides of an either-or choice. By confronting both the Spanish and the En­glish with this alternative between loving American ­women and securing their own fortunes, López suggests that this is a decision inherent to establishing European-­ American relations: form them in the ser­vice of mercenary profiteering, thereby creating an imperial politico-­family, or form them through sincere affect, thereby creating a liberatory, anti-­colonial politico-­family. It ­can’t be both. Drake may seem callous for presenting this choice to his sailors, but the choice itself is a power­ful argument that affective ­family in Latin Amer­i­ca is mutually exclusive with imperial plunder. When it comes to the En­glish, then, La novia is optimistic: so long as they r­ eally love the Americans, imperial subjugation cannot occur. This claim (painfully sanguine as it may seem) sug-

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gests that if informal empire draws on notions of both love and imperialism, it is a paradox—­each idea forms a dif­fer­ent international ­family. In addition to being connected by sincere affect—­Drake’s sincere affection for Juana is emphasized by the fact that although he “tiene débil por la nobleza” (699),48 he does not learn that she is an Inca noble ­until ­a fter he has married her for love—­t he English-­A merican ­family structure is also anti-­ colonial b­ ecause it converts paternal relationships with American w ­ omen into spousal ones. That is not to say that spousal relations cannot be hierarchical, oppressive, or imperial. But as McClintock argues, nineteenth-­century Eu­ro­pean imperial discourse often depicted colonies in the role of ­children, a rhetorical move intimately connected to the denial of coevality that consigned colonial ­others to what Dipesh Chakrabarty calls the “waiting room of history.”49 Colonies, in other words, w ­ ere commonly troped as a younger generation in the F ­ amily of Man—­less mature, less evolved, more backward—­ and thus subject to the paternalistic rule of the empire. The insidious nature of this analogy is that a child can never “catch up” to his f­ ather b­ ecause of the temporal distance separating them in the diachronic form of historical pro­g­ ress. This colonial genealogical time is precisely what Simón Bolívar was referring to when, during the in­de­pen­dence wars, he remarked that Spain had kept its American colonies in “a kind of permanent infancy.”50 ­A fter in­de­pen­ dence, as Creole elites like Bolívar and López worked to invent national identity, they rewrote the story of authority rooted in genealogy. Lacking a genealogical claim to American land, and having recently rejected the filial connection to Spain’s authority, they turned from familial pasts to familial ­futures, “making a generative rather than a genealogical claim” as they styled themselves founding ­fathers.51 So in La novia, when Drake and Henderson rescue Juana and María from their abusive ­fathers and marry them, they are not merely offering them a newly affective set of relations. They are also replacing Spanish f­ athers with En­glish husbands, a shift that helps imagine how Americans might escape the “waiting room” trap of diachronic, paternalistic colonial time by founding new synchronic partnerships. López is not the only thinker to imagine that alternate relational structures might neutralize imperial subjection. For Édouard Glissant, western thought is founded on a genealogical perception of temporality—an orientation he calls “filiation”—­t hat begins from an origin myth, proceeds through “the fixed linearity of time,” and ultimately abets ethnocentrism, exclusion, and the vio­lence of imperial conquest.52 Using the same term, Edward Said likewise

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theorizes “filiation” as a social structure of repetition and familial genealogy that partakes of hierarchical sociality.53 For both Said and Glissant, the western vision of society as descent is colonial precisely b­ ecause of its investment in the reproduction of hierarchical authority, which is of course specifically male and patriarchal.54 Interrupting colonial social form, therefore, means rejecting structures of filiation in ­favor of alternate arrangements. Glissant theorizes t­ hese as “the poetics of relation,” which describes a rhizomatic, “chaotic network” of pos­si­ble social contacts, and Said c­ ounters filiation with relations of “affiliation,” which are not hierarchical but adjacent, “re-­assembling the world in new non-­familial ways.”55 Both critics, then, see a link between imperialism and the social model of diachronic, patriarchal descent, which can only be broken by de-­hierarchized, synchronic, exogamous relations. La novia del hereje makes a nearly identical claim about the oppressive nature of the filial or paternalistic politico-­family, but rather than the contingencies of affiliation or rhizomatics, López, looking for a model to suit British–­L atin American partnership, turns specifically to marriage. Of course, marriage can be exploitative. Glissant and Said would likely both object to the notion that marriage (particularly in its western nineteenth-­ century iterations) is rhizomatic or affiliative, or that it offers much of an escape from oppressive filial social form. But La novia optimistically imagines that the synchronic partnership of a marriage affords the possibility of much greater equality than the diachronic and colonially non-­coeval relation of paternity. Not only does Drake love Juana, but the marriage also offers them equal benefit. Juana, despite her noble lineage, was a mere lady’s maid in Lima but now finds herself enjoying status and renown in ­England, and Drake, who, despite his fame, could not marry well ­under the prejudice of “un país esencialmente aristócrata” like E ­ ngland—­“una injusticia,” according to Henderson (698)56 —­has now wed a beautiful Inca royal. As Antonio Benitez-­ Rojo succinctly puts it, the two Anglo-­A merican ­couples end up “ennobled, enriched, and blessed with a healthy progeny.”57 In contrast to this mutual benefit conferred on members of the Anglo-­ American ­family, Padre Andrés left his Inca f­amily in “peor condición” (358),58 and another Spaniard in the novel wants only to “hacer fortuna para gozarla a mi modo cuando vuelva a España” (38).59 One concern about British involvement in nineteenth-­century Latin Amer­i­ca was that they might do exactly this—­come to make a fortune and take it back to E ­ ngland, leaving Latin Amer­i­c a worse off. But the novel assuages this concern by suggesting

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that only imperial Eu­ro­pe­ans like the Spanish do this, while “the fertile and happy u ­ nions María/Henderson and Juanita/Drake allegorize the desired alliance of the modern Argentinian with Anglo-­Saxon capitalism,”60 showing it to offer mutual elevation within an equitable, anti-­imperial politico-­family that rights the injustices of two continents. We know, of course, that marriage, particularly in the nineteenth ­century, could precisely afford the transfer of wealth from a bride to her husband. The choice of marriage as the form of British–­L atin American relations, therefore, could be deployed to serve the proj­ect of informal empire through the figure of coverture. But La novia—­ which advertises Anglo-­A merican marriage in its title—­specifically does not permit this interpretation, insisting on not only the mutuality of love and benefit in ­these relationships, but also the transfer of Spanish wealth to both the bride and groom. The husband does not enrich himself through his wife; husband and wife find mutual enrichment by triumphing over the defeated ­father figure of Spain. Anglo-­A merican f­ amily relations also introduce the ele­ment of choice. The paternal politico-­family is imposed without consent; just as d ­ aughters cannot choose their ­fathers, the colonized is forced into its subordinate relation. Marriages may be imposed as well, and in the Spanish-­A merican families, they are: Padre Andrés marries Mamapanki only in the face of social pressure, and María is offered to the Spaniard don Antonio against her ­will. López and his intellectual circle w ­ ere strongly opposed to arranged marriages, especially ­those arranged for financial or class interests,61 so it is no surprise that his novel associates this kind of relation with the imperial Spanish. But marriage to En­ glishmen, as López pre­sents it to us, is an elective relation and therefore lacks the imperial dimension of coercion. Writing about nineteenth-­century British narrative form, Talia Schaffer and Barry McCrea both argue that f­ amily structure is dynamized by the addition of a stranger, who, according to McCrea, is absorbed and naturalized, and according to Schaffer, brings mobility and disruption.62 López uses the stranger to his own par­tic­u­lar purpose in the context of British–­Latin American relations, breaking apart the compulsory relations of the Spanish-­ A merican ­ family and reattaching Americans to an En­glish f­ amily through exogamous but elective marriage. Once again, this resonates forcefully in the context of 1840s Latin Amer­ i­ca, which ­after centuries of Spanish lineage had newly opened its borders to other mi­grants—­especially British ones—­who might now marry into the Latin American ­family. As Nina Gerassi-­Navarro points out, Henderson and

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María’s marriage “endors[es] Juan Bautista Alberdi’s proj­ect to incorporate the En­glish within Argentine society to secure a prosperous ­future—­a task that would be achieved, according to Alberdi, by uniting the Argentine ­women with the En­glish men”63 (an idea that makes the ­union between f­amily and national stability all too literal). López, moreover, spent the years 1840–1853 (the period during which he composed and began to publish La novia) living in Chile, which was then undergoing a fierce public debate about w ­ hether to allow En­g lish Protestant “disidentes” (“dissidents” ­were “heretics” in nineteenth-­century terms) to marry Chilean Catholics. It is fair to assume López was reading this controversy in the papers, several of which he edited,64 and members of both the English-­language press and the Chilean press strongly advocated for British-­A merican intermarriage on the basis that it would si­mul­ta­neously increase the population and discourage the British from simply making money and taking it back to ­England. British-­A merican intermarriage in the mid-­nineteenth ­century, in other words, was widely seen by members of López’s circle as a way to grow Latin American economies and discourage the exploitation of informal empire. What López, Alberdi, Sarmiento, and o­ thers like them wanted was for t­ hese marriages to be freely available and f­ ree for Americans to choose. At the end of La novia, as Garrels argues, María’s dysfunctional Spanish home life is replaced by a British ­family structure that is “progresista,” characterized not by discipline and masculine self-­interest but by “el cariño y la ternura, la intimidad y un orden suave y armonioso.”65 But the specific forms that familial relations take turn out to be crucial not only for domestic experience but also for the international relations such families both implicitly trope and literally help construct. López and his fellows ­were inviting the British into both the Latin American economy and the Latin American f­amily, believing the combination to promise a more liberal, prosperous f­ uture. The Anglo-­A merican families in La novia, therefore, are in part symbols for how British-­A rgentine relations might be anti-­colonial and mutually beneficial, and in part a politico-­familial argument about how domestic and international relations are formally reciprocal and mutually constitutive. Henderson, Oxenham, and Drake’s affective spousal relations with American w ­ omen are not merely a meta­phor for what López hoped might be a non-­imperial relationship between Latin Amer­i­ca and G ­ reat Britain in the nineteenth c­ entury; affect, choice, and partnership are forms of relation that actually deter colonial hierarchy. The En­glish pirates, by virtue of their love for American ­women,

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are quite literally prevented from exploiting them, induced instead to make them equal partners in their prosperity. In the novel’s schema, paternalism affords imperialism and deters equality, while partnership affords equality and deters imperialism. So by exploring the specific forms that international familial relation might take, La novia del hereje argues that the two ideas that often appeared together in the discourse of informal empire—­t hat Britain might be both a partner and a predator—in fact produce two distinct politico-­ family forms that cannot coexist. ­Because prevalent (inter)national ­family discourse in the nineteenth ­century coincided with the rise of liberal f­ree trade, it is not surprising that Latin Americans w ­ ere not the only ones to trope international finance as f­ amily. In Britain, according to Ayşe Çelikkol, f­ ree trade was conceptually linked to the idea of an international “brotherhood of men,” although it also fostered anx­ i­eties about the dissolution of national identity. In nineteenth-­century British lit­er­a­ture, therefore, “the dangers of individual liberty ­were mapped onto the figure of the promiscuous ­woman just as the rewards of commerce between nations could be meta­phor­ically translated into marital mutuality.”66 Historically, then, both lovers in the metaphor—­Britain and Latin Amer­i­ca—­ were using marriage as a literary device to si­mul­ta­neously invite international ­free trade and obviate its threats to their own national sovereignty. And it was more than a meta­phor for the two parties, both of whom ­were invested in British migration to the Southern Cone and the dual possibility of trade and intermarriage it conditioned. But La novia departs from Çelikkol’s account of British lit­er­a­ture in three key ways. First, although British and Latin American authors in the nineteenth ­century both chose “romance” as the genre best suited to represent the forms of international capitalism, the British stories w ­ ere romances of the heroic adventurer variety, while Latin American novelists like López wrote romances of heterosexual u ­ nion.67 Second, La novia specifically contrasts British–­Latin American marriage not to the radical openness of promiscuity or “sexual hedonism” that British authors ­imagined as the threats of global capitalism,68 but rather to the even more restrictive f­ amily structure of Spanish imperial paternalism. And third, while marriage in the novel serves to protect Latin American sovereignty by neutralizing British imperialism, British texts did not tend to share such anxiety for the partners their heroes encountered. So if the onset of widespread international f­ ree trade in the nineteenth ­century inspired British texts concerned with preserving the integrity (and

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power) of the autonomous British subject as he moved through the world, La novia looked to unite with this same subject in order to neutralize his imperial nature. “Romance” in López’s novel interrupts British material self-­interest, while for British authors “romance” preserved it. As a talisman against the dangers of informal empire, therefore, marriage was an imperfect social form, since the bride and groom ­were entering into it with no prenuptial agreement as to its purpose. That it was nonetheless commonly deployed as a way to theorize British–­Latin American relations shows how discordant the constituent threads of informal empire w ­ ere to begin with.

Hybridity From origins come new f­ amily relations, and from t­ hese families come descendants, raising the issue of international hybridity as a familial form with po­liti­cal implications. In addition to its Creole characters like María, who are ancestrally Spanish but culturally American, La novia is replete with mixed-­ race characters like Juana (Spanish-­indigenous), or Mateo the zambo (African-­ indigenous), whose existence is a result of Spanish colonialism and who are scattered at the bottom of a social hierarchy that only “pure” Spaniards may climb.69 Multicultural and multiracial Spanish families, in other words, produce colonial social structures that oppress the racially hybrid descendants of ­t hose very families. The novel is too interested in historical plausibility to imagine a comparable line of Anglo-­A merican descent in Latin Amer­i­ca—­the Anglo-­A merican families end up in E ­ ngland, so their descendants w ­ ill not populate Latin Amer­i­ca—­but López nonetheless explores the question of what it might mean for “Americanness” to be at least partially En­glish. Creole identity was particularly impor­tant for the in­de­pen­dence movement and the establishment of postcolonial identity in nineteenth-­century Latin Amer­i­ca, as it distinguished American from Spanish belonging. López wanted his novel to participate in the development of this American identity, writing in his preface that La novia was “esencialmente americano en su fondo, y desprovisto . . . ​de los estilos exóticos, que tanto contribuyen a quitarnos el conocimiento y la conciencia de las sociedades de que formamos parte” (8–9; emphasis mine).70 The 1578 setting pinpoints the historical moment when the first few generations of American-­born ­children of Spanish imperialists—­ Creoles—­began to appear, marking an American identity separate from a Spanish one. And the Creole character María serves as an exemplar of appar-

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ently quin­tes­sen­tial or “ideal” Americanness: “La Limeña de raza, La María, era el ideal de la mujer americana, como la inglesa de raza, la Esther, con sus rulos de oro tendidos por su cuello de cisne, y con el lánguido mirar de sus ojos color cielo, es, cuando se pasea por las ruinas de Roma o por los espléndidos monumentos del arte florentino, el ideal de la mujer europea” (581).71 What’s remarkable about this passage is that María is described almost entirely by analogy with an En­glishwoman named Esther—­just as María is “the ideal of the American ­woman,” so is Esther “the ideal of the Eu­ro­pean ­woman,” phrases whose parallelism is heightened by their position as bookends of the sentence. Americanness is therefore not only comparable to an En­glish model, but moreover rendered legible through their similitude. In fact, this passage does not actually describe María at all; Esther’s eye color, hair color, neck shape, and activities intrude and overtake the sentence, leaving María to be discerned only by analogy with ­these ­things. The syntax even seems to blur the two ­women into one, as the “her” (“sus”) that describes golden hair and blue eyes is not clearly affixed to Esther u ­ ntil the end of the sentence. Moreover, the specific Esther in question, the heroine of a novel by López’s con­ temporary and fellow Argentine Miguel Cané,72 is a married En­glishwoman in “mutuo” love with an Argentine man.73 So La novia’s definition of the “ideal” American identity is that which resembles an En­glish identity, which in its ideal form in turn loves Argentina. María defines Creole Americanness in its earliest sixteenth-­century emergence, evidently legible only through a nineteenth-­century En­glishness with which it is already hybridly entwined. The En­glish would not develop a significant relationship with t­ hose claiming Creole Americanness u ­ ntil the in­de­pen­dence movement of the nineteenth ­century, and yet by imagining Drake and his fellow sailors into this 1578 setting, López is able to suggest that the En­glish ­were the first to recognize the category of Creole as a distinctly American identity. Drake himself, discussing María’s cousin Manuel, remarks that he “es un criollo pur-­sang, por su vivacidad, por su franqueza, por su desparpajo, y un cierto pulido de formas y de alma, que no encuentro yo en el español puro, bien está que soy parte interesada, pues tengo una costilla criolla” (693).74 Drake is the only diagetic figure to articulate this distinction between Creole and Spanish identity, suggesting that although the British do not genealogically create American identity, they are the first to identify it. And by referring to Juana, his American-­ born, half-­Spanish, half-­indigenous wife, as his “Creole rib,” he makes both a biblical allusion that places them in the roles of Adam and Eve to a

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new Anglo-­Creole f­ amily line and a biological meta­phor that suggests their marriage is akin to springing from one flesh. This Anglo-­A merican ­family is not only affective, equitable, and freely chosen, but its ties are strong enough to link American identity in both soul and body to the En­glish. As the first to recognize and nurture American identity, then, the En­glish have, if not quite a literal presence, at least a ghostly one in a counterfactual Latin American genealogy that promotes Anglo-­A merican hybridization in López’s own day. This suggestion of Anglo-­A merican hybridity further highlights a crux at the center of informal empire: the distinction between belonging as possession and belonging as kinship. ­Those who wrote about British–­Latin American relations in the nineteenth c­ entury had recourse to both, and it is emblematic of the paradoxes of informal empire that two contradictory impulses share a single term. La novia, however, pre­sents t­ hese ideas as two distinct ­family structures, one in which American ­women belong to their Spanish ­fathers and husbands as both marital and imperial possessions, and another in which both Americans and En­glishmen belong equally to a mutually enriching f­ amily. The counterfactual suggestion of biological hybridity within the Anglo-­A merican ­family only intensifies and naturalizes kinship belonging as its orga­nizational structure, in contrast to the possessive colonial belonging quarantined within Spanish families.

Paradox As I have shown, La novia wields f­ amily structures in an attempt to defuse the paradoxes of informal empire, but it often finds them hard to avoid. This difficulty is indivisible from the novel’s foundational paradox of trying to both faithfully rec­ord and fancifully rewrite national history. López draws heavi­ly on real events (such as the po­liti­c al uprising Padre Andrés participates in, Drake’s sacking of the Cacafuego, and the British-­Cimarron alliance), and real ­people (such as Francis Drake, John Oxenham, and Gonzalo Pizarro), and he conspicuously footnotes historical sources to show his fidelity to the past. But within this framework, nonfiction slides quietly into fiction with the addition of Henderson, the daring rescue of María, Drake’s marriage to Juana, and the framing of all ­these events as acts of affect and love. T ­ hese are bold counterfactuals, but the highly sourced historical narrative in which they appear suggestively promotes their veracity. This slippage is neatly apparent at the end

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of the story, when, a­ fter the climactic earthquake has allowed Henderson, Oxenham, and the re­sis­tance co­a li­tion to rescue María, the narrator journalistically remarks: “Entre las historias del terremoto, la inaudita audacia de los herejes comenzó a ocupar la primera línea” (673).75 “Heretics” singles out the British from their diverse co-­conspirators as ­those grabbing the headlines, and “historias” is best translated as “accounts,” a word that means both story and history. La novia therefore implies that the En­glish ­were not only the main subject of the day’s conversation, but also part of the same historical rec­ ord López wants to use to build a post-­independence Latin American imaginary. In other words, he writes his fictional characters into the very history on which he, paradoxically, pins the veracity of the story t­ hose characters are in. Given that, as Gerassi-­Navarro observes, the novel’s footnoted sources are almost entirely En­glish,76 he seems to be suggesting that the history of Latin Amer­i­ca is already written by the En­glish, and now—­with his novel—­written to include them, too. In addition to looping the diagetic and extradiagetic worlds together in a paradox of historical temporality, La novia also defies the historical rec­ord altogether. By imaginatively placing the British into Latin Amer­i­ca’s po­liti­cal genealogy and crafting an Anglo-­A merican politico-­family that suggests both domestic and national liberation through affect and hybridity, López runs afoul of the very history he seeks to secure. ­Because of course, by 1578, the En­ glish w ­ ere not only engaging in the pillage, opportunism, and vio­lence of piracy around the world, but also establishing the networks and outposts that would become North American colonization. So what López portrays as a ­battle between Spanish colonists and En­glish liberators was ­really two imperial nations competing for the resources that could be extracted from the Amer­i­c as—­Drake’s exploits ­were viewed back home primarily in terms of ­England’s own expanding empire.77 And while he works to depict the relationship between the En­glish and Americans as natu­ral or affective, historians like Kris Lane remind us that it was precisely pragmatic: Drake’s historical partnership with the Cimarrones, for instance, “should not be considered as entirely natu­ral, but rather the result of a timely exigency. The Cimarrones knew all too well the slaving past of the French and En­glish, but they realized that t­ hese potential enslavers—­armed and angry as they ­were—­could be used effectively against the Spaniards in the short term, a worthwhile compromise.”78 So it was clear to Americans in 1578, as it has been to historians since, that although the En­glish claimed a more humane approach to the New

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World than the Spanish, they ­were just as driven by self-­interest and just as likely to impose violent imperial hierarchies on ­those they encountered. López was not alone in claiming the figure of the En­glish pirate for the cause of liberty, however. Partially reacting to Spain’s long demonization of En­glish pirates and partially participating in British Romantic literary tropes, López and the post-­independence generation that followed him idealized En­ glish piracy as rebellious, anti-­authoritarian, and extralegal—in other words, as a liberatory force against the absolutism of Spain.79 In this way, “through his transgression and defiance of the Spanish law, [the pirate] has in fact established a new order and himself become the emblem of ‘civilization,’ ” coming to symbolize “po­liti­cal and religious freedom merely by being En­glish and Protestant.”80 López emphasizes this point at the beginning of La novia, writing that En­glish pirates w ­ ere beginning the work of curtailing Spanish power that a f­uture generation would finish, and l­ater when he cites Sou­ they’s Lives of the British Admirals to suggest that Drake had even been given a moral permission slip by the church to sack the Spanish at ­will.81 The selfsame Francis Drake dropped into an “undiscovered” Amer­i­c a would likely cut a very dif­fer­ent, starkly imperial character, but the prior presence of Spain in the New World provides a morally acceptable outlet for En­glish profit motives and a cover u ­ nder which to portray them as anti-­colonial. But the fact that the En­glish combat Spain does not effectively defuse the central paradox of informal empire ­because, as La novia clearly acknowledges, this only redirects their power without diminishing its force. On the one hand, the En­glish in the novel are merely one piece of a diverse co­a li­tion of minority figures resisting Spain’s imperial regime. Mateo has established “el hábito de hacerse recibir y de imponerse en las casas principales,” a skill belonging to all the Lima zambos (147);82 don Bautista’s work as an apothecary gives him “una posición sin rival que ponía a su disposición toda la intimidad de las familias” (148);83 and Mercedes’s friends in the clandestine homosexual community are able to delay María’s trial b­ ecause they arrange extramarital affairs for Lima’s most power­ful ­people. In this way La novia shows diverse victims of Spanish power already effectively reappropriating the very structures that ensnare them, long before the En­glish arrive. On the other hand, when the pirates do appear, their impact is so enormous as to seem god-­like. Even though he himself is leading the re­sis­tance, don Bautista claims that Drake “es el único que tiene hoy alzada la bandera de la guerra [contra la España] después que todos han caído” (653),84 and indeed the En­glish are the only ones

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who can land a blow as heavy as the sacking of the galleon. Every­one suffering ­under Spanish oppression seems to recognize the En­glish as saviors: early in the novel, when Lima erupts into chaos at the arrival of the En­glish ships, the slaves who are able to escape their masters, even though they have heard them described as dev­ils, run to the port to greet Drake and his crew “como a salvadores (72).”85 And don Bautista even says to Henderson, when the latter arrives in Lima at the climactic moment, “¡Dios le haya traído a usted, Milord!” (649).86 That this arrival is immediately followed by a perfectly timed earthquake suggests that the English-­led plot is both in sync with American nature and sanctioned by God’s ­will. The novel may be casting the En­glish not as heretics but saviors, not as colonists but liberators, but this heroic recasting does not reduce their outsize, apparently god-­like power. This is the paradox López ­faces: he seeks to ­free Amer­i­ca from Eu­ro­pean empire, but to do so, he finds he must rely on a power­ful Eu­ro­pean empire. It is the same paradox Simón Bolívar could not unwind thirty years e­ arlier as his simultaneous need for and fear of British imperial power caused him to make a tangle of the pro­gress narrative. And it is the mirror image of the paradox of informal empire from the perspective of the nineteenth-­century British, who had to somehow argue that they w ­ ere interested both in Latin Amer­ i­ca’s freedom and a mono­poly on its resources. López is trying to ward off informal empire, not advocate for it (as, in dif­fer­ent ways, both Bolívar and the British w ­ ere d ­ oing), but it is impossible to discuss E ­ ngland’s interest in Latin American freedom without grappling with ­England’s interest in global power. Moreover, he needs this power. Their mercenary, covetous presence in the sixteenth-­century Pacific is what makes the En­glish good allies in La no­ via, and their enormous economic might in the nineteenth c­ entury is what makes them an attractive partner in the development of Argentina’s post-­ independence economy. While López has Drake argue that love for Amer­i­ca and the removal of American wealth are mutually exclusive, the novel’s protagonists end up rewarded with both, b­ ecause it does not serve López’s goal to replace Spanish imperialism with En­glish poverty. So while he works hard to split imperial and liberatory geopolitics into two structurally distinct kinds of ­family, he is still forced to embrace the dually emancipatory and colonial impulses at the heart of Britain’s interest in Latin Amer­i­ca. The final page of La novia suggests that López knows quite well what he is risking in this bargain. Fifteen years ­after the climactic events of the story, María’s cousin Manuel visits María and Henderson in ­England and finds

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Mateo feeling dissatisfied and almost homeless in a country where he cannot speak his native language—he is trapped in E ­ ngland, he says, “entre estos bo­ zales” (703).87 Expanding the American ­family across the Atlantic, then, has also necessarily diluted the strength of American identity.88 For all the novel’s optimism about the naturalness and equality of the Anglo-­A merican ­family, it closes on this image of Mateo with tears in his eyes, imprisoned in a culture that made him f­ amily at the price of assimilation, a ­human remnant of the unresolvable paradox of seeking liberation in the arms of power.

Pro­gress, Redux Although this half of the book is devoted to the ways that informal empire was rendered in familial form, we have not left ­behind the question of pro­g­ ress, nor its own specific formal implications. One key pillar of López’s argument for the formation of Anglo-­A merican ­family is that the En­glish bring not only loving ­family structures to the Amer­i­c as but also pro­gress. In his preface to La novia, López argues that Spain oppressed both American ­people and American pro­gress, impeding “las novedades que agitaban al mundo cristiano y preparaban los nuevos rasgos de la civilización ­actual,” and he says that he included Drake in the story precisely to set Spain’s obstruction of pro­g­ ress into relief (18).89 The fight between the Spanish and Drake therefore is not merely a ­battle for resources; it is a “contraste de los dos polos ideológicos, culturales y económicos . . . ​el atraso del rígido monopolio colonial español y el liberalismo librecambista como síntoma del progreso.”90 So it comes as no surprise when the narrator devotes a long passage of the novel to eulogizing the lasting progressive benefit of Drake’s New World expeditions, explaining that he saved millions from hunger and modernized agriculture by bringing the potato to Eu­rope and that it was Drake’s original idea to cross the Central American isthmus, setting the dominoes in motion that would ­later see this world-­opening feat achieved. What’s more, when the narrator insists that Drake’s deeds ­were “gigantescas hazañas . . . ​gloriosos pasos de la humanidad en el camino de la civilización y del conocimiento del globo” (499–500),91 he implies that the entire world, not just ­England, reaped the benefits of t­ hese forward strides. Or to put this is in the formal terms I explored in part I of this book, Drake helps drive a narrative of teleological pro­gress in which all of humanity is the protagonist, a narrative that reassuringly carries Latin Amer­i­ca forward with the rest of the civilized world.92

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This is also, to link historical narrative forms to the f­ amily meta­phor, a way for López to genealogize pro­gress. In his depiction, Drake did not bring pro­g­ ress to the Amer­i­cas but rather discovered it t­here on his voyages; pro­gress itself is born out of the mutually enhancing relationship between the En­glish and the Amer­i­cas and has been for hundreds of years. And Drake’s role in developing modern agriculture and the crossing of the isthmus makes him a forefather of the very same proj­ects that the British ­were undertaking in Latin Amer­i­ca in the nineteenth c­ entury—­farming and transportation. López talks specifically in the preface about ­these more con­temporary proj­ects, lauding the Eu­ro­pean traders and developers who defied the late colonial Spanish mono­p­ oly and traveled to the interior of South Amer­i­ca, “desparramando el bien­ estar y las riquezas por toda la vía” (15).93 Both Drake and ­these ­later travelers are part of an En­glish history in Latin Amer­i­ca that, for López, spurred development and pro­gress to the benefit of places like Argentina. The En­glish in Latin Amer­i­c a are members of a progressive lineage—­not an Anglo-­ American ­family in a literal sense, but a descendancy of pro­gress that has lasted for centuries and heavi­ly implies the virtue of the post-­independence British investments in mining, farming, railroads, and trade that w ­ ere beginning to accelerate as López was publishing his novel. La novia, then, works to find Latin Amer­i­ca’s ­future in its past, both by reor­ga­niz­ing the geopo­liti­ cal genealogy that connects Eu­rope and Amer­i­ca, and by suggesting that historical pro­gress is itself a descendant of ­these same familial relations.

Conclusion As we have seen throughout this book, informal empire raised discursive contradictions: w ­ hether they promoted or critiqued it, thinkers as diverse as James Mill, Simón Bolívar, George Canning, and Anna Barbauld all formulated informal empire as Britain’s desire to si­mul­ta­neously bolster and suppress Latin American freedom. What López shows (as do the authors in the next two chapters) is that this paradoxical duality was particularly vis­i­ble within the f­amily meta­phors that nineteenth-­century onlookers applied to international relations. Within Britain’s formal empire, the operative ­family form—­ which Anne McClintock terms the imperial ­Family of Man—­was explic­itly hierarchical and paternalistic. By contrast, critics like Rebecca Cole Heino­ witz have argued that the informal empire deployed less stratified familial relations of kinship but that t­hese ­were only a cover that legitimized Britain’s

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resource extraction through the suggestion of ancestral entitlement.94 While the imperial F ­ amily of Man was overtly hierarchical, in other words, the kinship relations of informal empire concealed the same imperial drive beneath the feint of more equal relations. But as this book argues, the conflicted discourses of informal empire should not be seen as divided across surface and depth or sincere and feigned but rather as equally necessary to the formulation of informal empire as such—­and therefore irreducibly and paradoxically simultaneous. One impor­tant rhetorical effect of López’s novel, therefore, is to make this dynamic plain. By rendering affect and empire, kinship and hierarchy, as two distinct kinds of politico-­family—­and more than this, arguing that forms of loving or benevolent international ­family serve precisely to contravene the imperial drive—­La novia del hereje suggests that the two discourses upon which informal empire relied represent two distinct, incompatible social arrangements that cannot be coherently joined. They w ­ ere, of course, joined in the ser­vice of informal empire, but by suggesting that they belong to distinct geopo­liti­cal ­orders, López highlights informal empire’s strug­gle to easily enlist nineteenth-­century master narratives. In framing British–­Latin American relations as a f­ amily, he also appropriates a set of tropes commonly used in Eu­ro­pean imperial discourse, bending them to an anti-­colonial purpose. His novel therefore shows how international f­ amily forms could be combined in the ser­vice of promoting emancipatory social configurations. In the end, however, the novel can only reveal the paradoxes of informal empire; it cannot escape them. La novia suggests that British interests in Latin Amer­i­ca cannot be both emancipatory and acquisitive ­because ­these manifest two entirely distinct social familial structures. But no ­matter how López or anyone ­else might carefully configure the trope of British–­L atin American ­family, the British are still power­ful cap­i­tal­ists, and capitalism makes profit, not love. The British would and did seek advantageous loan, trade, and development deals with l­ ittle concern for Latin Americans’ fair share. One could easily argue, therefore, that López’s depiction of the British as loving husbands was at best naive and at worst complicit in disarming opposition to informal empire in Argentina. If we read his efforts as naive, Leela Gandhi helps explain why: drawing on Derrida and Said, she argues that all familial social models are inherently conservative, exclusionary, and replicative—in other words, colonial. Friendship, she claims, is the only relational trope capable of signify-

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ing “all t­ hose invisible affective gestures that refuse alignment along the secure axes of filiation to seek expression outside, if not against, possessive communities of belonging.”95 ­Under Gandhi’s reasoning, we could read López as naive for attempting to escape the colonial trap of f­amily form simply by rearranging the f­ amily. But naivete might be too kind a judgment. Indeed, López and his contemporaries lobbied for the very investments and migrations that would form the scaffolding of British informal empire in Argentina. The post-­independence Latin American Creole elites have been justifiably accused of turning colonizers in their own right, enriching themselves while selling out the poor and indigenous when Eu­ro­pean capital came calling. The novelist-­ politicians who built Latin American national identity, “privileged as they ­were, selected what they would from liberalism. . . . ​They got rid of Spain’s monopolies (sometimes to fall prey to ­England) yet held on to domestic cartels, land entailment, and coercive ­labor systems.”96 So it is also reasonable to label his efforts complicity—to conclude, as Nina Gerassi-­Navarro does, that “rather than reconstructing the colonial past, Vicente Fidel López uses history to advocate recolonizing the f­ uture of his country.”97 My argument, however, runs parallel to such debates. It may m ­ atter a g­ reat deal to the history of Argentina what motives López brought to his writing and how he influenced his countrymen. But I have been seeking the answer to a dif­fer­ent question altogether: What forms did López understand Eu­ro­ pean imperialisms to take? His most famous novel is an anatomy of the forms of imperial power, and both his attempt to figure the British as ideal allies and his failure to do so forcefully recall the paradoxes of informal empire. In his attempt to figure the En­glish as anti-­colonial, we see informal empire appear through its own absence; the paired depiction of Spanish formal empire and En­glish colonial re­sis­tance seems to offer no space for informal empire, to ward it off by virtue of its non-­appearance in the cata­log of pos­si­ble relations. And his failure even to imagine the En­glish as perfect allies in a counterfactual fantasy reminds us that although informal empire might have been conceptually paradoxical, that paradox was nearly impossible to escape. Britain’s outsized economic power meant that their allegiance, even in an idealized form, would always be lopsided. When it came to their interest in Latin Amer­ i­ca, their support for liberation was tinged with their imperial motives, and their imperialism was predicated on Latin Amer­i­ca’s in­de­pen­dence. Therefore, it was nearly impossible to argue against informal empire simply by appealing

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to British liberatory politics—­this did nothing to shake the foundation of informal empire, which was so strong precisely ­because it contained both sides of the argument. Its paradoxical nature helped it to absorb critique. La novia del hereje, then, both effectively renders vis­i­ble the formal incoherence of informal empire and finds itself inevitably ensnared by the force of that very paradox.

c h a p t e r f i v e

H. Rider Haggard and the Antagonism of Valid Fiancées

­ fter twenty years of living with the Aztec in Mexico and fighting with them A against the Spanish Conquest, Thomas Wingfield returns home to ­England. So goes the basic plot of Montezuma’s ­Daughter (1893), a historical adventure by British fin-­de-­siècle novelist H. Rider Haggard. Upon his return, Thomas meets with Queen Elizabeth and pre­sents her with a valuable Aztec gemstone. This scene, which appears at the beginning of the novel as a frame for Thomas’s time in Mexico, could easily be interpreted as promoting the flow of Latin American wealth to Britain—­promoting, in other words, informal empire. And that is precisely how it typically has been read. Robert Aguirre, in his field-­shaping book Informal Empire: Mexico and Central Amer­i­ca in Vic­ torian Culture, suggests that this scene “points to ­England as the rightful possessor of Mexico’s vast mineral wealth.”1 Nair María Anaya Ferreira argues that the novel as a ­whole “emplea ingeniosamente la historia de la Conquista de México para proclamar la grandeza del imperio británico.”2 And likewise, Luz Elena Ramirez, while arguing that British lit­er­a­ture about Latin Amer­ i­ca is “ambivalent,” says that Montezuma’s ­Daughter “accords with nineteenth ­century advertisements about mining Latin Amer­i­ca’s riches.”3 Indeed, British investment in Mexican mines was heavi­ly promoted on both sides of the Atlantic during the 1880s, when Haggard was writing both Montezuma’s ­Daughter and his second Mexico novel, Heart of the World.4 The fact that Thomas returns to E ­ ngland with not only a set of valuable gemstones but also the secret location of Montezuma’s treasure—in essence, removing Aztec wealth in its entirety to London—­would only seem to bolster claims that Haggard was ­doing his own promotion of British plunder in Mexico. But let’s look a bit more closely at the encounter between Thomas and Queen Elizabeth. In its broad contours it does seem to stage a celebratory ritual

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transfer of Mexican mineral wealth into En­glish hands. But the tone of the scene dramatically undercuts such triumphalism. As he hands the gemstone to Elizabeth, Thomas says: “At the sight of it her eyes glistened brightly as the gem, for this Queen of ours loves such costly playthings. Indeed, had I so desired, I think that I might then and t­ here have struck a bargain, and set the stone against a title; but I, who for many years had been the prince of a g­ reat tribe, had no wish to be a knight. So I kissed the royal hand, and so tightly did it grip the gem within that the knuckle joints shone white.”5 Thomas casts this wealth transfer as grotesque materialism, focusing on Elizabeth’s tight, covetous grasp. “The royal hand,” a rather dismissive metonymy on Thomas’s part, is not a figure for august power but petty avarice. In this depiction, the matriarch of ­England’s emergent oceanic empire does not appear as the stately head of an imperial ­family but rather a child herself, filled with immature, unseemly desire for a shiny “plaything.” Moreover, Thomas withholds much more from his queen. At the end of the novel, he tells us that he gave Elizabeth only one stone—­“the smallest save one”—­from a “priceless” necklace, and that he has de­cided to take the rest of it, along with the secret of Montezuma’s trea­sure, to his grave (201). He may return to ­England with a bottomless store of riches, but his choosing to give only the second-­smallest gemstone to Queen Elizabeth is clearly meant to placate rather than revel in ­England’s imperial appetites. This is perhaps surprising, since scholars have not understood Haggard’s writing as particularly skeptical of empire, formal or other­wise. And with good reason. His novels almost exclusively fall into the genre of the quest tale that Edward Said established as inherently imperial.6 He is best known for his adventures set in Africa, such as King Solomon’s Mines, which Anne McClintock, in a landmark interpretation, revealed as enacting the ritual subjugation of both female and native power on behalf of the colonial British patriarchy.7 The British heroes of that novel, she argues, engender “three ­orders—­the male, reproductive order of matriarchal monogamy; the white eco­ nomic order of mining capital; and the global, po­liti­cal order of empire. . . . ​In this way, the adventure of mining capital reinvents the white patriarch—in the specific class form of the En­glish, upper-­middle class gentleman—as the heir to imperial ‘Pro­gress’ at the head of the ‘­Family of Man.’ ”8 Critics have tended to follow this lead, arguing that King Solomon’s Mines and Haggard’s other Africa novels, such as She and Allan Quatermain, are both structural and thematic advertisements for the moral and financial benefits of British empire. In

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her 2010 Encyclopedia of the Lit­er­a­ture of Empire, Mary Ellen Snodgrass voices a general consensus9 when she names Haggard a canonical imperial author: “Like Kipling and . . . ​Gogol, Haggard maintained firm beliefs in the civilizing capabilities of imperial conquest. . . . ​His popu­lar swashbuckling novels s­ haped the attitudes of a generation of stay-­at-­homes concerning the South African frontier and the subjugation of nonwhite ­peoples in a foreign land.”10 I cite this consensus not to dispute it but to set into relief how Haggard’s Mexico novels offer a dif­fer­ent view of British power. Given his penchant for the numbingly formulaic—­regardless of setting, his novels typically contain: framing devices that establish fictional authenticity; shipwrecks; improbably escaped mortal peril; extremes of weather, exertion, and danger contrasted with the de­cadence of home; the traveler’s being absurdly out of place in foreign environs; displays of masculine prowess in hunting and fighting; the discovery of vast riches and lost races; the En­glishman as a Christian savior or leader among savage, heathen natives; the superiority of Eu­ro­pean military, agricultural, and scientific knowledge; romantic intrigues with native w ­ omen of high rank; and the traversing of terrain previously untouched by white men—it would be easy to assume that Haggard is more or less insensible to dif­fer­ent geo­graph­i­cal settings, that Africa and Mexico simply provide some backdrop variety for what is other­wise a paint-­by-­numbers execution of the imperial adventure novel. The small body of critical work on his Mexico novels has generally seen them this way; Ramirez calls Heart of the World only “a slightly modified version” of King Solomon’s Mines, and Aguirre argues that both Heart of the World and Montezuma’s ­Daughter “participate in a logic of imperial possession that represented Mexico and Central Amer­i­c a as store­ houses of wealth and knowledge awaiting plunder by enterprising British subjects.”11 ­These readings shift the terms of the imperial encounter from territorial conquest to financial “plunder” but other­wise echo McClintock’s diagnosis of colonial structure in the Africa novels. But as I w ­ ill argue in this chapter, Haggard’s Mexico novels are sensitive to the distinct forms of social arrangement implied by informal empire, and his familiar plot structures combine to a much less exuberantly imperial effect. Specifically, f­ amily form turns out to be the axle around which informal empire gets wrapped in ­these stories. Consider the reason Thomas is reluctant to share Aztec wealth with Queen Elizabeth in Montezuma’s ­Daughter. At the end of the novel, his tale comes full circle, and in revisiting his audience with

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the queen, he alludes to his motivations for withholding his trea­sure: “That necklace I have yet, and it was a stone of it—­the smallest save one—­that I gave to our gracious Queen Elizabeth. Otomie wore it for many years, and for this reason it s­ hall be buried with me, though its value is priceless, so say ­those who are skilled in gems. But priceless or no, it is doomed to lie in the mould of Ditchingham churchyard, and may that same curse which is graved upon the stone that hides the trea­sure of the Aztecs fall upon him who steals it from my bones” (201). Two hundred pages ­after learning that Thomas withheld this trea­sure from ­England, we now know why; during the course of the novel we see Thomas form a dense set of familial bonds with the Aztec. He marries an Aztec w ­ oman, Otomie, becomes blood ­brothers with an Aztec man, Guatemoc, and ­fathers half-­A ztec sons. He loves this ­family for twenty years, and in the end that love leads him to protect their trea­sures from E ­ ngland’s imperial reach. The necklace belonged to his wife, and “for that reason” he ­will have it buried in the ground. The secret of the remaining trea­sure was given to him by Guatemoc, and for that reason he w ­ ill honor his promise never to reveal it, not even ­after the Aztec have been wiped out, not even to enrich his native country. ­Family relations, in other words, are the barrier to what we might other­ wise expect from Haggard—­the promotion and cele­bration of informal empire. Since Britons seeking profit from Latin Amer­i­ca in the nineteenth c­ entury so often won it through mining investments, we might anticipate that Haggard’s Mexico novels would propagandize even more for what McClintock calls “the white economic order of mining capital.” And yet, as I ­will show, Montezuma’s ­Daughter is entirely or­ga­nized around the tension between international ­family relations and informal empire’s w ­ ill to plunder. Throughout the nineteenth ­century, Latin Amer­i­ca inspired dual responses from the British: support for sovereignty and imperial ambition. To figure t­ hese as kinds of interpersonal relation, we could call them the partner drive and the predator drive; the concept of informal empire was uncomfortably dependent on both. In Montezuma’s ­Daughter, ­t hese competing international desires take interpersonal shape as competing marriages that Haggard’s hero must choose between—an En­glish or an Aztec bride—­complete with the po­liti­cal loyalties that each ­woman both figures and actually brings about. By representing ­these dual po­liti­cal proposals as competing proposals of marriage, the novel suggests that ­there is no honor in choosing both. Montezuma’s ­Daughter, therefore, disentangles the interpersonal relational forms of partnership and

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predation that figure informal empire’s dual drives, and it frames them, not as a dynamic dialectic, but an irresolvable, unethical paradox.

Haggard in Mexico Haggard visited Mexico in 1891, where he saw—­like Trollope had thirty-­t wo years ­earlier in Central Amer­i­ca—­the operations of British informal empire firsthand. Among the new nations of Latin Amer­i­ca, Mexico was one of the slowest to recover from the wars of in­de­pen­dence and became one of the most dependent on Eu­ro­pean capital.12 During Haggard’s lifetime, Mexico was acutely influenced by foreign investment and development, especially by the British, who arrived in e­ ager numbers to finance—­and profit by—­t wo industries in par­tic­u­lar: the revival of mining operations devastated by the wars of in­de­pen­dence, and the rapid expansion of rail lines in the second half of the ­century. This was done so extensively by the British and o­ thers that “by 1910, foreigners owned about one-­seventh of the total land area of Mexico.”13 In his autobiography, The Days of My Life (published posthumously in 1926), Haggard devotes a full chapter to his Mexico visit, recording his direct impressions of what we ­today call the informal empire. The verdict was grim. For one ­thing, he saw ­these ventures as terrible investments. He notes his own personal financial loss that came from investing in “certain Mexican enterprises . . . ​ that in due course absorbed no small sum out of my hard earnings.”14 And the fate of his good friend J. Gladwyn Jebb, who “devote[d] his life to the pursuit of mining and commercial ventures,” seems to stand in for the likely fate of all En­glishmen who attempt to profit in this way: “he worked very hard in many evil climates, broke down his health, dissipated his large private means in supporting unremunerative enterprises, and died saddened and impoverished.”15 Despite the real­ity of British commercial power in Mexico, Haggard depicts the kinds of proj­ects that composed informal empire as bringing only ruin and loss. But while Haggard represents British “mining and commercial ventures” in Mexico as unprofitable, he also suggests they are morally questionable. In fact, he implies, Jebb’s failure to profit from Mexican soil and l­abor is precisely what makes him an admirable man: In the city of Mexico, where business men are—­business men, he was respected universally, and by the Indians he was adored. “He is a good man,

170  Family and Informal Empire, 1840–1926 Jebb,” said an honourable old Jewish trader of that city to me—­“a man among a thousand, whom I would trust anywhere. See, I ­will prove it to you, amigo: he has lived in this town ­doing business for years, yet, with all his opportunities, he leaves it poorer than he came h­ ere. Did you ever hear the like of that, amigo?” Would that t­ here existed more of such noble failures—­the ignoble are sufficiently abundant—­for then the world might be cleaner than it is.16

Jebb, we learn, commands the re­spect of a plural community. The Jewish trader sees him as “a good man,” worthy of the highest trust; the indigenous “adore” him; and Haggard calls him “noble.” The evidence supporting all three opinions? He has lost money in his proj­ects. He earns the highest praise for his moral character precisely ­because he fails as an agent of the informal empire—­because he has not successfully carried profit away ­after ­doing business in a vulnerable community. Haggard, who Anne McClintock reports as having an “antipathy to mining cap­i­tal­ists,”17 celebrates his friend’s poverty by saying the world would be “cleaner” if more such businessmen failed. ­A fter returning to E ­ ngland, Haggard turned his experiences into two novels: the historical tale Montezuma’s ­Daughter (1893) and the con­temporary adventure Heart of the World (1895). This chapter w ­ ill discuss both, though I focus on Montezuma’s ­Daughter. ­Here is a more detailed gloss of its plot: The story follows sixteenth-­century En­glishman Thomas Wingfield, who was born to an En­glish ­father and Spanish ­mother. Having set out to find the Spaniard who killed his m ­ other, Thomas winds up in Mexico during the final years of the Conquest, where for survival he joins the Aztec community by marrying Montezuma’s ­daughter, Otomie, and pledging himself to her ­people’s cause. Thomas becomes ­brother to the Aztec prince Guatemoc, ­father to the Aztec heirs, and military leader of the Aztec army as they fight to defeat the Spanish conquistadors led by Hernando Cortés. True to history, the Spanish are victorious. And when Thomas’s wife and ­children perish in the climactic ­battle scene, he fi­nally returns to ­England ­after two de­cades’ absence—­which is when he meets Queen Elizabeth—­and marries the fiancée of his youth, Lily. They love each other, but their relationship is strained by the fact that Thomas married and had ­children with another ­woman in the New World and that Lily can now have no c­ hildren of her own. In writing this story, Haggard drew directly on his visit to Mexico, which featured a planned but abandoned search for Montezuma’s gold. He even used Thomas Wingfield’s sorrow at the loss of his ­children to give voice to his own bottomless grief when he received word

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in Mexico that his only son, Jock, had died in E ­ ngland. (This f­ amily tragedy preempted Haggard’s search for Aztec trea­sure.) Perhaps reading the structures of nineteenth-­century informal empire into the sixteenth-­century setting of Montezuma’s ­Daughter seems far-­fetched. But Haggard dedicated the novel to none other than his luckless friend Jebb, the would-be informal imperialist who earned the re­spect of the indigenous through his failure. And in his dedication, Haggard remarks on their aborted search for Montezuma’s trea­sure. This paratext, then, links Haggard to Jebb to Thomas as three En­glishmen who do not extract Aztec wealth for their own profit. Just as Thomas refuses to transfer his Aztec f­amily’s riches to Queen Elizabeth, and just as Jebb’s failed mines make him “adored” by the indigenous of Mexico, so Haggard himself accepts that he ­will not exhume Montezuma’s gold, remarking: “So be it! . . . ​I do not regret the loss” (v). Montezu­ ma’s ­Daughter thus has two frames—an internal one that depicts Thomas refusing to pass wealth to the En­glish crown, and a paratext that expresses a parallel satisfaction, three hundred years ­later, with the continued inability of the En­glish to extract this same wealth. By dedicating Montezuma’s ­Daughter to Jebb, Haggard links the story to the nineteenth-­century agents of informal empire that he alludes to in his autobiographical account of Mexico. And like the real-­life Jebb, the fictional Thomas Wingfield in Montezuma’s ­Daughter, as well as Jones and Strickland in Heart of the World, discover that intimacy with the indigenous—­especially in the form of f­ amily ties that also create po­ liti­cal allegiance—­leads them to the moral conviction that Mexican wealth belongs to Mexicans.18 The remainder of this chapter ­will show that the familial forms of marriage and fraternity produce a broad discomfort with the ways that informal empire both figures and engenders the social. The dense material and figurative web that connected politics to ­family in the late nineteenth ­century produced contradictions around informal empire in Latin Amer­i­ca, and for Haggard’s explorers, ­these made the spoils of mining capital look less like the clean domestic work of the ­Family of Man and more like familial betrayal. In this way, Haggard is strikingly similar to an unlikely counterpart: Vicente Fidel López. Haggard wrote from the other side of the Atlantic and a generation ­later; he saw firsthand the materialization of the British–­L atin American relationship López had pushed for; and as an imperial administrator he participated in the kind of explicit British colonialism that López wished to sidestep. But although the two men gazed on Britain’s relationship with

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Latin Amer­i­ca from opposite temporal and national perspectives, their fictional explorations of it ­were conspicuously parallel. Both López’s La novia del hereje and Haggard’s Montezuma’s ­Daughter turn to the sixteenth ­century to imagine how an En­glishman might have appeared on the scene of the Spanish Conquest and fought for indigenous freedom, forming alternative, more equal, and more liberatory relations with the natives of the New World. And both novels figure the problematic of such relations through marriage, casting the En­glish hero as a loving husband to a w ­ oman whose liberty he defends against Spanish imperialism and whose wealth he does not try to extract on behalf of ­England. Like La novia del hereje, then, Montezuma’s ­Daughter levels a formal claim that certain ­family structures—­particularly non-­hierarchical ones like marriage and fraternity that are implied by informal empire’s “partner” drive—­ actually deter the imperial or “predator” drive. The two authors register an awareness of informal empire’s paradoxical discursive form that was vis­i­ble on both sides of the Atlantic and that lingered across the span of the Victorian period. But perhaps ironically, given the advancement of informal empire in his own time, Haggard emerges as the greater pessimist about British–­Latin American marriage. Suggesting that it was unlikely to redound to the benefit of ­either party, his novels portray such partnerships, even if sincere, as doomed to impoverishment and death.

Origin Origins are, in a way, the nexus of the historical and genealogical consciousnesses that dominated the British nineteenth c­ entury, helping to define (or rather to invent) a starting point for both history and ­family. And as McClintock notes, “Haggard shared with his upper-­middle-­class Victorian culture an unusually intense preoccupation with origins.”19 This is particularly vis­i­ble in his Africa novels, in which the imperial adventurers often discover an ancient ge­ne­tic link with the “lost races” they encounter. Consider the “Roman road” leading to Kukuanaland in King Solomon’s Mines, or the Zu-­ Vendi ­people in Allan Quatermain, who are “white and live in stone ­houses” and whose feudal social system c­ auses Quartermain to won­der at finding “such an old friend far in the unknown heart of Africa.”20 ­These encounters help justify the heroes’ eventual ascendancy over the p ­ eople and their resources, since they “are not appropriating a new culture but rather re-­ appropriating their own ge­ne­tic/evolutionary past, rediscovering their fabled

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imperial origin.”21 Scholars of British informal empire in Latin Amer­i­ca have suggested a similar logic is at work—­t hat nineteenth-­century writers used ­imagined kinship connections to the American indigenous to “legitimate Britain’s imperial intervention in the Spanish colonies as a mission of rightful recovery rather than of violent conquest.”22 In other words, it would seem that lit­er­a­ture of both the formal and informal empire strategically narrativized British ascendancy as connection with a ge­ne­tic origin. And yet Haggard does not stage anything like this self-­discovery in his Mexico novels. The setting cannot be a mirror in which the En­glish see themselves reflected back, principally b­ ecause they arrive belatedly to an imperial conquest already underway. In Montezuma’s ­Daughter, Thomas Wingfield does not pursue a self-­directed march across vast, “undiscovered” space to encounter curious natives sheltered from civilization; instead, he is dropped in the m ­ iddle of a turbulent, violent contact zone. This space is amenable neither to the discovery of his own genealogical beginnings nor to the imposition of En­glish imperial authority, b­ ecause it is all too apparent that Thomas has entered someone ­else’s history in medias res. The Aztec and the Spanish are already locked in the gruesome strug­gle that defined New World history for the British reading public. For this reason, Thomas, far from finding traces of his En­glish identity in Mexico, in fact has to shed that very identity the moment he arrives. When he washes ashore, shipwrecked and alone, the only En­glishman amid two enormous, warring populations, his native En­glish language becomes instantly useless. Among the Aztec he cannot even explain what it means to be an En­glishman b­ ecause “Spaniard” already occupies the place he is trying to claim—­that of a stranger from across the ocean. Montezuma’s nephew Guatemoc, who “had never so much as heard of any other white race,” cannot make sense of Thomas’s claim to En­glishness, musing, “If I have understood aright . . . ​you say that you are no Spaniard, yet that you have Spanish blood in you, and came hither in a Spanish ship, and I find this story strange” (109). In order to win the trust of the Aztec and save his own life, Thomas must prove that he is not Spanish, but he cannot do so by proving he is “En­glish” ­because it is a signifier with no signified. In fact, the Aztec call him “Teule”—­ their word for Spaniard—­for the next twenty years. Ross Forman points out that critical work on the British Empire tends to focus on spaces of deep isolation like the islands of The Tempest and Robinson Crusoe or unmapped interiors like ­t hose of Haggard’s Africa novels.23 In places like ­t hese, native

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populations are l­ittle more than a nuisance to overcome, and they do not disrupt the fantasy of a ge­ne­tic claim to empty, available land. But Conquest-­ era Mexico is vibrantly, unmistakably not empty, and as an En­glishman Thomas is himself the island, rapidly sinking into dangerous foreign ­waters. So while Quatermain and his companions discover ancient threads of their own history in Africa, Thomas discovers that he must give up his nationality in Mexico precisely ­because it has no history t­ here at all. What he finds, therefore, is not his own ancient historical origins but the necessity of founding a new origin that erases his history. ­Because Thomas cannot be En­glish in Mexico he must become Aztec. He elects to marry the princess Otomie, fully understanding the ontological change it w ­ ill work: “One ­thing I understood, if I married Otomie it must be at her own price, for then I must become an Indian” (180). And the ceremony is, indeed, a ritual of symbolic death and rebirth, the priest declaring that “as this blood of yours sinks into the earth, so may the memory of your past life sink and be forgotten, for you are born again of the ­people of Anahuac” (188). Thomas—­now Teule—­must himself swear to this rebirth: I, Teule, swear to be faithful to the ­people of Anahuac and to their lawful governors. I swear to wage war upon their foes and to compass their destruction, and more especially upon the Teules till they are driven into the sea. I swear to offer no affront to the gods of Anahuac. I swear myself in marriage to Otomie, princess of the Otomie, the d ­ aughter of Montezuma my lord, for so long as her life ­shall endure. I swear to attempt no escape from t­ hese shores. I swear to renounce my f­ ather and my ­mother, and the land where I was born, and to cling to this land of my new birth; and this my oath s­ hall endure till the volcan Popo ceases to vomit smoke and fire, till t­ here is no king in Tenoctitlan, till no priest serves the altars of the gods, and the p ­ eople of Anahuac are no more a p ­ eople. (188)

Thomas swears to this “new birth,” he insists, “­because I must, though ­there was much in the oath that I liked ­little enough” (188). And it is no won­der that he is reluctant; the ceremony makes clear that belonging is zero-­sum. To “become an Indian,” Thomas must renounce his parents, his nation, and his entire past, and give up hope of ever returning to E ­ ngland. T ­ hese oaths even change his race: shortly ­after the ceremony, Montezuma’s ­brother remarks that Thomas “till an hour ago was himself a white man” (189). To put this oath in terms of the international relations it implies, to become a partner with Mexico (literalized h ­ ere as the partnership of marriage) means

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renouncing any of the En­glish self-­interest that might lead to predation. The Aztec are wise enough to make Thomas forswear any act which, by fulfilling the interests of a foreign nation, might harm them; his promise defuses the possibility of his acting on behalf of En­glish imperialism. It is apparent, moreover, that the familial and the national are dif­fer­ent scalar levels of the same familial form, as a single oath strips Thomas of f­ amily and nation si­mul­ta­ neously, remaking him as an Aztec husband and a “­brother in blood and heart” (188), as well as a soldier of the Aztec cause. So, like the En­glishmen in Haggard’s Africa stories, Thomas ends up with a familial connection to the native ­people, and this has narrative effect, changing his perceived origins. But unlike the heroes in Africa, Thomas is assimilated into native history, not the other way around. While Quatermain and com­pany discover their own historical origins in Africa, Thomas finds that Mexico erases his. His origin h ­ ere is a new beginning as someone ­else, both genealogically and po­liti­cally.

Hybridity But if Mexico ­doesn’t allow the fantasy of direct En­glish rule through the discovery of ancient kinship, perhaps it supports informal empire by the creation of con­temporary ­family bonds. One prominent critical model of British informal empire in Latin Amer­i­ca argues precisely this, that literary depictions of familial ties to Latin American Creoles or indigenous ­people—­like Thomas’s with the Aztec—­merely served as ideological cover for the British pursuit of power and profit. In other words, Britain’s two drives—­k inship and imperial possession (what I have been shorthanding as partnership and predation)—­operated on a surface/depth model. Kinship relations ­were a kind of feint, not countering but rather serving Britain’s aspirations to economic dominance. Rebecca Cole Heinowitz, for instance, argues that Romantic writers ­imagined “a British ascendancy in the Spanish colonies as justified by moral and cultural kinship with the indigenous population.”24 By this logic, Thomas’s rebirth, his shift in identity, is not real; it is a put-on masking his inevitably imperial intent. And when Thomas is still a young child in ­England, his ­father instills in him a warning that would seem to echo this model: “You are half a Spaniard, Thomas, your skin and eyes tell their own tale, but what­ever skin and eyes may tell, let your heart give them the lie. Keep your heart En­glish, Thomas; let no foreign dev­ilments enter ­there” (11). Thomas’s f­ ather tries to teach him

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that hybridity can be a surface condition beneath which one’s “heart” can be true to E ­ ngland. And at first, Thomas’s new commitments in Mexico do seem more feigned than sincere. In the first days ­after his vows of repatriation he says that he “went dressed as an Indian warrior” (191, my emphasis) to a parley with the Spaniards, suggesting his role is more costume than identity. And days ­later, on the battlefield of the Noche Triste (a famous Aztec victory over the Spanish that Montezuma’s ­Daughter gives Thomas credit for devising), he encounters conquistador Bernal Díaz, who is startled by Thomas’s apparent hybridity, exclaiming, “Holy M ­ other! who are you? An Aztec who speaks Castilian?” Thomas immediately denies his brand-­new Aztec identity: “I am no Aztec. . . . ​I am an En­glishman and I fight with the Aztecs that I may slay him whom you name Sarceda. But with you I have no quarrel, Bernal Diaz. Begone and escape if you can” (196–197). Mere days a­ fter swearing an oath to be “born again of the p ­ eople of Anahuac,” Thomas asserts that he is “no Aztec.” And by letting Díaz escape, claiming to have “no quarrel” with a man waging war against the Aztec, he further violates his promise to make their ­causes his own. Instead, Thomas assures Díaz that he is allied with the Aztec only as a pragmatic way to fulfill a dif­fer­ent oath—­the one he took to avenge his ­mother’s death.25 Though he promised to renounce his En­glish ­family, he still puts his duty to them above the duty he has just sworn to his Aztec f­ amily. In fact, Thomas never fully loses his En­glish identity. Even a­ fter twenty years of living with the Aztec, he retains the conviction that their faith and religious rites are “savage,” and although his three sons with Otomie have dark skin, Thomas calls them “En­glish boys and not Indian, for I christened them all, and taught them our En­glish tongue and faith” (259). It would seem that throughout his time in Mexico he heeds his f­ ather’s warning not to let hybridity be anything more than skin deep. Anaya Ferreira argues that this kinship-­ surface/imperial-­depth model is the essence of Thomas’s relationship with the Aztec, that “aunque aparentemente llega a asimilarse por completo a la sociedad azteca, en el fondo nunca se integra y retiene siempre su fe cristiana, su conducta caballerosa y sus innatas virtudes morales puritanas, ‘cualidades’ que en última instancia lo hacen superior a los indígenas.”26 In this analy­sis, Thomas’s sworn commitment to Aztec familial and po­liti­c al belonging is merely a surface he wears over his much deeper connection to ­England and to the reproduction of En­glishness in his ­family line. But the novel teaches us repeatedly that both feigning and oath-­breaking are deeply dishonorable. Still early in his marriage to Otomie, Thomas sug-

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gests they dress as peasants to escape danger, a proposal his wife only disdainfully agrees to: Presently she was clad, and minced before me with savage mockery, saying: “Prithee, soldier, do I look my part?” “A peace to such fooling,” I answered; “our lives are at stake, what does it ­matter how we disguise ourselves?” “It ­matters much, husband, but how can you understand, who are a man and a foreigner?” (244)

Thomas attributes Otomie’s icy contempt to “savage” class prejudice, but he clearly misses her point. Suggesting that ­there is no honor in escaping death through disguise, Otomie seems to pick up on the parallel between this moment and the one pages ­earlier where Thomas elected to marry her and renounce ­England in order to save his own life. If this narrow escape is achieved through feint, perhaps the last one was as well; perhaps Thomas took his marriage vows with crossed fin­gers. Perhaps he is not Aztec but only “dressed as” one. Choosing this moment to call Thomas a “foreigner,” Otomie connects feigned or disguised identity to outsider status, tacitly accusing him of only feigning his belonging with the Aztec and further suggesting that such a feint is morally shameful. Thomas, though, already understands the shame of breaking vows. The entire narrative is catalyzed by the oath he swears to find his m ­ other’s killer, and when he leaves ­England he tells his fiancée, Lily, “do not weep, I have sworn to do it, and ­were I to break my oath I should be dishonoured” (41). And just as that aversion to dishonor drives him to the Amer­i­cas, so too do his promises to the Aztec produce real claims on his be­hav­ior. He may swear his oaths reluctantly, but he keeps them, never abandoning Otomie or the Aztec rebellion to seek his old life in ­England. In fact, he is twice given the opportunity to save his own life and return to ­England by betraying his Aztec ­family, and twice he declines. In the first instance, his Spanish captors give him a choice between a painful death and safe passage to ­England in exchange for the location of Montezuma’s trea­sure, but remembering “my oath and Otomie” (228), and swearing not to betray “my ­brother’s secret” (a reference to the prince Guatemoc), he stays s­ilent (233). L ­ ater, when the Aztec sit doomed in their final stronghold, he again rejects the Spanish offer of a return to ­England, saying, “I cannot come, for my wife and son are [in the ­temple], and I must return to die with them if need be” (287). In both cases he gives up

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what he expects is his last chance to ever see his En­glish f­ amily again, believing his sworn vows to his Aztec f­amily—­his ­brother and wife—to have the stronger claim on his honor. While he may originally have liked his Aztec oaths “­little enough,” they do effectively make him ­family. And despite Otomie’s fears, Thomas never feigns his love for his Aztec relations. Guatemoc calls Thomas “my b­ rother in blood and heart” (188), which Thomas echoes when he says that Guatemoc “became my dear companion and ­brother in arms” (108) and calls him “my friend and blood ­brother” (211). T ­ hese par­tic­u­lar turns of phrase reference Thomas’s initiation ceremony, during which he was “baptized” with Guatemoc’s blood, and they therefore doubly signify the bond of Thomas’s oath and fraternal relation. Likewise, his marriage to Otomie is not merely a lifesaving necessity; he falls in love with her even before they are wed, remarking, “I felt that no ­woman could ever be so dear to me as this glorious w ­ oman, no, not even my [En­glish] betrothed” (171). Twenty years l­ater, as Otomie lays d ­ ying, she specifically remarks that Thomas has felt both duty and real love ­toward her: “You swore that death alone should sever us, and you have kept your oath in the letter and in the thought” (310–311). He has kept his promise in the technical sense and the felt sense, a duality he repeats moments l­ater: “I loved her well and I was faithful in my oath to her” (311). Duty and love in fact change Thomas’s identity. No longer merely “dressed as an Indian warrior,” by the end of the novel he refers to himself as “I, an Indian chief” (265), expressing his self-­identification as an Aztec man. He re-­ encounters Díaz ­after the war has ended and his f­ amily has perished (ending his commitment to the Aztec), but where he once declared to him “I am no Aztec,” this time he greets Díaz “­a fter the Indian fashion by touching the earth with my hand, for what was I but an Indian captive?” (296). He never loses his En­glishness, as we see in the way he raises his sons, but this duality is precisely what makes him hybrid. He is still En­glish, but he is also, by his own assessment, “Indian.” Kinship, marriage, community belonging—­these are no feint. Far from being impostures that mask En­glish self-­interest, they are sincere ties that significantly erode En­glishness itself. Let’s now translate t­ hese interpersonal f­ amily ties back into the language of the international relations they trope. The way Thomas’s f­ ather suggests he move through the world, a hybrid on the surface but an En­glishman at heart, is a figure for the surface/depth model of informal empire, in which familial relations are merely a cover for the promotion of En­glish self-­interest. But

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Thomas’s experience in Mexico suggests that neither impulse, one to partner with Amer­i­ca on behalf of her freedom and the other to promote En­glish supremacy, is in fact more “real” than the other. ­Under examination, partnership with Latin Amer­i­ca is a moral good and a m ­ atter of honor, but so is the dominance and continuance of En­glish cultural heritage. T ­ hese two halves of the discourse of informal empire are much more complicatedly arranged than surface and depth; they are, like Thomas’s divided loyalties, two warring parts of an irresolvable ­whole. Once again, this dynamic marks informal empire as differently formed than its formal counterpart. In Haggard’s Africa novels, the En­glish heroes may well love native w ­ omen and join their po­liti­cal ­causes, but they never risk becoming African b­ ecause they never have to shed their En­glish identity. Far from being cut off from home, they are connected to it by an imperial network of British settlers and coastal shipping routes. They speak En­glish, travel in a supportive group, and retain their cultural practices. Forming a f­ amily in Africa, then, poses no threat to national identity. Compare Thomas’s marriage to Otomie, which strips him of En­glish belonging and repatriates him as Aztec, with Sir Henry Curtis’s marriage to Queen Nyleptha of the Zu-­Vendi in Allan Quatermain. Like Thomas, Curtis’s marriage binds him to a native ­people, but it does so on his own terms. ­Because the Zu-­Vendi marriage ceremony does not make him “feel half married,” he readily takes Quatermain’s suggestion that he “read the En­glish marriage ser­vice . . . ​to give it the sanction of your own religion.” And his bride, “fully understanding that her husband wished to celebrate the marriage according to the rites prevailing in his own country,” makes no objection.27 This marriage performs precisely the opposite of Thomas’s, displaying the primacy of the groom’s En­glish belonging and making clear that his membership in the Zu-­Vendi nation depends on their willing ac­cep­tance of this. The marriage further makes Curtis king-­consort, a nominally inferior position to his wife’s, but she gives him full ruling authority, saying, “thy w ­ ill 28 ­shall be my w ­ ill, and thy ways my ways” —­this entails not Zu-­Vendi-­f ying himself but rather, we learn, Christianizing his new community. Thomas, meanwhile, has pledged to subordinate his own national prejudices to Aztec ­causes, and he notably fails to Christianize the Aztec, not even his own wife, who, far from deferring to him in all t­ hings, mocks him when she disagrees with him. His marriage, in short, makes him a partner but does not enable his dominance within that partnership. Curtis, on the other hand, enters into

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a partnership that is openly unequal, enabling him to be both partner and predator in Africa ­because his ­family takes an overtly patriarchal, hierarchical form. Like Thomas, he becomes part of both the domestic and national ­family, but it is as an En­glishman atop the imperial F ­ amily of Man. Homi Bhabha’s concept of mimicry, in which imperialists work to render the colonized “almost the same but not quite,”29 also obtains in Curtis’s case, where he rules over and culturally colonizes a population that, partly due to their implied ancestral connection, are implausibly receptive to imperial rule. But in Montezuma’s ­Daughter, it is not the Aztecs who are constructed as the mimics; rather, it is Thomas who must become “almost the same but not quite”—­retaining kernels of his En­glish identity while “becoming an Indian.” This inversion both results from Thomas’s practical inability to rule in Mexico, and, as we w ­ ill see, in turn makes him ethically averse to the pursuit of informal empire.

Antagonistic Relations Thomas’s hybrid nature, a figure for the twinned discourses of informal empire, is not stable but in a constant state of antagonism, which appears as an international crisis of familial loyalty. Thomas ­faces a choice between an Aztec and an En­glish fiancée, each of whom represent both the nuclear f­ amily and the national f­ amily to which he w ­ ill belong. It is a binary and mutually exclusive choice. Before marrying Otomie, Thomas tells her that he is already engaged to Lily, his fiancée in ­England, and Otomie replies: “She is vowed to you in marriage. . . . ​W hy, then we are equal, for so am I. . . . ​Though I bear her no ill ­will, between me and her ­t here is a strug­gle to the death. We are strangers to each other, and strangers we ­shall remain, but she has touched your hand as I touch it now; you link us together and are our bond of enmity” (147). Stressing that the two vows of engagement are “equal” demands on Thomas’s honor, Otomie frames them as fundamentally antagonistic precisely ­because equal. Thomas simply cannot marry two w ­ omen, and the competing promises are a triadic relational structure held in zero-­sum dynamic tension. On the day he marries Otomie, he reflects specifically on this antagonism: Once my hands w ­ ere tied by this marriage [I could never return to E ­ ngland] during Otomie’s lifetime, and so far as Lily Bozard was concerned I should be dead. How could I be thus faithless to her memory and my troth, and on the other

H. Rider Haggard and the Antagonism of Valid Fiancées    181 hand, how could I discard the ­woman who had risked all for me, and who, to speak truth, had grown so dear to me, though ­there was one yet dearer? A hero or an angel might find a path out of this tangle, but alas! I was neither the one nor the other, only a man afflicted as other men are with h ­ uman weakness. (180–181)

This choice is complicatedly, messily, irreducibly, about both love and citizenship at the same time. Each marriage represents a dif­fer­ent pos­si­ble life, both romantic and national. This is no mere lark or adventure; Thomas ­will owe his f­ uture to Otomie, to the Aztec p ­ eople, and to Mexico, effectively causing his own death in the photo-­negative f­amily he might have had in E ­ ngland. This “tangle” has no pos­si­ble remedy. In an analy­sis of Antigone, George Eliot calls the heroine’s forced choice between ­family and citizenship an “antagonism of valid princi­ples.” Leila May paraphrases Hegel’s interpretation of the same conflict as “a war between good and good.”30 This could also be described as Antigone’s conflict between the two scalar levels of familial community—­the domestic and the national. In Montezuma’s ­Daughter, Thomas ­faces an international version of this same choice. He is caught not between the domestic and the national like Antigone but rather between two dif­fer­ent national versions of their ­union. His two choices of bride each represent ­family and national belonging, one in ­England and one in Mexico. As Otomie says, both are equal, and as Thomas feels, both are legitimate. This tension is an antagonism of valid fiancées, each representing a dif­fer­ent politico-­family.31 Montezuma’s ­Daughter, then, participates in the complex discourse of nineteenth-­century sociality in which ­family relations both trope the nation and produce its subjects’ commitment. Thomas’s two pos­si­ble marriages are not merely the sides of a love triangle, but also parallels for Britain’s dual ambitions in Latin Amer­i­ca: one an affective and moral solidarity with the Americans who fought against Spain (partnership), and the other an abiding self-­interest (predation). We might also describe ­t hese as an antagonism of valid princi­ples, since to the British they would likely both seem good. Their antagonism, then, could be difficult to see, since informal empire seems to offer both in one geopo­liti­cal package. This is how the surface/depth model of informal empire pre­sents the two ideas—­not as antagonistic but mutually constitutive, a complex but coherent ­whole offering the British two moral goods in one. But when rendered as specific f­amily commitments—­not

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abstract discourses of po­liti­cal orientation but the potential relations among Lily, Thomas, and Otomie, not as antagonistic princi­ples but antagonistic fiancées—it is clear that they are mutually interrupting. On their wedding night, Otomie reminds Thomas that “we are one till death, for such vows as ours cannot be broken.” And Thomas, agreeing with her but expressing the essential paradox of honoring unbreakable vows by breaking identical vows, adds: “our oaths are lifelong, though other oaths have been broken that they might be sworn” (190–191). Presented as two literal marriages, commitment to Mexico and commitment to ­England are not complementary halves of a coherent w ­ hole but rather indissoluble, irreconcilable alternatives, choosing one of which always means refusing the other. They are, as Otomie describes herself and Lily, two “strangers,” “linked,” but locked in “a strug­gle to the death.” Even though Thomas does marry both w ­ omen—­Otomie in his youth and Lily in his m ­ iddle age—­separating them sequentially does not resolve their antagonism, as instead, each relationship poisons the other. Throughout his twenty years with Otomie, he thinks of Lily: Memory would rise up against me, and time upon time I would lie awake at night, even by the side of Otomie, and remember and repent. . . . ​For I was a stranger in a strange land, and though my home was t­ here and my c­ hildren w ­ ere about me, the longing for my other home was yet with me, and I could not put away the memory of that Lily whom I had lost. . . . ​The thought of her went with me like my shadow; it shone across the stormy love of Otomie, I remembered it even in my ­children’s kiss. (265)

Lily “rise[s] up” in his mind while he is with Otomie, casting a “shadow” on that marriage, but when he returns to ­England, fi­nally ­free to marry the love of his youth, it is Otomie who rises up to taint their first kiss: “And yet as our lips met I thought of Otomie” (323). It is not just that he loves each ­woman; the strength of each love, paradoxically, weakens the other. His twenty-­year commitment to Otomie necessarily distances him from Lily, and he remarks, “The gulf between us widened with the widening years” (265). But his En­ glishness, in par­tic­u­lar his Chris­tian­ity, also distances him from Otomie, and about this distance he remarks nearly identically, “­There was a g­ reat gulf between us which widened with the years” (311–312). Thomas is fully committed to each ­woman, and yet his decision to live in Mexico produces a “gulf” between him and his En­glish wife, while his En­glish religion produces a “gulf”

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between him and his Mexican wife. T ­ hese marriages are not merely mutually exclusive commitments, but mutually destructive ones. Once again, however, sincerity is key to this antagonism. In the surface/ depth model of informal empire, expressions of love, solidarity, or kinship with Americans do not contradict British imperial self-­interest ­because they are not sincere. And Thomas raises the analogous possibility that he might only pretend to love Otomie. Noting that he had to marry Otomie or die, he says he might easily “have declared myself to my affianced and to all the world as a slave of events from which ­there was no escape” (181). But Thomas is repeatedly depicted as driven by three forces—­his commitment to honoring oaths, his hatred of the Spanish empire, and his real love for Otomie—­and the novel teaches us to value all three as moral goods. Feigning them for the sake of preserving or strengthening his En­glish marriage would make him an unpardonable cad, deceitful to a w ­ oman who loves him and unsympathetic to a worthy po­liti­cal cause. Indeed, he concludes that he could not in good conscience pretend that his marriage to Otomie was a mere con­ve­nience, stating that in the m ­ atter of his two lovers—­the antagonism of competing fiancées—­“my mind was divided” (181). At the end of his life, ­a fter he has buried both wives, he hopes that in heaven “­there is no marrying and giving in marriage,” ­because “I do not know how my wives, Montezuma’s ­daughter and the sweet En­glish gentlewoman, would agree together ­were it other­wise” (7). But even in his imagination, in the utopia of heaven, he cannot be sure that t­ hese two commitments can be reconciled—­that is how strongly they are at odds. As an invocation of Britain’s choice to support Latin American sovereignty or their own supremacy, we can see the implication that both should be sincerely felt, but that at the same time, honoring each means forgoing the other. This ­family form, the antagonism of competing fiancées, is not a stable if dynamic dialectic but rather a dysfunctional paradox. A number of theoretical approaches to f­ amily form lend their own vocabulary to this impasse. Sara Ahmed, for instance, argues that when polities express their unity as a function of mutual love, the “sticky” quality of that love, its capacity to bind ­people together, also necessarily creates exclusion.32 Like many theorists of social belonging, Derrida argues that politics relies on filiation, which he defines as e­ ither “real fraternity” (blood) or “spiritual fraternity” (affinity), to unite a p ­ eople. He further interprets Montaigne as arguing that spiritual fraternity—or “sovereign friendship”—­can only be made with one friend b­ ecause of “the si­mul­ta­neously po­liti­c al and apo­liti­c al, or

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a-­civic, structure of a perfect friendship which assumes the impossibility of honouring multiple demands and ­doing one’s duty.”33 And Leela Gandhi, whose book Affective Communities owes much to Derrida, puts this in the specific context of how a relationship with a stranger or outsider may threaten one’s national belonging. She argues that Derridean “philoxenia” (friendship with the stranger) can cause one to “becom[e] strange or guestlike in her own domain, w ­ hether this be home, nation, community, race, gender, sex, skin, or species.”34 All three theories suggest that filiative bonds of social relation get their strength in part by excluding filiation with ­others. To be fully bonded into a national ­family, one cannot have equally strong relations with an “outsider.” In a formulation that exquisitely captures Thomas Wingfield’s predicament, Gandhi writes that “friendships t­ oward strangers or foreigners, in par­tic­u­lar, carry exceptional risks, as their fulfillment may at any time ‘constitute a felony contra patriam.’ ”35 This is the crux of Thomas’s dual engagements and the twinned discourses of British informal empire that they figure. In both cases, when the En­glish forge real attachments (not feigned ones) to the Mexican ­people, ­these relations make demands that compete with En­glish colonial interests. They cause a felony contra imperium.

Relational Success and Generational Failure The “felony” produced by dueling familial relations is ultimately against the ­future of the imperial En­glish ­family. Thomas’s two fiancées not only represent mutually exclusive synchronic structures of family-­nation belonging, but also two forking diachronic narratives. Reminding him on the eve of their ­union that “in such a marriage you renounce your past and give me your ­future” (185), Otomie suggests that committing to her re-­forms the narrative of Thomas’s life. It performatively vacates his biological birth and early life, instead beginning his story with his Aztec wedding vows. Likewise, what remains of the story of his life must now (as far as they all know) end in, and produce closure on behalf of, Mexico. This is reminiscent of concerns about how British–­Latin American relations might call into question whose pro­gress narrative the f­ uture would see told (as discussed extensively in chapters 1 and 2). And it is also a striking example of how genealogical consciousness and historical consciousness in the late nineteenth ­century ­were potently mutual. ­Family form enacts narrative form by filtering the events of Thomas’s life through the mesh of a new set of relations. When he marries into the Aztec

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f­ amily, he w ­ ill no longer have a f­ uture in the En­glish f­ amily, e­ ither personal or imperial. If Haggard shared his late Victorian milieu’s obsession with origins, he also shared their related preoccupation with generational descent, particularly in its patrilineal form. T ­ hese are of course connected, especially in the nineteenth-­ century British novel, which, as Barry McCrea argues, so often ends in marriage as a way of marking a new origin, fulfilling another turn in the cycle of generational continuity.36 Haggard himself was “fervently attached to the dynastic ambitions of his ­family and class but frustrated in ­these ambitions by historical change,” and his imperial fictions enact the fantasy of primogenital dynasty he could not achieve in his own life.37 Allan Quatermain uses the fantasy of ancient origins to bring the British to power in Africa and begin a new generation of imperial rule through marriage and procreation. Curtis not only rules over the Zu-­Vendi p ­ eople by virtue of his marriage to Nyleptha, but also produces an infant son and heir, “a regular curly-­haired, blue-­eyed young En­glishman in looks.” This boy, Curtis says, w ­ ill both “inherit the throne of Zu-­Vendis” and “become what an En­glish gentleman should be, and generally is—­which is to my mind even a prouder and a finer t­hing than being born heir apparent to the g­ reat House of the Stairway, and, indeed, the highest rank that a man can reach upon this earth.”38 The child represents the ­future of both the Zu-­Vendi and the En­glish f­amily b­ ecause the two have been joined in imperial familial form—­a ­union made pos­si­ble ­because ­there is no antagonism of competing filiation. Curtis’s primary filiation is to the British imperial ­family, and his marriage to Nyleptha makes her a member of it. Marrying into the Zu-­Vendi ­family ­causes no felony against the British Empire but rather expands its reach. For this reason, t­ hese imperial fantasies do not interrupt but rather strengthen En­glish families at home; as McClintock notes, the journey in King Solomon’s Mines restores Curtis’s missing ­brother, helps bond Quatermain to his son, and turns mineral plunder into the means of upward mobility into the gentry, “promising therewith the continuity, however tenuous, of the landed patriarch.”39 Imperial spoils materially sustain the ­future of the imperial ­family. ­W hether it is the heroes of King Solomon’s Mines returning home with unpre­ce­dented mineral wealth, or the Scotsman in Allan Quatermain set to return with thirty thousand pounds ­after having made his homestead “blossom like a r­ose in the wilderness,”40 adventures in Africa provide handsome financial support for the families of the Empire.

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Haggard’s preoccupation with the legacies of patrilineal descent, both in his own life and his African fictions, make the shattered families of his Mexico novels all the more significant. That is not to say that Thomas’s adventures in Mexico have no imperial aspect. Indeed, he is ethnocentric and religiously intolerant. He rises to a position of leadership among the Aztecs, “cleanses” their culture of h ­ uman sacrifice, redesigns their armies a­ fter En­glish military models, and f­ athers sons (“En­glish boys”) who are set to inherit the Aztec empire. But Thomas is never able to change the religious beliefs of the ­people he leads, and what power he does accrue only exacerbates his ultimate crushing failure. Summing up his time in Mexico, he laments: “My oath was fulfilled and my vengeance was accomplished, but . . . ​the tribe that I ruled was conquered, the beautiful city where I dwelt was a ruin, I was homeless and a beggar, and my fortune would be g­ reat if in the issue I escaped death or slavery. All this I could have borne, for I had borne the like before, but the cruel end of my last surviving son, the one true joy of my desolate life, I could not bear” (306). In both Montezuma’s ­Daughter and Heart of the World, En­glishmen are imperially impotent. Hampered at the outset by their need to form real partnerships with the indigenous, what cultural supremacy they do build comes to nothing when Mexican religions are too per­sis­tent to be changed, Anglo-­ American offspring that seem to promise dynastic rule are killed, and the indigenous races are ultimately wiped out. And while the En­glish in Africa build a unified imperial ­family that strengthens their legacy both at home and abroad, each of Thomas’s two antagonistic families are left barren. His three sons with Otomie are killed, summarily discontinuing the narrative of descent in his Aztec ­family. And by the time Thomas returns to E ­ ngland and marries Lily, he has loved Otomie too well to forget her, and, likely due to his long absence, ­there are destined to be no En­glish progeny, e­ ither. Thomas and Lily’s only child dies in infancy, ­after which, “when she had abandoned further hope of ­children, . . . ​Lily grew jealous of t­ hose dead sons of mine and of my ever pre­sent love for them” (326). In the end, Thomas notes sadly, “it was fated that I should die childless” (328). This is a marked deviation from the typical nineteenth-­century British novel, which was “in the thrall of a sort of fertility cult, where all sense of beginnings and endings are predicated upon marriage and procreation.”41 While King Solo­ mon’s Mines and Allan Quatermain achieve narrative closure by shoring up the ­family ­future, in Montezuma’s ­Daughter both of Thomas’s marriages con-

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spicuously fail to produce a line of descent, symbolizing an end to domestic and national narrative. This is, in large part, due to the presence of the two antagonistic marriages: marriage to Otomie cannot bear fruit ­because this would mean total abandonment of the En­glish narrative, and marriage to Lily cannot bear fruit b­ ecause the marriage to Otomie has interrupted it. Each set of relations is so impor­ tant, so real, so successful, that it prevents the other from successfully producing a line of descent. McCrea argues that the En­glish novel of this period gets its form from the obsession with f­amily, and that its plot often revolves around the introduction of a stranger who “must interrupt the f­ amily and break it apart to allow it to reconstitute itself healthily in another generation.”42 The nuclear ­family “neutralizes [the stranger], brings him in from the wilderness and assimilates him to the syntax of genealogy and kinship, rerouting his energies back into f­ amily life and, by extension, civilized society.”43 In this case, Otomie would be the stranger, and Lily the intended wife. But Otomie does not serve as a plot device for delaying and ultimately strengthening the intended En­glish nuclear ­family. Rather, she becomes the nexus of a second, just as legitimate f­ amily structure, whose gravity pulls Thomas to a halfway point between two equally valid networks of belonging. If the novel is a marriage plot, it is not one in which an unsuccessful marriage is mere plot device before the consummation of a successful one. And if British–­Latin American relations are a marriage plot, it is not one in which the international partnership is mere narrative device used to leverage a stronger British imperial ­Family of Man. Each wife, and each po­liti­cal position, is valid, and honoring e­ ither undermines the other. They are locked in an unresolvable paradox, in which the undiminishable validity of each diminishes the validity of the other. Mon­ tezuma’s ­Daughter therefore suggests that it is not formally pos­si­ble to build one coherent, fruitful narrative out of two distinct f­ amily forms. The fact that Thomas’s marriages do not lead to imperial rule or generational dynasty might be more damaging to fantasies of territorial colonialism, however, than to fantasies of informal empire, which specifically bypasses direct rule. In fact, so long as Thomas is enriched during his adventure, we could read the novel as precisely propagandizing for the dynamics of informal empire: En­glish plunder of Latin American wealth during a state of compromised sovereignty. And yet, as I discussed in the opening to this chapter, Thomas refuses to transfer Aztec wealth to the emergent En­glish empire.

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Although he returns to ­England in possession of priceless mineral wealth, he pacifies Queen Elizabeth’s material greed by giving her only a single gemstone, while withholding the remainder and burying it under­ground for eternity. The reason for this act is the loyalty he feels to his Aztec f­ amily relations—to his wife, Otomie, and his b­ rother, Guatemoc. Marriage, of course, does not and did not have to mean equality, nor in the nineteenth c­ entury was it a particularly good institution for the preservation of wealth from patriarchal power. In fact, marriage might make a perfect figure for informal empire, as it specifically and legally oversaw the transfer of a bride’s wealth into a husband’s possession and curtailed her sovereignty. But that makes it all the more remarkable that Montezuma’s ­Daughter does not figure marriage as informal-­ empire-­through-­coverture. Instead, as a husband Thomas sees himself as having a moral duty to ensure that his wife’s wealth is disposed of according to her own wishes, which specifically means not allowing it to become fodder for En­glish imperial power. The marriage, far from serving as a conduit through which mineral wealth may pass into En­glish coffers, acts as a blockade. Even Haggard’s use of titles suggests his interest in ­family over empire. The title King Solomon’s Mines advertises the plunder the heroes successfully carry home. But Haggard did not give his first Mexico novel the analogous title (and familiar phrase) Montezuma’s Trea­sure. Instead, by calling it Montezuma’s ­Daughter he foregrounds what Thomas w ­ ill carry home—­not riches but ­family connections. He possesses the “priceless” necklace only b­ ecause of his wife’s love, and he possesses the secret of the trea­sure only ­because Guatemoc recognized him as an Aztec “­brother in blood and heart.” Thomas has “extracted” Latin American wealth only ­because of his Aztec ­family relations, and t­ hese same relations convince him to protect that wealth from ­England’s reach. To put this in terms of informal empire, Thomas does not leverage transnational ­family in order to extract wealth. This is the dynamic in both Allan Quatermain and King Solomon’s Mines, where “all that had to be accomplished to succeed to the trea­sure was a demonstration of ­family resemblance.”44 Rather, by ceremoniously gifting a single gemstone to Queen Elizabeth, Thomas puts on a show of imperial wealth extraction as a cover so that he can honor his Aztec ­family. He has not pretended to be a good partner in order to be an imperial predator—he has pretended to be an imperial predator in order to be a good partner. And the result is not support for En­glish imperialism but disgust for it. So while uniting African w ­ omen into the singular ­family relations of the British Empire ser­vices and reproduces imperi-

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alism, Thomas’s two valid but mutually exclusive ­family relations have caused a “felony contra imperium,” which is to say that they have denied the empire its spoils. If informal empire relies on the dual drive to both defend Latin American sovereignty and profit by it, Montezuma’s ­Daughter shows that the models of international f­amily implied by each drive are mutually exclusive. In Haggard’s oeuvre, then, dif­fer­ent settings are not merely interchangeable backdrops for the imperial adventure story; rather, they condition dif­fer­ ent possibilities for En­glish power. What McClintock describes as the ascendancy of three British o­ rders—­“the male, reproductive order of patriarchal monogamy; the white economic order of mining capital; and the global, po­liti­ cal order of empire”45 —is unavailable in Mexico, where the imminent triumph of the Spanish over the Aztec makes any En­glish interest in conquest hopelessly belated. Nor can Thomas act the part of the informal imperialist, which so regularly involved speaking in forked-­tongue praise of both Latin American sovereignty and British imperial rule, b­ ecause he simply cannot do both. He can join the Spanish and conquer Mexico or he can join the Aztecs and fight Eu­ro­pean colonialism, but he cannot be liberator and conqueror at the same time. He might well wish to do both: Thomas interprets the indigenous ­people through a racialized hierarchy and a colonial gaze, but he also believes it is honorable to defend them against Spanish imperialism. He models both an imperial and anti-­imperial perspective at the same time, and as such, he is a figure for Britain’s two-­faced aims in Latin Amer­i­ca in the nineteenth ­century. But Montezuma’s ­Daughter pre­sents t­ hese conjoined discourses as inseparably divided, both across a literal b­ attle line and across marriage vows that can be made only with one bride at a time.

The Nineteenth ­Century The connection to informal empire is even more unmistakable in Haggard’s next Mexico novel. Two years ­after penning Montezuma’s ­Daughter he published Heart of the World (1895), which tells an extremely similar story. Both novels follow an En­glishman in Mexico who, for his own personal reasons, becomes involved in the fight for indigenous in­de­pen­dence. Both En­glishmen become as close as ­brothers with an indigenous prince and both marry an indigenous princess. They both face the risks of a culture of ­human sacrifice and narrowly survive, both are ultimately made heir to a kingdom that is

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doomed to die, and in both novels a vast trea­sure is left b­ ehind, buried forever. Heart of the World’s dynamics of belonging, f­ amily commitment, and the failure to profit from the collapse of indigenous sovereignty are strongly parallel to t­ hose of Montezuma’s ­Daughter, and I w ­ ill not rehash them. A difference worth remarking, however, is Heart of the World ’s direct engagement with informal empire. Set this time in nineteenth-­century Mexico, the story not only figures the discourses of international relations through individual familial relations, but also introduces a­ ctual British “informal imperialists” like Jebb into the novel. Using a frame structure, Heart of the World tells its story through not one but two En­glishmen who have traveled to in­de­pen­dent Mexico to make their fortune by overseeing mining proj­ects that use indigenous ­labor. The novel therefore blends the fantasies of Montezuma’s ­Daughter with the present-­day realities of informal empire that Haggard saw firsthand. That Haggard essentially rewrote Montezuma’s ­Daughter but added direct references to British mining proj­ects is strong evidence that he had informal empire in mind when composing both stories. Just as it is in Haggard’s autobiography, nineteenth-­century British mining in Mexico appears in Heart of the World as unfeasible, unprofitable, and undesirable. The two En­glishmen who have come to attempt it are James Strickland, whose adventures with the “Indian” Ignatio form the plot of the novel, and Jones, who receives the story from an el­derly Ignatio in the frame. Jones, perhaps a figure for Jebb himself, notes in the novel’s opening pages that “life at a mine in Chiapas, though doubtless it has some compensations, does not altogether fulfil a Eu­ro­pe­a n’s ideal of happiness.”46 On top of suffering from the difficult work, the risk of fever, the inhospitable climate, and the remote location, Jones grows “too poor” to return to ­England (14). Strickland likewise cannot keep his mines operational and winds up broke: “With the exception of one thousand dollars which remain to my credit in Mexico, I have spent all my own money that I had saved upon this mine, and of that thousand dollars, eight hundred are due . . . ​for back pay, so, what­ever trade I take to next, I ­shall not begin as a rich man” (41). ­These accounts, consistent with Haggard’s and Jebb’s, hardly advertise for British cap­i­tal­ist success in Mexico at the fin de siècle. Moreover, ­these failures, like Jebb’s, are framed as ethical. Strickland demonstrates his good character by abandoning mining—­including the possibility of once again exhuming Montezuma’s trea­sure (still undiscovered three hundred years ­after Thomas Wingfield’s death)—to help Ignatio reignite an

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indigenous rebellion against Mexican authority. The looting of trea­sure is set against support for indigenous rights, a contrast made clearer by the merciless and avaricious Spaniard Don Pedro, who plans to find Montezuma’s trea­ sure by torturing the location out of an indigenous priest and his d ­ aughter. Salivating over his potential bounty, Don Pedro says it ­will make him “rich as the Queen of E ­ ngland” (107). The contrast, therefore, between loot and indigenous rights is not simply a binary opposition between rapacious Spain and noble E ­ ngland; both Queen Elizabeth in Montezuma’s ­Daughter and Queen Victoria in Heart of the World are figured as imperial, associated with the desire to possess indigenous trea­sure despite the wishes of its Mexican ­owners. In this way they are quite like not only the Spanish in Mexico but also the En­glish heroes of King Solomon’s Mines, who eagerly loot the trea­sure of Kukuanaland against the w ­ ill of its local guardian. Thomas Wingfield and James Strickland, however, both of whom become “­brothers” with their indigenous companions, offer a contrast to their own metropole by honoring indigenous guardians over imperial En­glish desire. Strickland and Jones, like Thomas, do each inherit wealth through their Mexican relations—­specifically through their brotherly connection to Ignatio. As a young man, Ignatio gives Strickland the location of Montezuma’s gold, and as an old man, he bequeaths his prospering farm to Jones. This might seem to propagandize for such transfers of property into En­glish hands. And yet Jones receives Ignatio’s farm only ­because he is committed to staying in Mexico, having “been too long away to go to live in ­England for good.” Moreover, Ignatio tells him that he ­will be made wealthy by the farm, but only insofar “as we understand wealth in this country,” which is to say that the relative poverty of Mexico means that Jones cannot abscond with his profits to live fatly somewhere e­ lse. He w ­ ill remain in Mexico, where he has grown to feel more at home and where Ignatio is certain that he w ­ ill “deal justly and ­gently” by the indigenous p ­ eople (14). And Strickland’s knowledge of Montezuma’s trea­sure is even less productive of imperial profit. When he tells him about it, Ignatio remarks: “Perhaps, if I return again, you ­will give me a share in the profits, so that we may grow rich together” (52). This hope, that both the En­glish miner and the local man may profit equally from the former’s investment in the latter’s land, is the very dynamic many had hoped for in the first half of the nineteenth ­century. Simón Bolívar envisioned precisely this non-­zero-­sum mutuality as the ideal ­f uture for Britain and Latin Amer­i­c a, who he thought might rise together through partnership. But Bolívar was

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wary that partnership might be impossible in a world run by predatory empires, and by the end of the ­century Heart of the World seems certain at least that partnership is an ideal not to be realized. Montezuma’s gold is not fated to enrich ­either the Mexican Ignatio or the En­glishman Strickland who hope to “share in the profits.” That hope, in the form of the mine, quite literally collapses on top of them, nearly killing them both. Rather than dig it up again, they abandon the site to pursue indigenous freedom instead.

Conclusion Edward Said was right to point critics to the inherently imperial nature of adventure quests, which “far from casting doubt on the imperial undertaking, serve to confirm and celebrate its success.” But his claim that in the adventure genre, “explorers find what they are looking for, [and] adventurers return home safe and wealthier,”47 does not describe Haggard’s Mexico novels. Thomas Wingfield finds what he is looking for (revenge against his ­mother’s killer) only ­after twenty years and having lost nearly every­thing ­else. Jones and Strickland never do return home. No one unearths Montezuma’s trea­sure. No one participates in the flow of Mexican wealth to E ­ ngland. And what all three find on their adventures, above and beyond what they set out to seek, is a strong familial attachment to the indigenous ­people that reroutes their sense of national obligation. Moreover, the association of the queens of E ­ ngland with unseemly international plunder precisely does “cast doubt on the imperial undertaking.” ­There is simply a dif­fer­ent dynamic in ­these texts, where the fantasy of En­glish rule is preempted by the Spanish Conquest, and where the two discourses of informal empire—­partnership and predation—­are revealed to be mutually antagonistic. Montezuma’s ­Daughter and Heart of the World are as reluctant to endorse informal empire as they are unable to fantasize about traditional empire. Haggard’s heroes come to find that marital and fraternal relations are no mere instrumental device for securing En­glish imperial supremacy. Instead they inhibit and disarm the competing relational dynamics of empire. My aim has not been to claim Haggard as an anti-­imperialist; his belief in racial hierarchy and civilizational pro­gress marks his work generally as racist and ethnocentric, and he had no more intrinsic love for the in­de­pen­dence of Mexico than for Africa. In the same chapter of his autobiography in which he disparages mining proj­ects in Mexico, he suggests that “if only [Mexico] w ­ ere

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inhabited by some righ­teous race, what a land it might be with its richness and its beauty! For my part, I believe that it would be well for it if it should pass into the power of the United States.”48 What this tells us, however, is that territorial colonialism and informal empire w ­ ere markedly dif­fer­ent proj­ects in his view, not, as Gallagher and Robinson famously argued, two interchangeable paths to the same goal of British supremacy. This aligns Haggard with Anthony Trollope, who (as I argued in chapter 3) was another Victorian author famous for his imperial views who turns out to be much less comfortable with the informal empire. Where Trollope stumbled over informal empire’s seeming disruption of the pro­gress narrative, Haggard stumbles over its insincere use of familial relations. In this way, Montezuma’s ­Daughter and Heart of the World diverge from a number of critical traditions. In addition to defying Said’s account of the adventure story, they do not fit well with analyses of the “lost race” novel, in which “securing the wealth of a lost ­people is always somehow accidental, or more appropriately, depicted as a justly deserved but unsought reward for bringing British civilization into the hinterlands.”49 And they likewise contravene a dominant interpretation of the lit­er­a­ture of informal empire, put forth by scholars like Rebecca Cole Heinowitz and Tim Fulford, in which familial partnership is an artifice, a gambit to gain advantage. Fulford puts it this way: “Intermarriage and filial piety, rather than indoctrination and discipline . . . ​ allowed colonial conversion to seem a benign and sentimental harmonization of cultures achievable through love.”50 To be clear, I am not arguing that informal empire does not work this way, in lit­er­a­ture or the world. As Kwame Nkrumah puts it in his seminal text, Neo-­Colonialism: The Last Stage of Imperialism, the general objective of neo­ co­lo­nial­ism is “to achieve colonialism in fact while preaching in­de­pen­dence.”51 This is the same surface/depth model that Heinowitz and Fulford both compellingly show is at work in some literary depictions (at least in the Romantic period, which is their subject). But what I have argued ­here is that ­these two halves of informal empire—­what Nkrumah calls “preaching in­de­pen­dence” and “achiev[ing] colonialism”—­exist, in the case of Latin Amer­i­ca, in much greater tension than such surface/depth models account for. And that this tension might, in literary depictions, where the already overlapping f­amily form and national form meet novel form, be just as likely to result in the unraveling of imperial ideology as its promotion. Both Haggard and López linger for the span of entire novels over what one half of informal empire’s

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doctrines—­“preaching in­de­pen­dence”—­really means. They give it familial form as partnerships like marriage and fraternity and suggest that ­England’s own values demand that t­ hese families be sincere, not the means to exploitation. Their novels thereby expose the paradox of informal empire by refusing to participate in the conjoining of its discourses into a stable surface/depth arrangement, arguing instead that the ethical imperatives of each invalidate the other. We might say, then, that as Haggard and López understood the relation between the twin discourses of informal empire, the form they saw them arranged in was a failed marriage plot. It is no coincidence that Haggard and López both staged this dynamic through historical novels. The reticulated nature of historical and genealogical consciousness in the nineteenth ­century meant that questions of ­family and history w ­ ere each often answered in the language of the other. The search for a proper explanatory familial structure was also a search for original relations and lines of descent. Their novels, then, are just as concerned with historical temporality as t­ hose I discussed in part I, but whereas Simón Bolívar and Anna Laetitia Barbauld seemed to suggest that the past was a stable source they could turn to in order to predict the f­ uture, López and Haggard make the opposite claim: that the pre­sent can be used to reimagine the past. If Barbauld and Bolívar asked the historical question, Where w ­ ill the established course of events take us next?, Haggard and López asked the genealogical one, What kind of past might help explain what we are d ­ oing now? If Barbauld and Bolívar turned to the past as one would turn to tarot cards to predict the ­f uture, López and Haggard stacked the deck. And the distinct trajectories each proposed are telling. While López, still ­eager to establish strong British–­ Latin American relations in the mid-­nineteenth c­ entury, allowed his heroes to slip the noose of history and carry their international marriage forward into a counterfactual f­ uture, Haggard’s lovers are doomed to part in death. They cannot ultimately overcome the historical gulf placed between them by Spain, nor the differences in race and culture that keep their families from real hybridity. It is this unsolvable remainder, the inability to truly achieve transnational f­amily through British–­L atin American hybridity, that we w ­ ill see haunts William Henry Hudson in our next and final chapter.

c h a p t e r s i x

Where Pro­gress and ­Family (Almost) Meet William Henry Hudson and the Industrialization of the Pampas

For most of the nineteenth c­ entury, Latin Amer­i­ca was only an offstage locale in the British novel, rarely if ever directly depicted. In Frankenstein (1818), the creature pleads for a female companion by promising Victor that “neither you nor any other ­human being ­shall ever see us again: I ­will go to the vast wilds of South Amer­i­ca. . . . ​I ­will quit the neighborhood of man.”1 Although Shelley was writing at the precise moment when South Amer­i­ca began to open dramatically to the world, she figured it as entirely empty of h ­ uman activity. Even the Arctic, where Frankenstein, the creature, Walton, and his crew all somehow cross paths, is more populous than South Amer­i­ca, which is “outside the neighborhood of man.” Throughout the nineteenth ­century, Latin Amer­i­ca continued to appear in British fiction as e­ ither empty or unrepresentable. Wilkie Collins’s The ­Woman in White (1859–60) uses Honduras as a site for Walter Hartright to discover his masculinity, but despite sending him ­there for hundreds of pages, it cannot depict the place; a­ fter Walter’s expedition enters a “primeval forest,” “civilisation . . . ​lost all trace of them.”2 Even Trollope’s The Way We Live Now (1874–75), whose plot turns entirely around the plan to build a railroad in Mexico, never leaves Britain’s shores. Despite the tremendous volume of travel narratives published throughout the nineteenth ­century, in lit­er­a­ture Latin Amer­i­ca continued to serve as a device, a place that might reform or enrich En­glishmen but need not be presented to the reader in any detail. William Henry Hudson’s novel The Purple Land That E ­ ngland Lost (1885, republished in 1904 as The Purple Land) changed that. Set in Montevideo and the surrounding plains, it went where Victorian fiction was previously unable or unwilling to go: into the lived experience of modern, in­de­pen­dent, con­ temporary South Amer­i­ca.3 It is “the story of an a­ ctual country, its geography,

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landscape, politics, and social culture.”4 Written in the 1880s, set in the 1860s, and taking the brief, failed En­glish occupation of the La Plata region in 1806–1807 as titular inspiration (hence the “land that E ­ ngland lost”), the novel’s palimpsestic temporality almost seems to make up for lost literary de­cades. Hudson was able to bring South Amer­i­c a into the diagetic world of the British novel b­ ecause he belonged to both places. He lived in E ­ ngland from 1874 u ­ ntil his death in 1922, where he featured in a prominent literary circle that included Joseph Conrad, Ford Madox Ford, and John Galsworthy. When he died, the British government commissioned a monument in Hyde Park that still stands as a testament to his literary influence and his passionate, foundational work in ornithological conservation. But to the extent that Hudson was an En­glishman, he was, as Jed Esty calls J. R. R. Tolkien and T. S. Eliot, an “outsider-­cum-­insider.”5 ­Because seven thousand miles away in the wide, flat, mythic pampas south and west of Buenos Aires ­there is a dif­fer­ent story to be told. This, too, is Hudson’s country, where he was born to sheep-­farming immigrants from the United States, where he grew up bilingual, and where he became profoundly attached to the nature and culture of Argentina. In this, his native land and home u ­ ntil he was thirty-­three, “Guillermo Enrique Hudson” has also been memorialized, with an ecological park, a museum, and even a Buenos Aires suburb bearing his name.6 He also, unusually, holds a place in the literary canons of both countries: Ford Madox Ford called him “the unapproached master of the En­glish tongue”;7 Jorge Luis Borges hailed his novel The Purple Land as the quin­tes­sen­tial expression of gaucho culture;8 and Ezequiel Martínez Estrada suggested that Hudson was one of the “verdaderos creadores de la gran literatura argentina” and the “brújula” to be followed.9 Hudson himself was conflicted about his national belonging. He referred to E ­ ngland as “home” before he had ever been t­ here,10 but at age sixty-­ nine, ­after thirty-­six years in E ­ ngland, he spoke of his native South Amer­i­ca as the place “I have longed to be all my life.”11 As Richard Maxwell puts it, Hudson should encourage us to think outside of “a literary model in which nationality, ethnicity, and language of writing and subject ­matter are always perfectly synchronized.”12 He touches diverse and sometimes antagonistic worlds, including Victorian and modernist lit­er­a­tures, gaucho culture, metropolitan London, the Spanish language, the spread of industrial agriculture in Latin Amer­i­ca, the Argentine novel, ornithological collection and conservation, and transatlantic readership networks.

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So I end this book with a man who, unlike the authors I have discussed already, could truly see informal empire from both sides of the Atlantic. And to put it briefly, he was extremely critical. Hudson saw firsthand how the rural Argentina of his youth lost its character through global industrialism, and as a naturalist and conservationist, he was incensed by the damage this did to both ecosystems and culture. Throughout his writing he explic­itly critiques empire, pro­gress, and the rich,13 reserving a par­tic­u­lar bitterness for how all three colonized Argentina. One aim of this chapter, then, is to highlight the infrequently studied voices of ­those who moved within the complex network of informal empire without simply promoting or advancing it—of which Hudson’s is one. He helps account for how capital flows and imperial ideologies on the large scale interacted with individual transnational subjects who ­were made pos­si­ble by ­these same boundary dissolutions but who ­didn’t necessarily help reproduce them. But my primary aim is less to show that Hudson critiqued British informal empire in South Amer­i­c a and rather to show how he did so. His “peculiar insider-­outsider position,” as many critics have positioned him, makes his work “uniquely suited to discussions on the shifting nature of cultural categories.”14 And as I w ­ ill show, Hudson is preoccupied precisely with how cultural categories shift, and with how hybrid subjects are formed, but he locates an ethical re­sis­tance to informal empire in the recognition of what is incommensurable, of what cannot be made hybrid. This chapter w ­ ill range across Hudson’s writing about South Amer­i­ca, including his fiction, nonfiction, and letters, though I w ­ ill give an extended reading of The Purple Land. As I ­will argue, his work pre­sents Anglo–­Latin American hybridity as the state most conducive to anti-­imperialism, suggesting that En­glishmen who form genuine relations with South Americans and shed their own national identity can avoid being agents of colonialism. He further figures the encounter between the En­glish and the South Americans as a function of narrative. That is, forming t­ hese relations occurs through the sharing of stories, ­because narrative is at the heart of individual exchanges and also international relations, structuring encounter on both local and global levels. In a return to the subject of part I of this book, then, Hudson suggests that the form of English–­Latin American relations is fundamentally narrative in nature. But in his depiction, narrative is not only the most natu­ral conduit to international relations and hybrid subjectivity, but also the most stubborn barrier to both. That is b­ ecause dif­fer­ent national narratives are inevitably divided across an irreducible gap, a chasm of translation across which it is not

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languages but modes of narrative storytelling that fail to correspond. Just as the Eu­ro­pean narrative of pro­gress brought destruction through informal empire, so did individual Eu­ro­pe­ans bring prejudices and assumptions about narrative that held them apart from, and suggested their colonization of, local culture. At both a national and a personal scale, therefore, the hybridity that he theorizes might prevent imperial sociality proves impossible ­because of nationalist disagreement over narrative form. What can be achieved is instead only a re­spect for narrative otherness that fosters a robust anti-­imperial politics. This chapter w ­ ill tease out Hudson’s vision of a utopian South Amer­ i­ca that through cultural hybridity could be both international and resistant to informal empire—as well as his belief in this vision’s impossibility. In a way, this chapter inverts the methodology of ­those that precede it. In the first five chapters of this book I have read lit­er­a­ture to uncover its assumptions about what forms informal empire took. The novel, the poem, or the essay, in other words, revealed certain structures of thought about the social. It contained a par­tic­u ­lar vision of how history or f­ amily w ­ as arranged both in general and ­under the conditions of British financial imperialism in Latin Amer­i­ca—­and crucially, how ­those two versions misaligned. With Hudson, however, I do not trace the forms that his writing understands informal empire to take. Rather, I expose his baseline assumption that all transnational encounter, of which informal empire is a par­tic­u­lar version, occurs through narrative form. Hudson does not, as I argued that the other authors in this book do, expose the paradoxical misalignment of informal empire’s deployment of narrative or ­family form. Instead, he points to narrative and ­family themselves as paradoxical social forms, si­mul­ta­neously conducive to anti-­ imperialism and unable to achieve it. For Hudson, an equitable, hybrid, transnational f­ amily might (as it was for López and Haggard) be the antidote to the dynamics of informal empire. But the unbridgeable gap between how the En­glish and the South Americans narrate their experience makes such a ­family unattainable.

Hybridity It is worth emphasizing just how difficult it is to assign Hudson a national identity, a fact much more often remarked by Latin American scholars than En­glish ones. Laura Fernández notes that Argentine writers and critics, looking for ways to describe an oeuvre “que parece gaucha pero está en inglés,”

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have variously described Hudson as “hijo pródigo, el más criollo de los escritores nacidos a orillas del Plata, británico y también hombre de nuestra lla­ nura, verdadero sentidor de la pampa, escritor inglés, gaucho desprovisto de todo aditamento y ornato puramente externos, angloargentino, autodidacta, nómade contemplativo, intérprete romántico del Nuevo Mundo, inglés chascomusero y hombre de ciencia universal, viajero empedernido, primer lector argentino de ‘El origen de las especies,’ romántico inveterado, y barbecho de viñas nórdicas regado con el agua de la pampa.”15 This superabundant list figures over and over again Hudson’s slippery duality as both En­glishman and dyed-­in-­the-­wool native Argentine—­which is a function of both transatlantic networks (he is, according to Fernández, the first Argentine to read Darwin) and his innate dual subjectivity (he is a Eu­ro­pean vine watered in the pampas). Hugh Hazelton puts it somewhat more succinctly, writing that Hudson was “en el fondo tan argentino como británico.”16 However you describe it, this divided subject position surfaces so often in criticism b­ ecause it suffuses Hudson’s writing. Consider this other­wise unremarkable moment from Far Away and Long Ago, a memoir of his early life in Argentina that focuses on the natu­ral world he knew t­here: “The bird I speak of is the Char­ adrius dominicana. . . . ​In appearance it is so like our golden plover, Charadrius pluvialis, as to be hardly distinguishable from it. The birds ­were quite tame: all our wild birds w ­ ere if anything too tame.”17 In back-­to-­back sentences and without remark Hudson uses the word “our” to identify himself as first British and then Argentine. He slides between the two with pronominal ease, not seeming to notice the potential confusion. As Ariana Huberman puts it, his narratorial perspective in this text is “both as a foreigner watching the gaucho in awe and a native participating in the rituals of the Argentine countryside.”18 It often seems to be both at the same time. But Hudson’s complex identity as Anglo-­A rgentine is even more nuanced by the fact that the Argentina he grew up in was itself a transnational contact zone. He was born t­ here in 1841 to US American immigrants, his parents being part of the significant migrations that brought foreigners to Latin Amer­ i­ca ­after in­de­pen­dence. During the Spanish colonial period, the remote, flat plains surrounding Buenos Aires had been populated primarily with free-­ range c­ attle, the gauchos who wrangled them, and small communities who subsisted on the beef. But in the late eigh­teenth ­century and especially a­ fter in­de­pen­dence in 1816, enclosed estancias began to spread across the pampas, bringing mechanization, increased trade with Eu­rope, and an influx of

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­ u­ro­pean settlers like Hudson’s parents.19 Foreign capital and influence E spread inland from the port of Buenos Aires, industrializing farming and building the infrastructure to support it. By 1910, major railway lines—­a ll English-­owned—­had brought rural Argentina into close communion with the bustling capital.20 So, at the mid-­nineteenth ­century, the time of Hudson’s formative years, gaucho country stood on the threshold of global integration. Describing the same phenomenon in rural Colombia in 1850 (the setting of Jorge Isaacs’s María), Ericka Beckman calls it a “a world of incipient liberalization” where men still “spen[t] their time hunting and visiting local haciendas at a day’s remove on ­horse­back” but global capitalism was nonetheless beginning to shape daily life.21 Hudson lived in the Argentine pampas from 1841 to 1874, during this tipping point when the traditional gaucho lifestyle began to face encroachment from modernized agriculture and internationalization—­the forces of informal empire that gave G ­ reat Britain enormous leverage in lopsided loan deals and the development of industry favorable to their interests. His own presence in the pampas was a result of the very globalizing flows that brought the modernization he would come to despise. Of course, this transitional period in the mid-­nineteenth c­ entury was written on top of a parallel history. The gauchos of Hudson’s day had themselves been agents of colonial displacement for centuries, slaughtering the indigenous and occupying their land; studies of “settler colonialism” and “the frontier” tend to deal with this kind of violent contact between Eu­ro­pean and indigenous p ­ eoples. Hudson’s nineteenth-­century context evokes a l­ater, postcolonial iteration of the frontier, when the settler colonists and their descendants took over the role of Argentine “natives” facing a new wave of Eu­ro­pean migration and new technologies of change. The settler colonialism of the seventeenth and eigh­teenth centuries gave way to nineteenth-­century transnational immigration; violent confrontation was replaced by the inexorable creep of industrialization. However, theories of the frontier, particularly ­those that push back against a binary depiction of two cultures in conflict, instead describing the frontier as a “­middle ground” where new cultural formations emerge,22 or as a multiplicitous, heterogenous “rhizome,”23 help us see Hudson’s Argentina as a space of recurrent racial, cultural, and epistemological mixing in which vari­ous kinds of hybridity ­were pos­si­ble. And indeed, while Hudson is famous for the portrayals of the ostrich-­ hunting, cattle-­branding, throat-­cutting gaucho that helped define Argentine

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lit­er­a­ture, his work also strikingly captures the international nature of the mid-­nineteenth-­century pampas. In Far Away and Long Ago, for instance, we meet landholding gaucho “patriarchs” whose ancestors “colonized the wide pampas in the seventeenth and early eigh­teenth centuries,”24 urban Creoles, indigenous groups, “negresses” who serve urban and rural families, and a wide range of En­glish, Scottish, and Irish ranchers, teachers, and wanderers. Describing one estancia inhabited by an En­glishman, his Spanish wife, and their two ­daughters—­one dark and one “perfect ­little En­glish girl”—as well as black servants and their ­children, Hudson remarks that it was “a most extraordinary ménage, a collection of the most incongruous beings . . . ​whose lives and characters would be regarded in civilised countries as exceedingly odd and almost incredible” but whose coexistence is typical in rural Argentina.25 Hudson’s pampas, therefore, are already international, populated with p ­ eople who have migrated in the flows of colonialism, slavery, and immigration for centuries. Even before its transformation by Eu­ro­pean industrialization, this world bears palimpsestic traces of multiple diverse crossings, has become postcolonial, is globalizing, and remains beset by internecine rebellions with fluctuating allegiances. What interests Hudson is the intersection of two kinds of hybridity: one, the threshold state of the Argentine pampas that w ­ ere already international but not yet inevitably imperial, and two, a certain kind of hybrid individual whose positive influence might help preserve Argentina in this state of equilibrium.

Hybridity and Imperialism Within this contact zone, of course, agents of informal empire already moved. ­These British merchants, naturalists, and explorers have received a good deal of scholarly attention for how they laid the ideological and infrastructural groundwork for British control over industry and transportation. We know them as “missionaries of capitalism” in Jean Franco’s analy­sis, and the “cap­i­ tal­ist vanguard” in Mary Louise Pratt’s. T ­ hese ­were men with an imperial gaze, who saw South Amer­i­ca’s resources as grist for the mill of British pro­g­ ress, and they paved the way for the international l­abor relations and trade agreements that would bend South American markets to the ser­vice of wealthy En­glishmen and Creoles while stagnating local industry.26 But the cap­i­tal­ist vanguard ­were not the only Britons who moved through this space. As Matthew Brown points out, they ­were a specific subset of British

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travelers who typically did not stay long or integrate into local culture. A dif­ fer­ent group, however, representing hundreds of British soldiers and travelers, did just this. They “dis­appeared into Hispanic American society, marrying local w ­ omen, working in new professions or living off military pensions in rural areas. ­These ­people—­the vast majority of British travellers to South Amer­i­ca in this period—­were as much missionaries of capitalism as they w ­ ere 27 missionaries of Protestantism, which is to say, not at all.” ­These permanent emigrants have been insufficiently studied, at least partly ­because of their invisibility: they tended to do much less writing and publishing than their more commercially minded counter­parts who returned to London. Hudson, whose own parents slipped quietly into Argentine life, whom John Walker terms a “sympathetic observer,”28 offers a glimpse into the perspective of t­ hese more integrated foreigners who moved within the same contact zone as the cap­i­tal­ist vanguard but saw with dif­fer­ent eyes. For his part, Hudson observed and despised the work of informal empire, particularly its environmental impact on what was, for him, one of the world’s most beautiful places. In a 1910 letter he fumed that Argentina’s erstwhile “wild nature . . . ​is spoilt and ‘pro­g­ ress and civilization’ have made the country a kind of detestable suburb of Eu­rope.”29 His ornithological passion often inflects t­ hese laments; for instance, in Far Away and Long Ago he remembers one par­tic­u ­lar estancia as having been “alive with herons and spoonbills, black-­necked swans, glossy ibises in clouds, and ­great blue ibises with resounding voices,” but grieves that it “is now possessed by aliens, who destroy all wild bird life and grow corn on the land for the markets of Eu­rope.”30 And as early as his childhood, Hudson began to see British residents in Argentina as belonging to one of t­ hese two groups: the aloof, ethnocentric stand-­aparts whom he would come to associate with imperialism (the cap­i­tal­ ist vanguard), and t­ hose who assimilated into Argentine life, developing hybrid identities and anti-­imperial attitudes (the “dis­appeared”). In Far Away and Long Ago, we see that he oozes disdain for settlers like his drunkard childhood tutor Mr. Trigg, who “could not affiliate” with the locals, “and not properly knowing and incapable of understanding them he regarded them with secret dislike and suspicion.”31 A neighbor, Mr. Blake, is similarly singled out for being “one of ­those unfortunate persons, not rare among the En­glish, who appear to stand b­ ehind a high wall and, w ­ hether they desire it or not, have no power to approach and mix with their fellow-­beings.”32 ­These men leave “walls” erected between the native South Americans and their own stub-

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bornly unchanging En­glish selves. By contrast, we meet the En­glish landlord of “a ­little wayside pulperia, or public-­house” who “had lived so long among the gauchos, having left his country when very young, that he had almost forgotten his own language.”33 This man fails to converse with Hudson in En­ glish, continually slipping into the more comfortable Spanish they both speak fluently. As we ­will see, Hudson used his fiction not only to satirize the first type of En­glishman but also to suggest that this type is part of the industrial colonization of Argentina. He associates them with the imperial Eu­ro­pe­ anization of South Amer­i­ca while the second group submit to the reverse pro­cess, allowing themselves to become Argentinized. Hybridity is a concept with deep roots in both imperialism and postcolonial theory. In the eigh­teenth and nineteenth centuries it had high-­stakes implications for the construction of social hierarchy; the concept of the “hybrid” typically referred to mixed-­race offspring, who became a testing ground in lingering debates about monogenesis and ­were policed and categorized in colonial settings.34 In postcolonial theory, however, Homi Bhabha’s influential theory of hybridity describes the inevitable mutual construction of colonizer and colonized. For Bhabha, hybridity is a disturbing reminder for the colonizer that ­t here is no pure or au­t hen­tic culture and therefore no stable ground for the assertion of their dominance.35 Following Bhabha, hybridity in colonial theory often refers to the emergence of new cultural forms and identities in the contact zone—­these may pose a threat to imperial power, or, as Leela Gandhi warns, be a passive, “quietist” reinscription of cap­i­tal­ist privilege.36 And in linguistics and literary criticism, Mikhail Bakhtin theorizes the innately hybrid nature of language and praises what he calls the “polyphonic” or “dialogic” novel, which gives voice to conflicting ideas without resolving them into a single truth-­making perspective.37 My aim is not to read hybridity in Hudson’s work through any of ­these lenses in par­tic­u­lar (historical, postcolonial, linguistic) but rather to show how his texts offer their own theory of hybrid form. However, as he tacks variously close to and far away from ­t hese theories, they ­will be useful lights with which to illuminate the precise contours of his thought. Returning to Hudson, then, he casts the 1840s and 1850s in the pampas as a kind of golden age when increasing internationalism meant that you might encounter “a most extraordinary ménage” of ­people in the pampas, but the forces of informal empire had not yet wreaked cultural and environmental destruction. For Hudson, contra Bhabha, dif­fer­ent nationalities do have some

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“pure” nature and essential difference from one another, and his version of hybridity is not, as it is for Bhabha and Bakhtin, inevitable. He depicts the En­glish as entirely capable of holding themselves aloof from threats to the purity of their identity, and this separation is the stuff of imperialism. Hybridity may, however, be chosen. This is a conscious act, he suggests, and the self-­hybridizing Anglo-­A rgentines who relinquished not only their prejudice for G ­ reat Britain but also any material connection to it gave Hudson hope for a benign British presence in the pampas divorced from the ravaging effects of imperial capitalism. He admires figures like Jack the Killer, whom he calls “one of ­those strange En­glishmen frequently to be met with in ­those days, who had taken to the gaucho’s manner of life,” who “dressed like them and talked their language, and was horse-­breaker, cattle-­drover, and many other ­things by turn,” who “could g­ amble and drink like any gaucho to the manner born—­ and fight too.”38 This kind of hybridity is less about making something new, something part En­glish and part Argentine, and more about un-­making En­ glishness altogether. Jack the Killer and the pulpería owner retain almost nothing of their En­glish nature except the fact of their birth, and it is this pro­ cess of altogether relinquishing the national self, a near-­assimilation (as we ­will see, the “near” is crucial) that Hudson upholds as the ideal of Anglo–­ South American hybridity. Pointing to the specific temporality of “­those days,” Hudson suggests that ­there was a brief utopian moment when the story of En­glishmen in Argentina might have been a narrative of near-­assimilation rather than imperialism. But of course Hudson gazes back on this moment from the fin de siècle, when the imperial story had long since won out. Even at midcentury, he acknowledges, the seeds of the coming catastrophe had already been sown in the insidious presence of the Mr. Blakes and Mr. Triggs. And crucially, even assimilated, hybrid Anglo-­A rgentines retain an essential difference that hints at the inevitable failure of transnational community. Even gone-­native Jack the Killer “could affiliate with the natives, yet could never be just like them. The stamp of the foreigner, of the En­glishman, was never wholly eradicated.”39 It is this unclosable gap between the two cultures that obsesses Hudson, seeming to signify at once re­spect for the unassimilable otherness of Argentine culture and also the sad real­ity that the En­glish ­will never ­really relinquish their English—­ and therefore partially imperial—­nature.

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Hybridity and Imperialism in The Purple Land I now turn to Hudson’s 1885 novel The Purple Land to show how he specifically formulates hybridity’s simultaneous desirability and impossibility.40 The novel is a picaresque adventure through the gaucho country of the Banda Orientál (Argentina’s neighboring republic, now known as Uruguay). But it is also an opportunity for Hudson to fictionalize and taxonomize the vari­ous breeds of En­glishmen he had known as a young man in Argentina. The story is set around 1860—­the same threshold era he knew as a young man and captured in his memoir. It follows the travels of an En­glish naturalist named Richard Lamb, who has married an Argentine girl against her ­father’s wishes and must wander the pampas looking for employment to support her. The story stages Lamb’s repeated encounters with both locals and other international mi­grants, particularly ­those from Britain. It is also inscribed on a temporal palimpsest, written in the 1880s, set in midcentury, and, as suggested by the original title, The Purple Land That ­England Lost, framed by an awareness of the notorious British invasion of Buenos Aires in 1806–1807 when Generals Whitelocke and Auchmuty briefly tried to plant an En­glish flag on the then-­Spanish continent. Framed by Lamb’s awareness of territorial imperialism in 1806 and Hudson’s awareness of economic imperialism in the 1880s, the novel casts its bidirectional, wistful gaze on the 1850s and 1860s as a moment when an anti-­imperial course might have been charted. Just as Hudson’s memoir does, The Purple Land depicts a spectrum of En­ glish settlers ranging from the culturally aloof to the assimilated, and at the beginning of the story Lamb himself is firmly in the first group. Before setting off on his rambles through the pampas, he ascends the hill overlooking Montevideo and delivers a harangue against the British military for forfeiting their 1806–1807 occupation of the region. He is infuriated that Montevideo, “the key to a continent,” lies stagnant in the hands of its own unindustrious ­people rather than u ­ nder the improving auspices of the British Empire.41 Lamenting that the invasion of 1806 eventually failed, Lamb cries: Never was ­there a holier crusade undertaken, never a nobler conquest planned, than that which had for its object the wresting this fair country from unworthy hands, to make it for all time part of the mighty En­glish kingdom. . . . ​­Here, sitting alone on this mountain, my face burns like fire when I think of it—­this glorious opportunity lost for ever! . . . ​W hen yon queen city was in our grasp, and

206  Family and Informal Empire, 1840–1926 the regeneration, possibly even the ultimate possession, of this green world before us, our hearts failed us and the prize dropped from our trembling hands. (I.25–26)

Two conjoined features of Lamb’s identity are immediately salient ­here. The first is that despite his presumably long residence in Argentina—­his ­father, like Hudson’s own, “was a sheep-­farmer on the Argentine pampas” (I.7), and he speaks Spanish like a native—­and despite his marriage to an Argentine ­woman, he uses the word “our” to signify his belonging to E ­ ngland. The second is that he is overtly imperialistic ­toward the Banda Orientál, so much so that he longs for “a thousand young men of Devon and Somerset” to make “blood . . . ​flow in yon streets” (I.24). Lamb, therefore, represents a simultaneous unwillingness to assimilate in South Amer­i­ca and an imperialist desire t­ oward it. Lamb quickly encounters other En­glishmen characterized by this same combination. Early in his ramble across the pampas he stops at an “En­glish colony,” a group of lazy drunkard En­glish settlers who have sealed themselves off from local life. They have tried local traditions such as “ostrich-­hunting, visiting their native neighbours, partridge-­shooting, horse-­racing, ­etc.” (I.108) but found them not to their taste, deciding instead to socialize only with each other. This activity they do in comically hyper-­English fashion, shouting their En­glish “hullos,” “­don’t you knows,” and “steady, old cocks” at one another while tying one on. During Lamb’s stay they even attempt an En­glish fox hunt, an out-­of-­place absurdity that violently disrupts the locals’ ­cattle herds. Naturally, the locals see the En­glish “as strange and dangerous creatures” (I.117), and with good reason: their aloof detachment from pampean culture goes hand in hand with their explic­itly imperial ambitions. Reflecting Lamb’s own perspective but with a heavy dose of Hudson’s satire, one of them drunkenly speechifies, to applause: “­Here we stand, a colony of En­glish gentlemen. . . . ​ We are ­here, gentlemen, to infuse a ­little of our Anglo-­Saxon energy, and all that sort of ­thing, into this dilapidated old tin-­pot of a nation” (I.119–120). This is the cap­i­tal­ist vanguard as seen from Hudson’s perspective: entirely resistant to hybridization and explic­itly (if farcically) pursuing imperial influence. The two are, in fact, complementary dynamics. Assuming influence of some kind must occur in the contact zone, ­these “colonists” attempt to police its directionality. In order to preserve their En­glishness from local influence, they plan to “infuse” their own “Anglo-­Saxon energy” into their surroundings. Colonialism is their tonic against hybridity.

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By contrast, late in the novel Lamb arrives at the ranch of John Carrickfergus, an En­glish outsider-­cum-­Orientál-­insider, a man who has shed his native nationality so completely that Lamb calls him an “un-­Scotched Scotchman” (II.112). Don Juan, as he is locally known, describes his life in the Banda Orientál as a welcome antithesis to the culture of his native Edinburgh: “Had enough reading when I was a boy; heard enough psalm-­singing, saw enough scrubbing and scouring. . . . ​­Couldn’t bear it; ran away at fifteen, and have never heard a word from home since. What happened? I came h ­ ere, worked, saved, bought land, c­ attle; married a wife, lived as I liked to live—am happy. . . . ​­There are my c­ hildren, six of ’em, all told, boys and girls, healthy, dirty as they like to be, happy as the day’s long” (II.108–109). H ­ ere is a perfect figure for Matthew Brown’s “dis­appeared” En­glishmen, a man whose very migration is due to global flows but who is now cut off from home, participating in the local culture and economy rather than accumulating capital for use back in Britain. Unlike the members of the “En­glish colony,” who are unwilling to lose even their most malapropos hobbies, Carrickfergus has renounced them all, swapping psalms for ­cattle and fastidiousness for nature. Unlike the colonists who w ­ ill not even socialize with locals, Carrickfergus has formed a loving local f­amily. And while we d ­ on’t know the colonists’ long-­ term goals, they seem unlikely to s­ettle permanently in South Amer­i­ca. Carrickfergus, meanwhile, has “never heard a word from home” since age fifteen and presumably never ­will. Hudson, then, is suggesting a thick relationship among a set of be­hav­iors—­hybridity, f­ amily, and local commitment—­that are also anti-­imperial. In pointed contrast to the “En­glish colony,” Lamb calls Carrickfergus’s ranch a “home of liberty and love” (II.120; emphasis mine). ­These notions, so closely linked by informal empire, are h ­ ere separated into two dif­ fer­ent h ­ ouse­holds, structured on dif­fer­ent relations, and split across the novel. According to The Purple Land, then, t­ hese are the available orientations that a Briton may have ­toward South Amer­i­ca—an unmingled British colonist or an Anglo-­A rgentine ally of freedom. ­These two vignettes, pointedly marked by the words “colony” and “liberty,” bookend Lamb’s journey and form a spectrum along which, over the course of the narrative, his own views migrate. At the end of his adventures, he returns to Montevideo and climbs the same prospect, but this time he regrets his former—­a nd particularly British—­“contempt” for “the ­people of other nationalities” (II.236), saying, “Let me at last divest myself of t­ hese old En­glish spectacles, framed in oak and with lenses of horn, to bury them for ever in this mountain, which for half a

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c­ entury and upwards has looked down on the strug­gles of a young and feeble ­people against foreign aggression and domestic foes, and where a few months ago I sang the praises of British civilisation” (II.236–237). By burying his glasses, Lamb acknowledges that in order to shed his nationalism he must symbolically revise his gaze; he must learn to see, not through the lens of British imperial pro­gress but as the mountain sees, acknowledging the ­people of the country. And in this speech, he proclaims his wish, not for the revival of a colonial past u ­ nder British control but for the preservation of the Banda Orientál’s sovereign ­future: “May the blight of our superior civilisation never fall on your wild flowers, or the yoke of our pro­gress be laid on your herdsman—­ careless, graceful, music-­loving as the birds—to make him like the sullen, abject peasant of the Old World!” (II.246). Speaking of the “superior civilisation” of G ­ reat Britain, Lamb’s words are now tinged with irony, as he calls ­England’s ­grand empire a “blight” and a “yoke” that w ­ ill destroy the spirit of the local p ­ eople. That he compares the p ­ eople to “music-­loving . . . ​birds” cannot help but recall Hudson’s own ­bitter laments over the ornithological losses Argentina suffered at the hands of industrial farming and points to his overlapping critique of both territorial and informal empire. Borges famously described Lamb’s anti-­imperial conversion as his “venturoso acriollamiento,”42 and ­others have agreed. Aaron Landau, for instance, argues that Hudson’s novel inverts the logic of the nineteenth-­century travelogue, “narrating a dif­fer­ent, decolonising type of travel” in which Lamb’s “deep integration into local cultures and families” dissolves the imperial ideology he arrived with.43 On the flip side, Joselyn Almeida argues that Lamb’s “transcultural skills” actually serve the proj­ect of financial imperialism, modeling “the ability of capital to penetrate dif­fer­ent regions of the globe.”44 Landau and Almeida each have a point. On the one hand, Lamb’s final declaration overlooking Montevideo echoes Hudson’s own view that Eu­ro­pean civilization was destroying the nature and culture of the pampas. On the other, Lamb’s very presence ­there is part of the pro­cess of internationalization to which capital ­will (and did) naturally attach. But I want to suggest that Lamb, a mercenary and philanderer whom Hudson himself once described as “distinctly not a nice young man,”45 ­doesn’t make a particularly good spokesman for ­either imperialism or anti-­imperialism. The novel, as I ­will now show, is much more interested in thinking through what transnational encounter consists of, and w ­ hether something like British-­pampean hybridity is pos­si­ble at all. Borges, Landau, and Almeida, despite their differing conclusions, all

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read Lamb as actually achieving a transnational hybridity that allows him to move seamlessly within gaucho culture, and they further read this accomplishment as the telos of the novel’s argument about Anglo-­A rgentine identity. But I argue that The Purple Land, through its exploration of narrative form as an index of the culturally unassimilable, ultimately suggests that hybridity, although a valuable concept, masks irreducible national difference. Anti-­imperialism, therefore, lies not in hybrid identity but in recognizing and valuing the forms that make it impossible.

Narrative as National Difference The interpersonal relational forms I have been discussing in part II of this book have, then, circled back to the narrative forms of part I. In fact, The Purple Land suggests that interpersonal relations—­the marriages, fraternities, and paternalisms at work in Haggard’s and López’s texts—­are formed through narrative in the first place. As a picaresque, the novel is somewhat repetitive: traveling through the Banda Orientál, Lamb continually meets new characters, gets to know them, and moves on. This pattern of encounter creates an accumulated portrait of how p ­ eople get to know one another across differences of identity—­particularly across the English–­South American divide—­a nd this is repeatedly figured as occurring through storytelling. Characters are rarely long together before turning to a narrative mode, regaling each other with stories of their lives and adventures. Lamb’s first stop is punctuated by his disgust at hearing an old ranchero’s tales of bloodshed in b­ attle, and his second one finds him admiring a ­horse tamer’s “genius” orations, “sparkling with passion, satire, humour, pathos, and so dramatic . . . ​wonderful story followed story” (I.37). Soon thereafter a minor character named Anselmo emerges, fills an entire chapter with one of his exceptionally dilatory tales, and just as quickly dis­appears from the novel. Storytelling passes time during military bivouac, it lends characters their individual particularity, and it even serves as a passport, since Lamb often needs to evade ­legal trou­ble by telling stories that ­will convince authorities he is En­glish. In short, if The Purple Land is a novel about cultural crossing, it has an overwhelming investment in narrative storytelling as the means by which such crossing is attempted. Hudson is not exactly asking how we tell the story of English–­Latin American encounter (and therefore informal empire); rather, he’s insisting over and over that such encounter occurs through the sharing of stories.

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Narrative storytelling has nationalist implications, as scholars ranging from Homi K. Bhabha to Hayden White have made clear. Nations tell collective stories that explain and justify their existence, and, as I detailed in part I, master narratives like pro­gress have both formal structures and imperial repercussions.46 National narrative was an especially salient part of British–­Latin American relations in the nineteenth ­century ­because new nations like Argentina ­were in the pro­cess of national self-­fashioning by writing their histories and projecting their ­futures, and b­ ecause foreign economic activity in regions like the pampas forced the question of whose pro­gress narrative was being written—­for instance, E ­ ngland’s or Argentina’s. In the pampas of Hudson’s novel, where stories both serve as passports and identify cultural biases, narrative storytelling locates the nexus of national and individual identity. In particular—­a lthough each storyteller in The Purple Land has a unique, often comic style—­Hudson codes En­glish and Orientál forms of narrative as fundamentally dif­fer­ent in genre and form. Locals have l­ittle investment in narrative linearity, nor in distinguishing between fantasy and real­ity, while Lamb clings to stories that follow a progressive trajectory and keep “true” and “false” comfortably separate. Critics usually describe Lamb as “criollo” (“Creole”) ­because, like Hudson himself, he fits seamlessly into the culture and language of the pampas. One gaucho even calls Lamb not a hybrid but “a pure Oriental.” But like Jack the Killer in Far Away and Long Ago, upon whom “the stamp of the foreigner, of the En­glishman, was never wholly eradicated,”47 Lamb ­will always have a core of irreducible otherness. Hudson figures this gap as a function of communication style; notably, the same gaucho who calls Lamb “a pure Oriental” also notes that “though you speak as we do, t­ here is yet in the pepper and salt on your tongue a certain foreign flavour” (I.41). As I ­will show, this difference in communication style scales up from speech patterns to storytelling, marking national difference as a ­matter of narrative form. Anselmo’s story—an example of nonteleological, nonprogressive form—­ shows how this communication gap refuses to close specifically at the jagged misalignment of dif­fer­ent narrative forms. As he begins his tale, Lamb supposes that Anselmo is making use of conventional foreshadowing: “I rode out ­towards the side on which the sun sets, ­little expecting that anything unusual was ­going to happen to me that day” (I.138). This sentence is so suggestive to Lamb of a ­later narrative fulfillment that he delays ­going to bed so that he might hear “what extraordinary t­ hing had happened to him on that very

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eventful day” (I.138). But instead of following a narrative arc that ­will lead him to satisfy his pregnant opening, Anselmo repeatedly diverts into what seem to Lamb to be arbitrary new tracks. The mention of his h ­ orse leads him to explain how he acquired it, which in turn leads him to describe an argument he once had with his cook, and the maddening result for Lamb is that Anselmo quite contentedly ends his tale “without one word about ­those marvellous m ­ atters he had set out to tell. They had all been clean forgotten” (I.151). Lamb bears no ill ­will t­ oward this “inexhaustible talking-­machine” (I.136) and his “interminable yarns leading to nothing” (I.152), but the incident reveals Lamb’s intrinsic belief that proper narrative form is linear and teleological. He holds this belief so innately that he cannot interpret Anselmo’s story any other way than as a formal ­mistake, but neither Anselmo, nor the other locals who love his stories, seem to believe t­ here has been any error. In subsequent episodes Lamb’s foreignness emerges increasingly clearly through his insistence that narratives maintain a strict distinction between fantasy and the real. This occurs most prominently during an extended set piece in the m ­ iddle of the novel: Lamb has joined a band of revolutionary fighters, and one night while bivouacking they pass the time by telling stories, “drift[ing] into ­matters extraordinary—­wild creatures of strange appearance and habits, apparitions, and marvellous adventures” (II.57–58). Although he sounds game enough for the fun, Lamb quickly grows irritated and then enraged as story ­a fter fantastical story is presented as truth. The first teller recounts having seen a “lampalagua,” a snake with powers of suction strong enough to pull its prey through the air and the ability to make the man who kills it invincible. Lamb laughs, thinking this an appropriate response to such a “fable,” but he is “severely rebuked for [his] levity” (II.61). Another storyteller recounts sheltering one night in a tiny hovel with an old ­woman whose previously empty room suddenly came alive with a raucous midnight witchcraft ritual. Lamb cannot help offering a logical explanation—­“You w ­ ere very hungry and tired that night . . . ​perhaps ­after the w ­ oman locked her door you went to sleep and dreamed all that about ­people eating fruit and playing on the guitar” (II.67)—­which only further distances him from his fellows, who remark that “when a person is incredulous, it is useless arguing with him” (II.67). A ghost story follows, and then Lamb, who “thought we had had enough of the super­natural by this time” (II.73), is in no mood for the fourth tale, in which the teller recalls having had a physical fight with an embodied Satan. Our protagonist is left “feeling half stupid with amazement, for the

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man apparently told it in the full conviction that it was true, while the other listeners appeared to accept ­every word of it with the most implicit faith” (II.79). What vexes Lamb is not that the men lie (he proves his comfort with falsehood throughout the novel), but rather that they tell stories in a nonfiction mode that appear to him to belong to the genre of fantasy. So of course, when Lamb tells stories of his own, he tends to get in trou­ble ­because of his sense that the distinction between real and fantastical w ­ ill be obvious to his listeners. For instance, at one estancia he discovers that a young girl, Anita, “had never heard a story, and did not know what it meant” (I.224). To correct this, he invents a fable about a super­natural child made of mist. So far as it goes, this shows Lamb’s willingness to embrace fantasy, but the episode nearly ends in disaster when Anita wanders off alone to the river in search of the mystical mist-­child, leaving Lamb “astonished to find that she had taken the fantastic l­ittle tale in­ven­ted to amuse her as truth” (I.234). In this early instance Lamb attributes the misunderstanding to his listener’s age, reasoning that “the poor babe had never read books or heard stories, and the fairy tale had been too much for her starved l­ ittle imagination” (I.234). But by the time he finds himself at the soldiers’ bivouac, he has come to explain such failures not through individual circumstances like age but in terms of national difference. Needing to follow the four “extraordinary” stories with one of his own, he warns: “I am . . . ​a native of a country where marvellous t­ hings do not often happen, so that I can tell you nothing to equal in interest the stories I have heard. I can only relate a ­little incident which happened to me in my own country before I left it” (II.79). Lamb appears to concede that the “marvellous ­things” in the soldiers’ stories have ­really happened, but he does not believe this. Instead he simply converts a disagreement about genre—­fantasy or autobiography—­into an intrinsic national difference. When he does tell his story, moreover, it is the local specificity of its London setting that discredits him among his listeners. He sets the scene on a January eve­ning with snow and smog, near the Crystal Palace, but t­ hese details only inspire disgusted disbelief in his listeners, who refuse to let him continue, insisting that January is a summer month, fogs are not black, and buildings are not made of glass. National perspective makes the difference between true and false: “Remember that we w ­ ere speaking of ­actual experiences, not inventing tales of black fogs and glass palaces. . . . ​Surely, friend, you do not consider us such ­simple persons in the Banda Oriental as not to know truth from fable?” (II.82). Which is to say that national perspective gives

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a narrative of events its generic form: what scans as autobiography in the pampas strikes the En­glish ear as fantasy, and what scans as autobiography to an En­glishman is fantasy to the Orientál. Plot events shift from “truth” to “fable” depending on the identity of speakers and listeners, a f­actor that is si­mul­ta­neously impossible to overcome and constitutive of an entire worldview. Lamb himself understands that this is the crux of his foreignness in the pampas, remarking at the very end of volume I, a location of some emphasis, that “often in the Banda Oriental I did not quite seem to know how to mix my truth and lies, and so preferred to hold my tongue” (I.286). In fact, his most successful storytelling efforts are the ones in which he uses a story to convince someone that he is En­glish, not Orientál. Lamb is not Hudson, but the two do share features (such as their sheep-­ farming parents in Argentina), and this perspective on narrative difference seems to be one of them. In a letter to a friend, Hudson tried to explain his disappointment in the c­ hildren’s book he had written, A ­Little Boy Lost: I only know the kind of t­ hing which pleased me as a boy and I tries [sic] to do that kind of t­hing: but I find En­g lish c­ hildren love another kind of t­hing. Namely—­the kind of book in which ­children make believe—as in Bevis and H. Finn. That kind of a child or boy book appeals less to me ­because I knew the real ­thing as a boy and saw blood and rude sights; and the sham or imitation adventures and excursions and alarums falls flat. What I liked was the fantastic and grotesque (if I could accept it as part of the order of t­ hings), and wildness.48

Hudson contrasts his boyhood in Argentina with boyhood in ­England and suggests that c­ hildren in each place like dif­fer­ent stories. C ­ hildren in E ­ ngland, he says, with emphasis, like “make believe,” that is, they like extraordinary ­t hings that are clearly marked as fantasy. Hudson says that ­because he saw extraordinary ­things in Argentina, he only liked stories in which “the fantastic” was “part of the order of ­things.” Although Hudson differs from Lamb in preferring stories like t­ hose the bivouacking soldiers tell, both share the belief that narrative form is (and does) something dif­fer­ent in ­England than in the pampas. Specifically, the Orientál narrative, as practiced by the soldiers and as described by Hudson about his boyhood reading habits, is what I would call ir/ rational. By this I mean to indicate that “irrational” or fantastical ele­ments occur within a rational world, and the combination is taken as a coherent real­ity—­“as part of the order of t­ hings.” In a schematic sense we could call

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this magical realism, although that genre is associated with Latin American fiction that emerged forty or fifty years a­ fter The Purple Land. I do not want to predate the genre nor claim Hudson as its inaugural figure; the novel itself is not an example of magical realism. But it does understand the ­people of the pampas to have a worldview and a correspondent narrative style that we would call magically real, and the fact that de­c ades l­ater none other than Borges would call The Purple Land the quin­tes­sen­tial portrayal of the Argentine gaucho suggests an affinity between his own magical realist style and the cata­logue of gaucho tales in Hudson’s novel. The ir/rational or magically real gaucho narrative in The Purple Land is marked as opposed to and (nationally) incompatible with Lamb’s particularly En­glish approach to narrative, which is linear, teleological, “rational” narrative. This divide represents a difference in formal vision, which is to say that Lamb and the Orientales each understand narrative to be differently formed, and the specific forms they use to make narrative also shape how they see the world. It also stages a po­liti­cal antagonism, between the imperial pro­gress narrative espoused by a Eu­ro­pean imperialist like Lamb, and the anti-­progressive narrative forms deployed by the Orientales.49 This is, for Hudson, an unbridgeable divide. This incommensurability of communication across cultural difference is also a subject Hudson lingers over in other texts. In Far Away and Long Ago he describes a vagabond figure called the Hermit who wears animal skins, mud, and bones, and who speaks a language no one knows. And his novel Green Mansions (1904) is nearly entirely about the inability to be understood. It tells the story of a Venezuelan Creole man named Abel who falls in love with the indigenous and ambiguously super­natural Rima. Even though they can communicate in Spanish, Abel knows that only in Rima’s “mysterious . . . ​ bird-­like” language can she express “her swift thought and vivid emotions.” Rima, for whom speaking in Spanish is like “the merest stammering” and “not speaking,” understands that this language gap means they cannot share stories in a meaningful way; when Abel asks her to tell the story of her m ­ other in Spanish, she says, “I can tell you, but it w ­ ill not be telling you.” A native tongue, in other words, preserves something elemental and untranslatable about narrative. This means, Abel remarks, that “so long as she could not commune with me in that better language, which reflected her mind, ­there would not be that perfect u ­ nion of soul she so passionately desired.”50 ­Family, ­here, emerges as a figure for hybridity. Rima and Abel, who might other­wise love each other as husband and wife, cannot make a “perfect u ­ nion” out of

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their two selves, b­ ecause that hybrid center state is unachievable across the chasm of their dif­fer­ent languages and untranslatable narratives. Lamb in The Purple Land understands this chasm as a ­matter of ­family as well. Leaving one estancia and realizing he has misunderstood the d ­ aughter’s interest in him, he supposes that the f­amily has its own par­tic­u­lar “language” with its own “signs and symbols” (I.81). A f­amily, in other words, shares language and meaning at an intimate level that a foreigner cannot understand. Families made of dif­fer­ent nationalities and languages ­will not share story and w ­ ill therefore lack what Abel calls “that perfect ­union of soul.” The entire plot of The Purple Land exists ­because the En­glishman Lamb cannot find a way to see eye to eye with his Argentine wife’s ­family. Hudson does not want to close such communication gaps in search of perfect ­union, but rather suggests that holding them open is the stuff of anti-­ imperial politics. Critics have been perhaps too quick to label Lamb “the fully legitimate and even organic presence of the colonial hybrid.”51 It is true that partway through the story he congratulates himself on his unique ability, one “not . . . ​­every wanderer from ­England” can boast, to “make himself familiar with the home habits, the ways of thought and speech, of a distant ­people” (I.196). But at the end of the story he acknowledges that throughout his travels in the Banda Orientál, he carried with him “only a fading remnant of that old time-­honoured superstition to prevent the most perfect sympathy between me and the natives I mixed with” (II.237). While the word “only” emphasizes the slightness of the gap that his nationalism maintained between himself and the locals, that gap was nonetheless pre­sent and was enough to prevent “perfect sympathy.” But importantly, while he never achieved such sympathy, or what Abel in Green Mansions called the “perfect ­union of soul,” he did learn an active anti-­imperial politics. His next sentence ­after acknowledging the aperture of irreconcilable difference is this: “I cannot believe that if this country had been conquered and re-­colonised by ­England, and all that is crooked in it made straight according to our notions, my intercourse with the ­people would have had the wild, delicious flavour I have found in it” (II.237). The word “flavour” h ­ ere recalls the e­ arlier moment in which an Orientál reminded Lamb that his own speech contained “a certain foreign flavour” and thus once again highlights the distinctness of En­glish versus South American communication styles. Lamb further acknowledges his cultural difference by aligning himself with ­England (“our notions”), and he evokes the difference-­a s-­ narrative-­misalignment that he encountered by suggesting that the En­glish

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prefer t­ hings “straight” while the Banda Orientál is comfortable with what is “crooked,” and that Orientál “intercourse” is “wild.” This shows his recognition, despite his “hybrid” nature and his appreciation for the Banda Orientál, of his own ongoing adherence to imperial narrative form. But his awareness of cultural and narrative difference now prompts him to adopt an anti-­imperial politics, arguing that En­glish imperialism would have destroyed the “delicious flavour” contained in that difference. In the end, Lamb is less hybrid than amalgam. He has parts of an Orientál identity—­language fluency, gaucho temperament, and so on—­and parts of an En­glish identity as well. One way to define hybridity, one often used in postcolonial theory, would be as precisely this kind of admixture of traits that makes Lamb neither fully En­glish nor fully Orientál, but rather something new, emerging in a “third space” that challenges the notion of an au­then­tic original in the first place. But this is not Hudson’s notion. The Purple Land in fact insists upon the existence of a national essence, an identity native to the En­glishman and to the Orientál. This essential core, the novel suggests, lives in the forms of the stories we tell. And so Lamb might be able to speak Spanish, sip maté, and fight in revolutions, but t­ hese be­hav­iors are as leaves skimmed off the surface of a reservoir whose depths he cannot plumb. The defining feature of Orientálness, its very nature, remains fundamentally other to him, inaccessible across a small but uncrossable divide of narrative form. This kind of partial or surface hybridity then, does not challenge the notion of essential difference, as Bhabha theorizes that hybridity in the colonial contact zone does; rather, it serves as a reminder of an essential difference that can never be collapsed. The place where En­glishness and Orientálness meet—­ the site of transnational encounter—is story, and The Purple Land argues that this is not the overlapping center of a Venn diagram but an asymptotic aperture across which one cannot migrate. In this sense, transnational hybridity emerges as a paradox in which the closer you come to understanding the other, the more you realize you can never fully understand (nor therefore become) the other. Lamb must remain En­glish, as he reminds us that he is at the end of the novel. But if he cannot be hybrid, he can be anti-­imperial, and this is not merely a consoling alternative. Anti-­imperialism is produced by the very act of recognizing the narrative gap that makes hybridity impossible. Lamb’s understanding that he cannot close the gap between himself and the other is coincident with his dawning re­spect for that very difference and the right of the other to sovereignty.

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The form of The Purple Land itself replicates this same investment in refusing to reconcile narrative difference. It holds open the space between an En­glish and an Orientál narrative. For instance, although the entire story is written by Lamb, his interaction with locals means that, as Landau puts it, the South Americans “get to interweave their own stories, anecdotes, jokes, verses, parables and witticisms into the very fabric of the narrative.” This amalgam has anti-­imperial implications, interrupting “the totalising and essentialising power of imperial discourse.”52 For although Lamb tries to “reform” the storytelling mode of the Banda Orientál by re-­forming the narratives he hears at the bivouac—­offering rational bases for the action and truncating the fantastical—­the South Americans reject his intervention. They get narrative space to tell their own stories, in their own narrative forms, and ultimately they even have the power to truncate the En­glishman’s story and exclude it from the novel. This defense of local storytelling has clear implications for the ideology of informal empire, especially given the implied content of Lamb’s untold tale. His story fragment figures British pro­gress, set amid the “black fog” of industry in the shadow of the Crystal Palace, the very display case for the power of commerce and empire. At a time when many wondered how South Amer­i­ca would enter into the story of Britain’s pro­gress, Hudson figures South Americans as literally silencing that narrative altogether, choosing their own stories instead. And just as Lamb can never be truly Orientál, neither can the novel. At the end of the story, Lamb tells Doña Demetria, with whom he has established the bond of ­brother and ­sister, that he wants to write his adventures into a book called “The Purple Land.” But Demetria “­will never read it, of course, for I s­ hall write it in En­glish, and only for the plea­sure it w ­ ill give to my own ­children—if I ever have any—at some distant date” (II.217). Again we see that narrative can unite a f­amily (in this case, Lamb with his f­uture English-­ speaking c­ hildren), but when it comes to the transnational ­family Lamb and Demetria want to establish as ­adopted siblings, the very same narrative that brings them together—­the novel—­a lso figures their incommensurable division across the gap of translation. In this passage, despite the fact that The Purple Land is so formally hybrid, and despite its subsequent canonization as an Argentine gaucho tale, Hudson himself figures his novel as fi­nally, inescapably En­glish. And so, just like Lamb himself, The Purple Land is not a seamless En­glish/Orientál hybrid but an amalgamation that leaves vis­i­ble traces of unassimilable difference. For instance, as Hugh Hazelton observes, the novel

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is a “palimpsesto linguístico” b­ ecause Hudson writes in En­glish while capturing the hispanophone speech patterns of the gauchos.53 It is likewise a temporal palimpsest, gazing on midcentury through the lens of territorial occupation in 1806 and informal empire in the 1880s, and a geographic palimpsest, eschewing the linear, imperial form of the travel narrative (which Jean Franco argues the “missionaries of capitalism” used to model pro­gress) in f­avor of a loop that returns the hero to his starting point to repeat the action of climbing a prospect. T ­ hese overlaps refuse to assimilate otherness into a seamless, linear, imperial narrative. They leave geographic, temporal, and linguistic remainders in the text that make it not hybrid, not resolved, not coherent, but an unsettled amalgam—or, as Ezequiel Martínez Estrada puts it, describing Hudson’s writing in general: “Todo tiende a deshacerse, a fragmentarse, a disolverse.”54 Particularly in its multivocal (hybrid) narrative form, The Purple Land is reminiscent of what Bakhtin calls the “polyphonic” or “dialogic” text. In a dialogic text, characters make their own meaning distinct from the author’s worldview. Divergent ideas retain their “power to signify”; they are not subsumed—as they are in “monologic” texts—­under “a fixed and finalized image of real­ity,” and so the text is not unified ­under a single notion of the truth.55 This lack of resolution is what makes Bakhtin’s dialogics dif­fer­ent from dialectics. The Purple Land could be described as a dialogic text in the way that Lamb and the Orientál characters disagree entirely about the form and purpose of narrative, while the novel, rather than affirming one and repudiating the other, simply acknowledges their opposition. This is itself a potent figure for how Hudson, as well as the other authors I have discussed in this book, perceives the forms of informal empire. British informal empire in Latin Amer­i­ca contained two conflicting drives—­the drive to liberate and the drive to subjugate. Hudson pre­sents ­these as distinct kinds of narratives, one the linear, teleological, progressive, imperial narrative of the En­glish, and the other the inverse narrative forms of the Orientales that he suggests deserve sovereign space. Many critics want to describe the conflicting drives of British informal empire in Latin Amer­i­ca as a kind of dialectic; t­ here is tension and opposition between imperialism and liberation, but that tension resolves itself into an effective imperial strategy. But as I have endeavored to show, many onlookers in the nineteenth ­century perceived the two foundational ideas of informal empire less as a resolvable dialectic and more like Bakhtin’s dialog. That is, as in

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The Purple Land, they saw them as two divergent ideas, constitutive of incompatible worldviews, simultaneous but opposed, irresolvable into unity.

Pro­gress Again Fragmentation, amalgamation, and palimpsest are impor­tant forms b­ ecause in their nonlinearity and non-­assimilation they ­counter the kinds of narratives that Lamb prefers and that on a national scale his country uses to justify imperialism. Like the triumphal travelogue of the cap­i­tal­ist vanguard, ­these narratives are linear and teleological—­they give form to the imperial notion of pro­gress. And it is precisely the ideology of pro­gress that Hudson blames for informal empire. In a preamble chapter to The Purple Land, which is other­ wise composed of Lamb’s first-­person narrative, Hudson describes the midcentury setting of the tale. This story, he says, “take[s] us back a quarter of a ­century” from the time of publication, to a time when “in spite of fierce passions and dark crimes, poetry and heroic virtues, with that sweet archaic simplicity of life and conversation which has vanished from the old world to return no more, still flourished.” This was a time of stasis, when “all ­things ­were very much in the condition in which they had remained since the colonial days.” He says this historical moment of equilibrium gives the story its interest, which it would lack if it took place in the con­temporary 1880s. That is ­because by now, Hudson says, foreigners have begun “breaking up the soil and the ancient usages of the country.” This pro­cess, the one that brought the industrialization and environmental destruction he despised, the one we have since termed informal empire, he calls ­here simply “the iron-­shod monster named Pro­gress” (I.8). By setting his story near midcentury, Hudson offers a vision of a utopian South Amer­i­ca—­violent but beautiful, already international but also not yet crushed ­under pro­gress’s iron boot. It was poised in “­those distant days,” as he calls them in Far Away and Long Ago, when “the country had not . . . ​been overrun by bird-­destroying immigrants from Eu­rope.”56 With figures like Jack the Killer and John Carrickfergus, he suggests that a certain kind of En­ glishman, one who is willing to hybridize himself, could belong to this place and time without posing an imperial threat. But the temporal displacement also suggests why Hudson is pessimistic about the possibility of such hybridity—​he has already seen the effects of informal empire carried out. His vision of an

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international utopia in the pampas has already been overridden by time. Blaming “the iron-­shod monster named Pro­gress” for this, he figures the impossibility of hybridity as the stubborn national allegiance to narrative form. Men like Lamb, and even Jack the Killer, are too beholden to the En­glish mode of communication—­those linear, teleological forms that would bring imperial pro­gress to the pampas. The forms of international ­family, then—­ the relations between lovers like Abel and Rima, elective ­brother and ­sister Lamb and Demetria, or ­brothers in arms like Lamb and his fellow soldiers, or the hybrid subjectivities forged in the fires of close contact—­are undercut by the forms of narrative that the individuals who make up t­ hose relations cannot escape. The pro­gress narrative, Hudson suggests, ­doesn’t belong in South Amer­ i­ca. In fact, when it arrives on American shores, it undergoes a formal reversal. In a letter he wrote to Graham while working on Far Away and Long Ago, Hudson remarked that he hoped the memoir would give “a sort of civilized picture of the country and ­people before it began to be civilized.”57 This ironic category inversion suggests that Eu­ro­pe­a nization means the destruction of South Amer­i­c a’s own version of civilization, and that therefore “civilizing” means its opposite. For Hudson, Eu­ro­pean “civilization” meant a distancing from nature and natu­ral relations. It robbed man of “animism, or that sense of something in nature which to the enlightened or civilized man is not ­there,” and it kept the “civilized w ­ oman” who is “the artificial product of our self-­ imposed conditions,” from understanding her ­children.58 Most tragically, it had an irreversible effect on the ecosystems of the pampas: writing to Garnett at the end of his life, Hudson recalled nostalgically the “­great cries of waterfowl” he would hear as a boy, which “the loathsome cursed civilization of Eu­ rope has now blotted out for ever and ever.”59 In this way, the pro­gress narrative that drove Eu­ro­pe­ans to industrialize the pampas was in fact not pro­gress at all but destruction. As Cannon Schmitt puts it, Hudson “revers[es] the polarities of value between savage and civilized, casting prehistoric savages in the role of creators and preservers and featuring Hudson’s Eu­ro­pean contemporaries as destroyers. [He] inverts the common account of relations between savage and civilized in the ser­vice of a critique of nineteenth-­century Eu­rope, and specifically of Eu­ro­pean colonialism.”60 This “inversion” is one of narrative form; the linear, teleological increase of pro­gress is not legible from a South American perspective b­ ecause South Americans see it run in reverse, t­ oward destruction. So when individuals replicate this same divergence, when Lamb

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prefers linear, teleological narratives that Orientales do not, empire itself is what is at stake. Despite his critique of industrialism and environmental degradation, however, it must be noted that Hudson’s views on race ­were not so forward thinking. His feelings about Argentina’s cultural composition can be best described as nostalgia, a spatiotemporal longing perfectly captured by the titles of both Far Away and Long Ago and The Purple Land That E ­ ngland Lost. Schmitt describes Hudson as a “memorian,” which is to say that he was primarily concerned not with history as such but with the preservation of his own memories of the past.61 ­These memories, however, preserve a pampean culture that was thickly striated by a racist hierarchy Hudson did not find fault with. In Far Away and Long Ago, for instance, he portrays white, “civilized” ­people as “a superior race”62 to the “negroes” and “savages” in Argentina. So while he was damningly critical of the destructive environmental and cultural effects of “pro­gress,” his views on race w ­ ere very much indebted to the imperial pro­g­ ress narrative, making for a complex, uncomfortable vision of who exactly should inhabit his beloved homeland. His body of work together suggests his belief that the rightful stewards of the pampas w ­ ere the Creole gauchos he specifically associated with post-­independence but pre-­industrial Argentina. The only ethical way for the British to engage with South Amer­i­ca was to help preserve a gaucho culture that was si­mul­ta­neously pastoral and multinational (local and global) against the dual threats of both industry and indigenous barbarism (pro­gress and regress). He wanted to “bridge the gap between ‘savage’ and ‘civilized’ by returning moderns to a savage state [thereby] resurrecting something of that past whose loss so preoccupied him.”63 Any exceptional En­glishman who could inhabit this spatiotemporal limbo would be a welcome ally, but Hudson believed it was already too late. The idealized past had been consumed by an unwelcome pre­sent, and he did not imagine any alternate ­future.

Next Literary Efforts As I have argued, Hudson’s aversion to the notion of pro­gress, and his insistence on the sovereignty of South American narrative, suggest that narratives can be imperial—­perhaps just as imperial as capital. For this reason, his reaction to other British fiction about South Amer­i­ca is telling. The Purple Land represented South Amer­i­ca directly in a way that Victorian lit­er­a­ture had not

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done, but two better-­k nown texts soon followed suit: Joseph Conrad’s Nostromo (1904) and V ­ irginia Woolf ’s The Voyage Out (1915). All three are set in post-­independence South Amer­i­c a, and all three consider the dynamics of British migration t­ here. This makes them a unique miniature archive, and it is not surprising that Conrad’s and Woolf ’s books came to Hudson’s attention. We might assume Hudson would be pleased that his native continent was fi­nally emerging in British lit­er­a­ture. And we might expect him to be doubly pleased that one such effort came from Joseph Conrad, whom he admired. For his part, Conrad spoke almost breathlessly of Hudson’s abilities, remarking once to R. B. Cunninghame Graham that “it is as if some very fine, very gentle spirit ­were whispering to him the sentences he puts down on the paper,” calling him a “privileged being,”64 and once exclaiming to Ford Madox Ford that “[Hudson] writes as the grass grows. The Good God makes it be t­ here.”65 Hudson likewise admired Conrad, referring to him once (also to Graham) as “such an artist in words, such a genius and such a prolific author”66 and declaring that “Mirror of the Sea” contained “one of the sublimest passages in recent lit­er­a­ture.”67 But despite their mutual admiration, despite ­running in the same London literary circle and frequenting the same clubs, and despite counting the same men—­Graham, Ford, and Edward Garnett—as their best friends, the two men w ­ ere apparently not close. Conrad said they never met more than ten times in their lives,68 and on Hudson’s death he reflected, “I was not an intimate with him but I had a real affection for that unique personality of his with its, to me, somewhat mysterious fascination.”69 The two men, though they spoke of each other to mutual friends, apparently remained at a respectful remove. As though replicating this relationship, Ford gives them adjacent chapters in his autobiography, and he describes their first meeting as a comical misunderstanding in which, despite Hudson repeatedly shouting, “I’m Hudson!,” Conrad could not understand who he was.70 And when it came to the novelization of South Amer­i­ca, Hudson certainly thought that he and Conrad spoke at cross-­purposes. According to Hudson’s letters, Conrad personally gave him a copy of Nostromo just a­ fter it was published71 (surely no ordinary event, given how infrequently they met), but Hudson found that the novel did “not fascinate” him.72 Ten years ­later, he confessed to a friend that he never finished reading Nostromo ­because of “the idea it produced when I first began to read it—­that the S. American atmosphere is false . . . ​t he ­mental atmosphere—­t he mind of the natives.”73 And about

Where Pro­gress and ­Family (Almost) Meet   223

Woolf ’s The Voyage Out he was even more damning, though for dif­fer­ent reasons: ­Here are a lot of p ­ eople . . . ​at a h ­ otel—­a ll En­glish ­people of one class (that of the author)—­all thinking, talking and acting exactly like the ­people one meets ­every day in ­every London drawing-­room. . . . ​A nd all they think and do has no relation to the environment—­the place they are supposed to be in which only differs from an En­glish background in having a sky of Rickett blue. Somewhere in S. Amer­i­ca it is supposed to be, and once or twice “natives” are mentioned. The scene might just as well have been in some ­hotel on the south coast of ­England.74

Hudson had notoriously exacting standards for literary quality, but ­these critiques are about content, and they have the ring of personal affront. Conrad, he says, has been unfair to the South American p ­ eople, and Woolf has not 75 been interested in them at all. Given The Purple Land ’s emphasis on the value of South Americans’ specific particularity, it is not hard to understand why he would be disappointed that Woolf had not acknowledged it, and Conrad had not respected it. Conrad’s characters are agents of informal empire during its height (the cap­i­tal­ist rear guard, so to speak), and Woolf’s refuse to mingle or assimilate in South Amer­i­c a; both texts, then, tend to see South Amer­i­c a through En­glish eyes. It is hard to imagine that Hudson did not think to himself, once again, how imperial narratives can be.

Conclusion Hudson may have been exceptional in many ways, but he also belonged to a surprisingly robust network connecting South Amer­i­ca to the Atlantic world. Before emigrating from Argentina he worked as a collector for the Smithsonian, shipping bird specimens from the pampas—by way of the better-­ established London routes—­and tracking his packages by reading about the items he’d sent in London newspapers imported to Buenos Aires.76 He belonged to the transatlantic traffic of ideas and material, therefore, before he ever left South Amer­i­c a. His arrival in E ­ ngland in 1874, far from removing him from a network that included South Amer­i­ca, helped him forge new connections within it; in fact, one of the first sights to greet him upon landing in Southampton was the home of deposed dictator Juan Manuel de Rosas, the controversial ruler of Hudson’s youth (and Vicente López’s m ­ iddle age) who 77 had exiled himself to ­England with his ­family. De­cades ­later Hudson would

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bemusedly find himself corresponding with Rosas’s grand­son, Terrero, whom he described as “a wealthy En­glish gentleman” who enjoyed learning about his own Argentine ancestry by reading Hudson’s memoirs.78 He communicated with publishers in North and South Amer­i­ca, kept in touch with a s­ ister in Córdoba, Argentina, and regularly corresponded with readers and acquaintances who reached out to him, w ­ hether from Cornwall, Devonshire, or Miami, to share their own similar experiences on the pampas.79 He even found himself in a transatlantic argument with Theodore Roo­se­velt about pumas.80 This all helps show how South Amer­i­ca had a robust presence in nineteenth-­ century transatlantic networks, and not only ­those of imperial commerce but also of shared literary, geo­graph­i­cal, and cultural identity. Hudson’s movement within this network further helps us see how it was pos­si­ble for Victorians to have vari­ous and surprising perspectives on Latin Amer­i­c a. In his memoir, Ford Madox Ford exquisitely captured Hudson’s complex identity and the unique way it ­shaped his gaze: Coming from afar, Mr. Hudson . . . ​has an air of consummate and unending permanence wherever he may happen to be. . . . ​He is a native of Argentina, and La Plata, and Patagonia and Hampshire and the Sussex downlands—­wherever the grass grows. That is perhaps the best gift that has been given to him by the Good God who has made him such a g­ reat poet. For s­ imple ­people, shepherds, bird-­ catchers, girls wheeling perambulators, old w ­ omen cleaning front steps, South American Dictators, gamblers, duellists, birds, beasts, and reptiles, have been natu­ral before him; and the green earth and the sombre trees and the high downs and the vast Pampas have been just themselves before him. He looked at them with the intent gaze of the bird of prey and the abandonment of the perfect lover.81

Ford, like so many ­others, turns to the form of a copious list to capture Hudson’s apparently boundary-­exceeding nature. But his items do not describe the man himself; they describe the abundant world that has “been natu­ral before him.” Citing phenomena as dif­fer­ent as “South American Dictators” and “girls wheeling perambulators,” Ford suggests that Hudson has been able to move among urban and rural ­people, the power­ful and the powerless, animal and landscape, E ­ ngland and South Amer­i­ca, with enough natu­ral ease to see t­ hose ­things as they r­ eally are. Ford positions Hudson not as one who gazes with Pratt’s “imperial eyes,” but as what John Walker calls a “sympathetic observer,” someone who sees clearly ­because he belongs to the world he sees. Someone

Where Pro­gress and ­Family (Almost) Meet   225

who might actually have what Hudson’s own characters could not achieve—­a “perfect sympathy” with o­ thers in the international milieu of the pampas. And yet Ford’s closing line accidentally betrays a failure of such sympathy. He sums up Hudson’s natu­ral gaze on the world as not one way of seeing but two: he sees with “the intent gaze of the bird of prey and the abandonment of the perfect lover.” This is familiar, familial rhe­toric for the way the En­glish gazed on South Amer­i­ca in the nineteenth c­ entury: as both predator and partner. Ford does not mean to suggest that Hudson is colonial—he is in fact trying to express just the opposite—­but the strange image of the “bird of prey” nonetheless links Hudson with the acquisitive gaze of Victorian empire. Within the discursive arena of British informal empire in Latin Amer­i­ca, the images of the predator and the lover w ­ ere routinely conjoined. And yet Hudson’s own fiction shows that he saw them as both logically and actually divergent. En­glishmen in South Amer­i­ca could be “birds of prey,” which is to say they circled above the pampas, not mixing with t­ hose below, and harboring imperial desire. Or they could be “perfect lovers,” forming ­family, relinquishing self, and establishing a sympathy that carried anti-­imperialism within it. For Hudson ­these ­were not two halves of one En­glish approach to Latin Amer­i­ca but two dif­ fer­ent approaches altogether. “Perfection” of love and sympathy, however, remain elusive in his depiction—he would, in the end, prob­ably not have agreed with ­either of Ford’s two characterizations. But he did see the possibility of an En­glish anti-­imperial politics, one that stemmed precisely from recognizing that En­ glish narratives w ­ ere inherently predatory and that t­here could therefore be no “perfect love” with South Amer­i­ca—­only re­spect for sovereign otherness. Hudson’s direct critique of informal empire is instructive, ­because he locates it precisely in the space where narrative form and ­family form meet. He suggests that Eu­ro­pe­ans and South Americans have an irreconcilable disagreement about narrative form (and “pro­gress” in par­tic­u­lar) that interrupts the formation of truly sympathetic families. Rather than critiquing the forms of informal empire, then, he suggests that it uses discourses that can never unite two inherently divided ­peoples. Hudson was aware, as I think Anna Barbauld was, and Simón Bolívar, too, that the sudden and robust exchange between ­England and South Amer­i­c a (containing cultures previously virtually unknown to one another), the rapid rise of global capitalism, and the emergence of market dominance as a tool of po­liti­cal suppression, meant that global historical narratives w ­ ere being reconsidered. And like López and Haggard, he was aware that the arrangement of t­ hese contacts into families—­both real

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and metaphorical—­would have profound implications for empire. But Hudson was not concerned about what the pro­gress narrative consisted of in this new context, or even how f­ amily was formed; rather, he questioned the ability of Britons and Latin Americans to even use the same narratives and tropes in the first place, particularly within an arena of imbalanced economic and industrial power. He suggested, ultimately, that the very master narratives informal empire would try to wrangle w ­ ere themselves already beset by paradox when used to figure international relations. This chapter has argued that for William Henry Hudson, the dif­fer­ent stories that En­glishmen and South Americans tell constitute an interruption to the perfect sympathy required for individual hybridity and interpersonal familial relation. But a second aim has been to highlight a kind of voice that receives l­ittle attention in scholarship—­that of a person who moved in the same contact zone as the “cap­i­tal­ist vanguard” of British informal empire in Latin Amer­i­ca but saw with a dif­fer­ent gaze. Hudson figures alternate kinds of exchanges, ranging from the interpersonal relationships he experienced in the pampas and memorialized in writing, to his own “peripheral”-­to-­ metropolitan migration, from his participation in literary and kinship networks between London and Buenos Aires, to his opposition to imperial ones. He therefore represents a kind of subject who moved in the same network of ideas, the same international contact zone as the cap­i­tal­ist vanguard, but made dif­fer­ent sense of the narrative and familial forms at play. And he shows, crucially, how the ideology of informal empire might have collided with and strug­gled against other extant Victorian concepts like transnational identity, environmental conservation, and local sovereignty. My goal with this book, in fact, has been to show that ­there ­were writers, thinkers, travelers, and stakeholders on both sides of the Atlantic who variously critiqued, questioned, or supported (sometimes reluctantly or accidentally) informal empire. They recognized it as distinct from the formal empire, irreducibly dual in form, and frequently in conflict with Victorian master narratives. Such recognition was pos­si­ble ­because the nineteenth c­ entury produced power­ful ways of seeing the social in formal terms. Informal empire, in being “informal,” did not escape this formal scrutiny nor lack form altogether; on the contrary, skirting dominant institutions of oppression only set into relief the ways in which it was differently formed. And it shows, ultimately, how nineteenth-­century social and po­liti­cal arrangements, particularly b­ attles over power and resources, w ­ ere contested through the forms that made them legible.

C oda

The forms in which we arrange language are power­ful ­things. Meta­phors like “­brother” and narratives like “pro­gress” can both invite common purpose and occlude in­equality. They also describe and produce the forms in which we arrange h ­ uman bodies and material goods into structures like governance, finance, and ­family. Language forms and social forms produce one another reciprocally and constantly, such that it can become hard to know ­whether “pro­gress” and “brotherhood” are more properly the discursive realm of language or the material configurations of our existence. Often, they are both; the intercourse of the two is politics. And so the question of what kinds of social arrangements t­hese meta­phors describe and enact—­liberatory, oppressive, communal, unequal—is one with high stakes. The literary texts I have discussed render this po­liti­cal pro­cess vis­i­ble. The meta­phorical distance between the nation and the f­ amily is flattened in both H. Rider Haggard’s and Vicente Fidel López’s fiction when a British man marries an indigenous American w ­ oman and their u ­ nion not only symbolizes international relations but also produces each individual’s national belonging. In novelistic form, the treatment of British–­Latin American relations as a marriage loses any claim to the purely abstract. Instead, t­ hese stories force us to consider international marriage on the level of relations between two individuals who elicit our empathy, and therefore to pursue the ethical implications of the po­liti­cal meta­phor. If spouses should not exploit one another for profit, then neither should two nations who consider themselves wed. Likewise, Trollope’s texts ask us to consider how a formalized abstraction of historical time like the pro­gress narrative produces the experience of being in the world for individual ­people. In The Way We Live Now, pro­gress is not merely a shape for capturing an idea about history; to take it seriously as a governing philosophy

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means speaking in certain tenses, avoiding certain financial practices, and limiting colonial impingements on sovereignty in foreign countries. Literary criticism is a power­ful tool for untangling the relationship between po­liti­cal discourses and their social implications, b­ ecause literary texts already constantly traverse the distance between meta­phor and ­human relations. Close reading can unpack the way a novel does this; it can also unpack the way politics does. ­Doing so helps us better understand how language creates the conditions of our social and po­liti­cal life. Moreover, lit­er­a­ture creates worlds. That remarkable feat gives us a way to see that such conditions are neither unitary nor inevitable. The worlds we encounter when we read are dynamic precisely ­because, instead of being slickly governed by totalizing forces, they register the conflicts and misalignments of the multifarious stories, institutions, meta­ phors, structures—in short, forms—­t hat combine and recombine to shape experience. Lit­er­a­ture can show us not only how oppressive forces take form, but also where their outer limits lie and in what configurations they are weakest. But why turn to the past? My subject in this book has been informal empire, which is a prob­lem that persists—­and grows worse—in the twenty-­first ­century. It has also grown more complex, as not only nation-­states but also multinational corporations exert sway over eco­nom­ically vulnerable countries, states, and regions. The nineteenth ­century, therefore, may not seem the most critical site for analy­sis. What can we learn about financial imperialism from a world before, for instance: the internet, the World Bank, neoliberalism, US-­backed coups in Latin Amer­i­ca, super-­exploitation of ­labor in the Global South, and the Fortune Global 500? One obvious reason to look backward is that it helps us see how we are still Victorian. This book has worked to expose the thick reliance of nineteenth-­ century British thought on the concepts of progressive history and familial community. But ­those ideas have not faded from use. The ­Family of Man, for instance, endures in notions of global community that are themselves implicated in the imperial dominance of the west. In the 1950s, a photography exhibition that sought postwar global unity by depicting ­human diversity went by the name “The F ­ amily of Man,” but it invited many critiques, including Roland Barthes’s assessment that it was merely an anodyne suppression of capitalism’s structural inequalities.1 And as Sara Ahmed reminds us, the alignment of race, f­ amily, and nation still underpins violent white nationalist ideologies in the twenty-­first c­ entury.2 We remain tempted to explain politics in

Coda  229

familial terms, but we do not grapple enough with the cuts such a meta­phor can make ­after a ­century and a half of sharpening itself in the grooves of racism and oppression. “Pro­gress,” likewise, still dominates the mainstream left’s view of history, but its application in certain sectors (the fraught notion of “development,” for instance, as a concept for describing struggling national economies) often helps pave the way for corporatization and the exacerbation of the global division of ­labor. Turning back to the nineteenth ­century shows us that despite changes in technology, industry, and finance, we are still the descendants of Victorian thought. But for this reason, the most impor­tant way the nineteenth c­ entury offers insight is that in its basic proposition—­leveraging economic advantage to achieve po­liti­cal control—­informal empire was at that time still a new idea. It had been practiced in India on the way to formal rule, but the nineteenth ­century saw the rise of f­ ree trade as a hegemonic theory of economics, and as this collided with Latin American in­de­pen­dence, it became pos­si­ble for the British to imagine using nothing more than commercial sway to bring an entire continent ­under their influence. It was a shift in the very concept of imperial power.3 As a new idea, emerging at once against traditional imperialism and alongside other new ideas like pro­gress and nationalism, informal empire was highly vis­i­ble, not yet simply woven into the ideological fabric of international finance. Its two constitutive concepts—­the freedom and the subjugation of Latin Amer­i­ca—­were separate, opposed ideas, long before they ­were joined, and bringing them together was a complicated, awkward pro­cess that churned illogic and contradiction to the surface. Neither the material infrastructure nor the rhetorical explanations for informal empire emerged fully formed from a centralized imperial machine. Rather, the material relations w ­ ere often improvised and ad hoc,4 and the rhe­toric—­the narratives, the stories, the tropes—­that described ­those relations lurched uncomfortably along for de­cades, clashing with other dominant ways of understanding history and community. As the idea of informal empire developed, therefore, its internal paradoxes and external frictions with other ideas ­were quite apparent to con­temporary thinkers like Simón Bolívar, Anna Barbauld, Anthony Trollope, and ­others. Studying the nineteenth ­century, then, helps us become resensitized to the strangeness and unaccountability of informal empire, its clash with other dominant ideas. It can remind us that we should see the collusion of ­family and white supremacy in our own time, or pro­gress and neoliberalism, as paradoxical u ­ nions.

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Critics, however, have not tended to see nineteenth-­century British informal empire in Latin Amer­i­ca as troubled and available for critique to its contemporaries. They read the contradictions of informal empire as resolvable into coherency and the ­whole as an effective extension of the formal empire. They see it, in other words, as a functional part of the surrounding nineteenth-­ century ideological landscape. This view, I believe, emerges from a kind of unspoken presentism. That is, it is all too easy to see the eventual success of financial imperialism, particularly as it replaced the formal empire in the twentieth c­ entury, and to interpret its emergence in the nineteenth c­ entury as a prehistory of that success. It is tempting to view the past as part of a teleological drive t­ oward the pre­sent. But the eventual success of an idea does not equate to its early inevitability. The authors whose work I have discussed in this book lived in a time when such power was far from certain. This book proposes, therefore, a dif­fer­ent kind of presentism, one that starts from the past. We must and should be interested in informal empire ­because we live t­ oday u ­ nder the oppressive conditions of worsening global neoliberal wealth in­equality. Our pre­sent emergency makes the past urgent. But as we turn to that past, we must train ourselves not to see it merely as the first page of our own story, but rather as a kind of rough draft that might have produced many dif­fer­ent narratives, many dif­fer­ent f­ utures. To return to the nineteenth ­century is to revisit a moment when the structures of financial imperialism ­were shrouded in uncertainty, ambiguity, and potential failure—­a moment when strangeness was still one of its dominant features, and when arguments against informal empire had all the potency that came from their pos­si­ble success. Approaching the past this way can both inform our work with the urgency of the pre­sent and help us see history as less deterministic. And, moreover, it can also ward off the temptation to view imperial power as totalizing. Returning to the discomfort and contradiction of informal empire as it emerged shows that, like all discourses, it has form. And although forms can be constraining and oppressive, they are also discernible, describable, exposable, l­imited, and therefore critiquable. They may be combined in alternate ways to open alternate f­ utures. We may challenge the forms that produce our unequal life, but we must first learn to see what they are.

no t e s


Freedom and Empire in the Nineteenth C ­ entury

1. ​Throughout this book I use the term “Latin Amer­i­ca” to refer to the former Spanish and Portuguese colonies in the Amer­i­cas. Though it was not coined ­until the mid-­nineteenth ­century, it usefully concretizes the bound­a ries of a region in flux. This proj­ect focuses on the hispanophone colonies of the former Spanish Empire, but Brazil should be considered part of this cultural and economic movement as well. 2. ​It is hard to put firm dates on the revolutions. Rebellion was in the works before 1810, and skirmishes lasted ­after 1824. Cuba did not gain in­de­pen­dence u ­ ntil 1898. But ­these dates capture the most impor­tant and intense period of strug­gle. 3. ​Despite abundant attention paid to the American Revolution in the 1770s and 1780s, one could argue that Latin Amer­i­ca’s in­de­pen­dence a generation ­later had the more transformative impact on Atlantic dynamics and the British imagination. A ­ fter the American Revolution, Britain and the United States remained linked by language, lit­er­a­ture, history, commerce, and po­liti­c al interests. As Trevor Burnard argues, “the loss of thirteen North American colonies was a personal disaster for a few ­people” in Britain, but the nation as a ­whole hardly felt any consequences (Planters, Merchants, and Slaves, 213). Latin American revolutions, on the other hand, connected the British to a vast geography and myriad populations they knew ­little about, opening up entirely new corridors of trade, translation, exploration, and power. Amid such crossings, the Atlantic world would see new conceptions of sovereignty and finance, new transculturations, and new configurations of imperial power. 4. ​Trifilo, “British Travelers in Chile,” 392. 5. ​Waddell, “British Neutrality.” 6. ​Southey to Rickman, December 23, 1806, 212. 7. ​Bethell, “Britain and Latin Amer­i­ca,” 1. 8. ​Mill, “Emancipation,” 298–299. Mill also argues against seeking commercial monopolies in Spanish Amer­i­ca, but his desire to see ­England, rather than France, reap the region’s profits, betrays his sense that a Eu­ro­pean nation can nonetheless occupy the role of primary beneficiary. 9. ​Cited in Heinowitz, Spanish Amer­i­ca, 4 (emphasis in the original). 10. ​[“In her [­England’s] shadow Amer­i­c a can assert her freedom.”] Bolívar, “Artículo Comunicado,” 155. All translations that appear in notes, ­unless other­wise stated, are mine.

232  Notes to Pages 3–7 11. ​Chasteen, Americanos, 58. 12. ​Anderson, ­Imagined Communities; Brennan, “National Longing for Form.” 13. ​For more on the scholarly value and the ethical imperative of multilingual Victorian studies, see my article “­Toward a Multilingual Victorian Transatlanticism.” 14. ​The terms “informal empire” and “neo­co­lo­nial­ism” are more recent coinages, both dating from the mid-­t wentieth ­century. Gallagher and Robinson brought “informal empire” into mainstream usage with their famous 1953 essay, “The Imperialism of ­Free Trade.” Jean-­ Paul Sartre (Colonialism and Neo­co­lo­nial­ism, 1964) and Kwame Nkrumah (Neo-­Colonialism, 1965) pop­u­lar­ized “neo­co­lo­nial­ism” a de­cade l­ater. Onlookers in the nineteenth ­century did not have an accepted, shared term for what we ­today call informal empire, but, as this book shows, they understood the concept. In the following pages, I say more about my decision to use the label “informal empire.” 15. ​Çelikkol, Romances of ­Free Trade, 8, 5. The rise of ­free trade not only enabled the informal empire but also transformed Britain’s relationship to its formal colonies as well. Christopher Taylor shows that the West Indies experienced the lessening of po­liti­cal ties with Britain in ­favor of looser commercial ties, becoming an “empire of neglect” (Empire of Neglect). 16. ​Cardoso and Faletto, De­pen­dency and Development, 30–31. 17. ​Centner, “Chilean Failure.” 18. ​Cardoso and Faletto, De­pen­dency and Development, 36–37. 19. ​Bulmer-­Thomas, Economic History, 101. 20. ​Centner, “Chilean Failure,” 293–294. 21. ​“For example, in 1845, as in 1806–07, British forces intervened in the River Plate. British forces ­were also used in the landing at Callao in 1839 and the Mexico intrusion of 1861–62. On other occasions the mere presence of the Royal Navy was sufficient to obtain compliance, as off Peru in 1857 on behalf of bondholders, and against Chile in 1863. British pressure helped the creation of Uruguay, while Palmerston used the navy to threaten Brazil over the slave trade in 1848–49. From the 1830s to the 1860s the government clearly showed its willingness to intervene assertively in Latin Amer­i­ca to open ‘the markets of that ­great continent.’ ” Lynn, “British Policy,” 110. 22. ​Bulmer-­Thomas, Economic History, 28. 23. ​Bulmer-­Thomas, Economic History, 103. 24. ​Cardoso and Faletto, De­pen­dency and Development, 38–39. 25. ​Bulmer-­Thomas, Economic History, 29. 26. ​Coatsworth, “Structures, Endowments, and Institutions,” 128. 27. ​Cardoso and Faletto, De­pen­dency and Development, 39–43. 28. ​Bértola and Ocampo, Economic Development, 7–8. 29. ​Cardoso and Faletto, De­pen­dency and Development, 54–55. 30. ​Gallagher and Robinson, “Imperialism of ­Free Trade,” 5, 9–10. 31. ​“By the 1850s Britain was well established as the main trading partner of the region. Latin Amer­i­ca took around 10 per cent of total British exports between 1850 and 1913 and around 10 per cent of British imports, figures second only to India’s in Britain’s trade. Equally, British financial involvement in Latin Amer­i­ca increased with British investment growing from some £30m in 1826 to around £81m by 1865. Overall, ­there was clearly a considerable British economic presence in the continent by the 1880s.” Lynn, “British Policy,” 110.

Notes to Pages 7–12   233 32. ​Bethell, “Britain and Latin Amer­i­ca,” 1. 33. ​Burns, Poverty of Pro­g ress, 137. Burns’s work is something of a polemic, and he has been rightly critiqued for idealizing the conditions in Latin Amer­i­c a that existed prior to foreign influence or that might have existed without it. 34. ​Lynn argues that this is true of British informal empire around the world, and for this reason he takes issue with the term “informal empire” in the first place, claiming it is “unhelpful in implying . . . ​that this influence simply reached one way, from Britain into the world outside. Relations between Britain and the wider world, in ­these years at least, need to be seen in a much more pluralistic and mutually permeable fashion.” Lynn, “British Policy,” 120. 35. ​Burns, Poverty of Pro­gress, 11. 36. ​According to Cardoso and Faletto, this is its own kind of trap: “Peripheral economies, even when they are no longer restricted to the production of raw material, remain dependent in a very specific form: their capital-­goods production sectors are not strong enough to ensure continuous advance of the system, in financial as well as in technological and orga­nizational terms.” De­pen­dency and Development, xxi. 37. ​Porter, “Introduction,” 7. 38. ​Wong, “Informal British Empire in China,” 480. 39. ​Lynn, “British Policy,” 113, 120. 40. ​Burke, “Speeches,” 292. 41. ​Onley, Arabian Frontier, 12. 42. ​Lynn, “British Policy,” 115. See Lynn for more on the economic differences among vari­ous regions of British informal empire. 43. ​Thompson, “Afterword,” 231. 44. ​See Lynn, “British Policy,” and vari­ous chapters in Brown, ed., Informal Empire. 45. ​Beckman, Capital Fictions, xix. 46. ​Barbauld, Eigh­teen Hundred and Eleven, l. 164. 47. ​Gallagher and Robinson, “Imperialism of ­Free Trade,” 7. 48. ​Franco, “Not-­So-­Romantic Journey”; Pratt, Imperial Eyes. 49. ​Brown, “Richard Vowell,” 99. 50. ​Hahner, ­Women Through W ­ omen’s Eyes; Mörner, “Eu­ro­pean Travelogues.” 51. ​Waddell, “British Neutrality,” 5. 52. ​Brown, ed., Informal Empire, 7–8. 53. ​See Franco’s reading of Francis Bond Head as an exceptional traveler and Leask’s similar reading of Frances Calderón de la Barca. Franco, “Not-­So-­Romantic Journey”; Leask, “Ghost in Chapultepec.” For more, see the essays in Almeida, ed., Romanticism, especially Fulford, Caballero and Hayward, and Damián. 54. ​See Almeida, Reimagining the Transatlantic; Aguirre, Informal Empire; Fulford, “British Romantics”; Hayward, “No Unity of Design”; Heinowitz, Spanish Amer­i­ca; Ramirez, British Repre­sen­ta­tions. Ramirez specifically uses the word “ambivalent” (2). 55. ​Aguirre, Informal Empire, xvii. 56. ​Hayward, “No Unity of Design.” 57. ​Heinowitz, Spanish Amer­i­ca, 15. 58. ​Nkrumah, Neo-­Colonialism, ix, 239.

234  Notes to Pages 12–26 59. ​Sartre, Colonialism, 194, 197. 60. ​Heinowitz, Spanish Amer­i­ca, 15. Tim Fulford offers a similar formulation, arguing that “South American Indians” w ­ ere portrayed in Romantic writing as “heroic liberators and noble warriors . . . ​[in order] to assuage colonial guilt.” Fulford, “British Romantics,” 247. 61. ​Caballero, “Honour,” 112; Schmitt, Memory of the ­Human, 9; Heinowitz, Spanish Amer­i­ca, 2. 62. ​Hensley, Forms of Empire, 2, 5. 63. ​Mill, On Liberty, 41. 64. ​Mill, “A Few Words,” 259 (emphasis in the original); Mill, On Liberty, 6. 65. ​Gandhi, Affective Communities. 66. ​Conrad, Nostromo, 83, 138, 137. 67. ​Mufti, Civilizing War, 124. 68. ​Said, Beginnings, 100. 69. ​Hensley and Steer, “Signatures,” 76, 77. 70. ​Mufti, Civilizing War, 116, 119. For more on the nonlinear, fragmented forms of history and narrative in Nostromo, see Demory, “Making History”; Erdinast-­Vulcan, “Writing of History”; Mallios, “Untimely Nostromo”; Miller, “Material Interests”; and Robin, “Time, History, Narrative.” 71. ​Esty, Unseasonable Youth, 17. 72. ​Prominent examples include Helen Maria Williams’s Peru (1784), John Thelwall’s The Incas; or, the Peruvian Virgin (1792), James Moore’s Columbiad (1798), R. B. Sheridan’s Pizarro (1799), and Robert Southey’s Madoc (1805). The Spanish Conquest and the history of the native ­peoples remained a popu­lar literary subject throughout the nineteenth c­ entury. In a disparaging 1894 review of H. Rider Haggard’s novel Montezuma’s ­Daughter in the Spec­ tator, the critic argued that Haggard “voluntarily enters into rivalry with a historical rec­ord which, in the ­matter of exciting narrative, beats most novels hollow. The conquest of Mexico is a sensational romance of fact, and to turn it into a sensational romance of fiction is very like painting the lily and gilding gold.” (“A Novel and Two Romances.”) 73. ​Shelley, Frankenstein, 99; Collins, ­Woman in White, 198; Schmitt, Memory of the ­Human, 20. 74. ​Kaul, Poems of Nation, 10. 75. ​Barrell and Guest, “Use of Contradiction,” 135, 123. 76. ​Schwarz, “Objective Form,” 193. 77. ​White, Content of the Form. 78. ​Bhabha, “Narrating the Nation”; Carr, Time, Narrative, and History; Gellner, Nationalism. 79. ​Koselleck, ­Futures Past, 287. 80. ​Levine, Forms, 2. 81. ​Levine, “Strategic Formalism,” 627. 82. ​Levine, Forms. 83. ​Kramnick and Nersessian, “Form and Explanation.” 84. ​The introductions to each half provide chapter descriptions, so I do not summarize each chapter ­here. 85. ​Kornbluh, “Never Been Critical,” 401.

Notes to Pages 27–39   235 86. ​For more on deterrence as a corollary to affordance, see chapter 2. 87. ​Gallagher, “Formalism and Time,” 231. 88. ​Levine, Forms, 16. 89. ​See Chakrabarty, Provincializing Eu­rope, and Mehta, Liberalism and Empire. 90. ​French, “Reading Informal Empire,” 189. 91. ​Beckman, Capital Fictions, xx, x. 92. ​Hegel, Science of Logic, 35. 93. ​Heinowitz, Spanish Amer­i­ca, 16. 94. ​Haraway, Staying with the Trou­ble, 2. 95. ​Almeida, Reimagining the Transatlantic, 5. 96. ​As Anna Kornbluh argues, while literary form (particularly novelistic form) contains the potential for immanent critique, certain texts—­“perhaps most” of them—­fail to offer this critique, “­whether b­ ecause they lack imagination, lack the minimum norms of justice, or lack aesthetic consistency” (“Never Been Critical,” 406).

Part I

Pro­gress and Informal Empire, 1808–1875

1. ​Scholars widely agree that the idea of history as pro­gress can be dated to the mid-­to late eigh­teenth ­century. For detailed accounts of its emergence, see Koselleck, Conceptual History and ­Futures Past; Lukács, Historical Novel, 23–29; Mehta, Liberalism and Empire, 82–85; Nisbet, Idea of Pro­gress. 2. ​Koselleck, Conceptual History, 168. See also Lukács on the importance of the French Revolution to the idea of historical pro­gress. 3. ​Koselleck, Conceptual History, 229–230. 4. ​White, Content of the Form; Hartog, Regimes of Historicity. 5. ​Koselleck, Conceptual History, 120, 121. 6. ​Nisbet, Idea of Pro­gress, 4–5; Koselleck, Conceptual History, 113, 123, 165–168. 7. ​Bann, Rise of History, 11. 8. ​Chandler, ­England in 1819, 107. 9. ​For more on the way pro­g ress achieved a takeover of nineteenth-­c entury western thought, see Mandelbaum, who argues that a key feature of the period was “the tendency to view all of real­ity” through the lens of development (History, Man, and Reason, 41), or Nisbet, who writes that “from being one of the impor­tant ideas in the West [pro­gress] became the dominant idea” (Idea of Pro­gress, 171). 10. ​In other words, if pro­gress is a mushroom, I’m less concerned with distinguishing among portobello, shiitake, and oyster than I am in understanding what basic princi­ples give them all their mushroom-­ness. 11. ​Mehta, Liberalism and Empire, 90. 12. ​For a compelling discussion of how the pro­gress narrative relies on two paradoxical visions—­linear, gradual change on the one hand, and total rupture from a radically other (­because barbaric) past on the other, see Hensley, Forms of Empire, particularly his chapter on The Mill and the Floss. 13. ​Even the most ardent adherents to a progressive explanation of history ­will acknowledge that it may contain small regressions, but ­these are minor and temporary enough

236  Notes to Pages 39–47 that, when seen from the vantage of history writ large, they dis­appear into the overall form of inevitable upward climb. Prior states may recur as blips or hiccups, but they are not repeated in a sustained way. 14. ​Arendt (Origins of Totalitarianism) argues that by the end of the nineteenth ­century, pro­gress in fact lost the teleological form it had had in its eighteenth-­century manifestations, precisely b­ ecause of its new imbrication with the endlessness of capital accumulation. I explore this clash between progressive teleology and cap­i­tal­ist accumulation in depth in chapter 3. 15. ​Hobsbawm, On History, 19. 16. ​Each of t­ hese ideas is well discussed elsewhere. For more on diachronic versus synchronic history, see White, Metahistory. For discussions of the linear nature of pro­gress, see Nisbet, Idea of Pro­gress, 4–5; Hobsbawm, On History, 14–15; Koselleck, Conceptual History, 123; Mandelbaum, History, Man, and Reason, 43; Hartog, Regimes of Historicity, 4–5. For more on the concept of increase, see Mandelbaum, History, Man, and Reason, 43–45. For acceleration, see Hobsbawm, On History, 13; Koselleck, ­Futures Past; and Koselleck, Concep­ tual History, 113. And for teleology, see Mandelbaum, History, Man, and Reason, 45. 17. ​Chakrabarty, Provincializing Eu­rope, 8. 18. ​See Fabian, Time and the Other. 19. ​Mehta, Liberalism and Empire, 30. 20. ​Mehta, Liberalism and Empire, 30; Chakrabarty, Provincializing Eu­rope, 8. 21. ​Esty, Unseasonable Youth, 22, 17.

Chapter 1


1. ​Adelman, Sovereignty and Revolution, 2. 2. ​[“This nation [ancient Rome] has examples for every­t hing, except for the cause of humanity. . . . ​But the resolution of the ­g reat prob­lem of man set ­f ree seems to have been something inconceivable, a mystery that would only be made clear in the New World.”] Bolívar, “15 de agosto,” 4–5. En­glish translation from Bolívar, “Oath Taken in Rome,” in El Libertador, 113. The “Juramento del Monte Sacro,” or “Oath Taken in Rome,” as it has come to be called in Spanish and En­glish, was written by Bolívar’s tutor, though both men claimed it to be an accurate rec­ord of a spontaneous speech Bolívar uttered at the summit of Monte Sacro. In it, the youthful Bolívar, inspired by the history of ancient Rome, swears his commitment to someday seeing Latin Amer­i­c a set ­f ree. While its origin may be specious, the general argument that Rome could offer no pre­ce­dent or example to speak to Latin American in­de­pen­dence is a fascinating piece of rhe­toric, both connected to Bolívar and simply as a revolutionary utterance. 3. ​Adelman, Sovereignty and Revolution, 2. 4. ​Where pos­si­ble I have quoted Bolívar in his original language of writing or speaking—­ whether Spanish or En­glish. In the case of some of his more obscure texts, however, it has been necessary to cite published translations. 5. ​Bushnell, “Introduction,” xxvii. 6. ​The word “Creole” has a wide variety of specific referents in vari­ous cultural contexts. ­Here I use it to refer to p ­ eople of Spanish descent who w ­ ere born in the Amer­i­cas as opposed to having relocated t­ here.

Notes to Pages 47–50   237 7. ​Lynch, Simón Bolívar, 30, 31. 8. ​McFarlane, “Po­liti­cal Dissent,” 323–324. 9. ​Collier, “Simón Bolívar,” 13. 10. ​Lynch, Simón Bolívar, 51–52. For more on the Bolívar-­Wellesley talks, see Cussen, Bello and Bolívar; Waddell, Gran Bretaña; Waddell, “International Politics.” 11. ​[“Be assured, Your Excellency, as we are, that in spite of the tone of coolness and reserve evident in their reply to our proposals, and in the memorandum that we are enclosing, ­there are in this government genuine and very favorable attitudes t­ oward us; attitudes that accord too well with the ­actual state of affairs and with the interests of ­Great Britain to be disputed or doubted. L ­ ittle shrewdness is needed to discover it in the very same papers we cite, even though they have been crafted to communicate with the Spanish, and, what’s more, we expect t­ hese attitudes to grow and develop with each passing day, in proportion to the advancing dissolution of Spain.”] Bolívar, “Los comisionados,” 6. 12. ​Racine, “Simón Bolívar, En­glishman,” 58; Cussen, Bello and Bolívar, 33–34. Andrés Bello, another member of the del­e­ga­tion, stayed ­behind in London for many years to represent Latin Amer­i­ca’s interests to the British. 13. ​Chasteen, Americanos, 118. 14. ​Although he would eventually invite the United States, he originally preferred not to ­because of their differences in culture and out of deference to Britain. See also Lynch on his general orientation t­ oward the two: “­Toward the United States he was cool and guarded, but not overtly hostile, and he respected its revolutionary and republican credentials. Britain, however, engaged his sympathy as well as his admiration.” Simón Bolívar, 216. 15. ​Lynch, Simón Bolívar, 214. 16. ​[“The p ­ eople have had two objectives in undertaking the current American revolution: to shake off the Spanish yoke, and to establish friendship and commerce with ­Great Brit­ ain.”] Bolívar, “Comunicación del Libertador,” 333. 17. ​Racine, Francisco de Miranda, 106–107; Cussen, Bello and Bolívar, 40. 18. ​In fact, several de­cades ­later, a­ fter in­de­pen­dence was won and large communities of British emigrants had settled in South Amer­i­ca, they still spoke of Britain’s involvement with in­de­pen­dence using the same pairing. In the second issue of The Britannia and Montevideo Reporter, the editors write: “When the lamented Canning resolved upon employing the influence of the British Cabinet in favour of the Recognition of the Uruguay Republic, his comprehensive mind saw at once the im­mense advantages which the creation of the new State, in its geo­graph­i­cal position, would confer, not only upon the commercial interests of his own country, but also, upon the po­liti­cal condition of the p ­ eople inhabiting the regions bordering upon the tributaries of the River Plate.” “The Republic of Paraguay,” 1. 19. ​Bolívar to Wellesley, May 27, 1815, El Libertador, 154. 20. ​Ewell, “Atlantic World Diplomacy,” 44. See Lynch for the original and ongoing significance of the letter: “The Jamaica Letter is more impor­tant as a reflection of Bolívar’s thinking and a source of the springs of action than as a call to the American ­people, for in 1815 the American ­people did not hear it. It was first published in En­glish, in 1818, and it was only in 1833 that the first known Spanish version was issued. But the Liberator drew on the Letter, sometimes word for word, in other more public utterances in the years to come, and thus it became part of the po­liti­cal currency of the Spanish American revolution.” Simón Bolívar, 95.

238  Notes to Pages 50–58 21. ​He addressed the letter to “a gentleman from this island,” invoking an upper-­class resident of the British-­controlled island of Jamaica but also, by implication, the island nation of ­England. And by promoting “world equilibrium” (see more ­later in this chapter), he further speaks to Britain’s concern that France might acquire the Spanish colonies and become an outsized power. Thus, despite his repeated use of the larger designation “Eu­rope,” his dual appeal to commerce and justice was most pointedly aimed at Britain. 22. ​Bolívar, “The Jamaica Letter,” El Libertador, 15. 23. ​Bolívar, “The Jamaica Letter,” 16. 24. ​Ewell, “Atlantic World Diplomacy,” 43. 25. ​Racine, Francisco de Miranda, 143. 26. ​Ewell, “Atlantic World Diplomacy,” 37. 27. ​See also Lynch, Simón Bolívar, 216–217. 28. ​Bolívar to Wellesley, May 27, 1815, El Libertador, 154. 29. ​[“No one doubts that the power­f ul nation [­Great Britain] which, even in adversity, has constantly defended the in­de­pen­dence of Eu­rope, would not equally defend Amer­i­ca’s if it w ­ ere attacked. On the contrary, let us rejoice in the irresistible ascendancy that E ­ ngland is about to establish over both hemi­spheres in guarantee of universal freedom.”] Bolívar, “Artículo Comunicado,” 155. This essay has no attributed author in the original printing, but critics agree that it is Bolívar’s, and it appears in multiple anthologies of his collected writing. Original spelling and capitalization have been preserved, while diacritical marks have been added for consistency. 30. ​[“In her [­England’s] shadow Amer­i­c a can assert her freedom.”] Bolívar, “Artículo Comunicado,” 155. 31. ​Mill, “Emancipation,” 299. 32. ​Moraña, “Ilustración y delirio.” 33. ​[“regionalism/Westernism, indigeneity/Eu­ro­pe­a nization, traditionalism/progress, rootedness/modernity, colonialism/Enlightenment, [and] barbarity/civilization.”] Moraña, “Ilustración y delirio,” 32. 34. ​[“evasion and reconciliation.”] Meléndez, “Miedo, raza y nación,” 17. 35. ​Collier, “Simón Bolívar,” 18. See also Lynch, Simón Bolívar, 28. 36. ​Lynch, Simón Bolívar, 28–29. 37. ​In fact, the British had already discovered that the United States was far more financially valuable f­ ree than it had been as a colony. 38. ​Bolívar to Revenga, February 17, 1826, Selected Writings, vol. 2, 568. 39. ​Bolívar, “The Jamaica Letter,” 30. 40. ​Bolívar to Monteagudo, August 5, 1823, Selected Writings, vol. 2, 389. 41. ​Lynch, Simón Bolívar, 28. 42. ​Racine, “Simón Bolívar, En­glishman,” 59. 43. ​Gallagher and Robinson, “Imperialism of ­Free Trade,” 13. 44. ​Mehta, Liberalism and Empire. 45. ​White, Content of the Form, 10. 46. ​See chapter 4 for more on how Latin American nations, particularly Argentina, pursued the authoring of new histories in order to develop national identity and join world affairs.

Notes to Pages 58–64   239 47. ​Brown, Adventuring, 110. 48. ​For more, see Florescano, Memory, Myth, and Time, 185. 49. ​Florescano, Memory, Myth, and Time, 186. 50. ​[“one of the first texts in which the tension inherent in the word we, out of which came the attempt to define Latin American identity, is made explicit.”] Rivas Rojas, “Del criollismo al regionalismo,” 104. 51. ​Bolívar, “The Jamaica Letter,” 18. 52. ​[“it is impossible to say for certain to which h ­ uman ­family we belong.”] Bolívar, “Oración inaugural,” 129. 53. ​“Shared identity” is a double-­edged sword. When two national communities agree to open the bound­a ries of ­imagined community to include one another, we might say that this is a power­f ul ­counter to nationalism, but particularly when t­ here is an unequal balance of power between the two nations, we can also see the beginnings of a potentially insidious cultural imperialism. From our twenty-­first ­century perspective we cannot help but see the latter, but in fairness to Bolívar, his writing suggests that he saw the former as a genuine possibility. 54. ​Lynch, Simón Bolívar, 214. 55. ​Bolívar, “To Maxwell Hyslop,” Selected Writings, vol. 1, 98. 56. ​Cited in Lynch, Simón Bolívar, 202–204. 57. ​Waddell, “British Neutrality.” 58. ​Johnson, Simón Bolívar, 68. 59. ​[“Americans would take British character and customs as the standards of their ­future life”; “would, over time, become t­ hose between equals”; “a perfect equilibrium would be established in this truly new order of ­things”; “in the course of the centuries, ­there might perhaps come to be a single nation covering the world—­a federal one.”] Bolívar, “Un pensamiento,” 261. 60. ​Racine, Francisco de Miranda, 108–109. 61. ​Chasteen, Americanos, 118. 62. ​Bolívar, “To Maxwell Hyslop,” Selected Writings, vol. 1, 98. 63. ​Lynch, Simón Bolívar, 161. 64. ​Lynch, Simón Bolívar, 165. 65. ​Bushnell, “Introduction,” xliii. 66. ​Bolívar, “Reflexiones.” (This essay has no attributed author in the original printing, but critics agree that it is Bolívar’s, and it appears in multiple anthologies of his collected writing.) 67. ​[“in short, social reform would be achieved ­under the blessed auspices of freedom and peace, but E ­ ngland would necessarily take the control of balancing the scales into her own hands”; “­England would no doubt reap considerable advantages from this arrangement.”] Bolívar, “Un pensamiento,” 261. 68. ​Ewell, “Atlantic World Diplomacy,” 53, 52. 69. ​[“In exchange for their recognition [of American sovereignty, the En­glish] are demanding that we sacrifice some of our po­liti­cal princi­ples . . . ​a nd if we do not sacrifice them, ­England ­will dissolve us like so much smoke, as I ­will say again that her omnipotence is absolute and insuperable. The proof of this is that a small French squadron is blockading

240  Notes to Pages 65–77 us, insulting us with impunity. What power we have! What strength! Let us take advantage of this humiliation and league ourselves body and soul to the En­glish, to preserve at least the forms and advantages of a l­egal and civil government. . . . ​[ W]e cannot exist, neither isolated nor united in federation, except through the consent of E ­ ngland. . . . ​This is the Roman Empire at the end of the republican stage and on the threshold of becoming an empire. E ­ ngland finds herself on an ascendant progression, to the detriment of all who oppose her: wretchedness ­will even befall he who does not become her ally or fails to align his fate with hers. All Amer­i­ca combined does not equal one British fleet; the entire Holy Alliance cannot combat the combined force of her liberal princi­ples and her im­mense wealth; means employed by a clever and invincible politics, that achieves what­ever it attempts.”] Bolívar to Santander, July 10, 1825, Obras Completas, vol. 2, 167–168. 70. ​Marx, Holy ­Family, 113. 71. ​Anderson, ­Imagined Communities.

Chapter 2

“Dependant Kings”

1. ​For more on this, see Favretti, “Politics of Vision”; Keach, “Regency Prophecy”; Mellor, “Female Poet”; Ross, Masculine Desire. 2. ​Favretti, “Politics of Vision”; Mellor, “Female Poet.” 3. ​Barbauld, Eigh­teen Hundred and Eleven. Hereafter parenthetical citations. 4. ​Mill, “Emancipation,” 298–299. 5. ​The former argument is made by Bradshaw, “Dystopian ­Futures.” The latter is made by Birns, “ ‘Thy World, Columbus!’ ”; Gottlieb, “Fighting Words”; and Kaul, Poems of Na­ tion. Although each critic comes down on one side of this debate, they each also acknowledge that their side needs to be argued, suggesting that the scope of the poem’s concerns is not self-­evident. 6. ​Gottlieb, “Fighting Words,” 336. 7. ​Birns, “ ‘Thy World, Columbus!,’ ” 554. 8. ​Rohrbach, “History of the ­Future,” and McCarthy, Voice of the Enlightenment, both discuss the ways that Eigh­teen Hundred and Eleven engages with ­these models, though not in the schematic way I have h ­ ere. 9. ​White, Content of the Form, 10. 10. ​Carr, Time, Narrative, and History, 167. 11. ​Kaul, Poems of Nation, 128. 12. ​One further way the poem’s general discontinuity comes to the surface is through its tangled sense of what drives history. Sometimes the poem suggests that western civilization ­will inevitably collapse ­because of its own constitutive ele­ments (“Arts, arms, and wealth destroy the fruits they bring”); other times it is a par­tic­u­lar empire’s corruption that augurs collapse (“Thou who hast shared the guilt must share the woe”). We also see history’s events attributed to the preference and caprice of the abstracted Spirit (“The Genius now forsakes the favored shore”), yet other times empires fall only b­ ecause the passage of time means they must (“fairest flowers expand but to decay” or “Time may tear the garland from her brow”). So what is the prime mover of history? Choice or chance? Man or myth? (Keach argues that it is the presence of the Spirit that confuses the sense of causality in Britain’s history of rise

Notes to Pages 77–87   241 and collapse. Having understood the poem as I do through the notion of narrative layers, this observation is unexpectedly significant, suggesting that the presence of one narrative layer, or one version of history, interrupts the coherence of the other.) ­There are obvious ideological and formal implications to ­these differing ideas about the pro­cesses that propel historical events. ­W hether the fall of empires results from po­liti­cal mismanagement or the inevitable march of time speaks to the interrelated questions of w ­ hether civilization is teleological and ­whether certain empires can be understood as exceptional. 13. ​White, Content of the Form, 21. 14. ​Crocco groups both into “the ­peoples of the Western hemi­sphere.” And Birns suggests that Latin Amer­i­ca is simply a pragmatic “placeholder” for the United States amid the po­liti­cal thorns of the impending 1812 war (“Colonial Subtext,” 555). 15. ​Birns, “ ‘Thy World, Columbus!,’ ” 546. 16. ​Crocco, “Colonial Subtext,” 92. 17. ​Her references to the Andes, Chimborazo, La Plata, and Potosí, respectively indicate a continental mountain range, a single volcano, a river, and ­either a silver mine or the city surrounding it (Potosí would refer to both). 18. ​For more, see Heinowitz, “ ‘Thy World, Columbus.’ ” 19. ​Levine, Forms. 20. ​Levine, “Strategic Formalism.” 21. ​Kaul, Poems of Nation, 129. 22. ​One might h ­ ere interject that when Barbauld figures Latin American freedom from Eu­rope, this is a clear reference to Spain, not to E ­ ngland, and it is almost a tautology to argue that Latin American freedom would come sequentially a­ fter the fall of the Spanish empire. And yet her poem is hard at work to link ­England and Spain as representatives of aging continental imperial power, augmented by inclusive diction like “Eu­rope.” Additionally, the fall of the British Empire is quite clearly the central event that occasions the poem. And fi­nally, w ­ hether the “Eu­rope” who lies desolate in the final lines of the poem is a reference to Spain, ­England, or both, the functional result is the same. Barbauld’s poem admits no possibility that Britain can maintain its status as a power­f ul (and predatory) empire if Latin Amer­i­ca has taken the torch. The Spirit can only be in one place at a time. 23. ​The La Plata River is a wide, placid body of ­water that could hardly be said to have “roaring torrents,” so while Barbauld is interested in the specificity of South Amer­i­ca, she is not always entirely accurate about it. 24. ​Heinowitz, “ ‘Thy World, Columbus,’ ” 157. 25. ​Gottlieb, “Fighting Words,” 339. 26. ​Mehta, Liberalism and Empire. 27. ​Shalev, Rome Reborn, 44. 28. ​See the introduction of this book for an account of how scholars put forth variations on this claim. 29. ​Bann, Rise of History, 11. 30. ​Koselleck, ­Futures Past. 31. ​Morgan, Narrative Means. 32. ​That is, apart from the fairly safe assumption that by the 1820s Barbauld would have known who Simón Bolívar was, as did most of Eu­rope.

242  Notes to Pages 87–97 33. ​Barbauld’s most prominent biographer, William McCarthy, titles her life story Voice of the Enlightenment, and two separate scholars have used the phrase “child of the Enlightenment” to describe Bolívar’s upbringing and po­liti­cal philosophy. We could certainly reflect on the paternalism of the latter description. John Chasteen calls Bolívar “a child of the Enlightenment through and through” (Americanos, 13), and Simon Collier refers to him as “fully a child of the Enlightenment in his love of . . . ​historical po­liti­cal surveys” (“Simón Bolívar,” 18). 34. ​Bolívar, “The Jamaica Letter,” El Libertador, 30. 35. ​“Bolívar to Wellesley,” May 27, 1815, El Libertador, 154. 36. ​Both also turn to the figure of Christopher Columbus as the rightful owner of the Amer­i­c as. Barbauld refers to the Amer­i­c as as “thy world, Columbus,” and in the Jamaica Letter Bolívar writes that the naming of Colombia is a “fair and grateful tribute to the creator of our hemi­sphere” (26). This suggests that for neither author does Amer­i­ca seem to exist prior to Eu­ro­pean “discovery” and conquest. But it also shows the prob­lem of writing Amer­i­ca’s heritage. ­There is an entire history in the Amer­i­cas that precedes Columbus, but how can it be written into a Euro-­c entric world history, even a decentered world history, when Columbus is the figure who makes the hemi­spheres aware of each other’s existence and begins the pro­cess of mutual gazing? He seems to be the figure who unites Eu­rope and Amer­ i­ca, drawing the first Atlantic pathway in the network that would follow. But in so ­doing, he also brings about a collision of histories, epistemologies, empires, currencies, beliefs, subjugations, and technologies that make that network so impossible to categorize into isolated groups or narrate coherently.

Chapter 3

Anthony Trollope and the Collapse of Historical Telos

1. ​Trollope, Prime Minister. 2. ​Undoubtedly, Lopez does not mean to be the literal head of state, but the phrase nonetheless fits his own imperial vision of the world and participates in what is by now the all too familiar rhetorical link between global capitalism and disrupted local sovereignty. What’s more, Lopez knows that the only reason such “kingship” is pos­si­ble is b­ ecause of the ­great wealth divide between Guatemala and G ­ reat Britain, understanding that a sum of money that would not go far in London ­will elevate him to royalty in Guatemala precisely ­because of a depressed local economy he looks forward to exploiting. 3. ​Poovey, Financial System, 15. 4. ​Kornbluh, Realizing Capital, 1. 5. ​Odden, “Puffed Papers,” 135–136. 6. ​Reed, “Friend to Mammon,” 180, 183. 7. ​Burns, Poverty of Pro­gress, 137. 8. ​Miller, Victorian Subjects, 86. 9. ​Alborn, “Victorian Money Market,” 199. 10. ​Birns, “Trollope and the Antipodes,” 187. 11. ​See Trollope, Australia and New Zealand. 12. ​See Trollope, West Indies, discussed ­later in this chapter. 13. ​Davidson, “Trollope and the Colonies,” 315, 316.

Notes to Pages 98–103   243 14. ​Trollope, The Way We Live Now. Hereafter parenthetical citations. 15. ​Goodlad, “Trollopian ‘Foreign Policy.’ ” 16. ​This is reminiscent of the way Lukács describes Walter Scott’s “Waverley type[s],” who signal “the age-­old steadfastness of En­glish development amidst the most terrible crises” (Historical Novel, 37). 17. ​Kornbluh, Realizing Capital, 96. Kornbluh has an excellent reading of the Mel­ mottes’ lack of identity, and mine is very much in concert with hers. I only risk making similar observations in order to reach a complementary but distinct conclusion: while she connects the Melmottes’ vacuousness to the ungroundedness of capital, I connect it to a lack of narrative form. 18. ​In fact, Nancy Henry argues that the difference between Carbury and Melmotte is one of literary genre, of “Romantic against realist sensibilities” (“Rushing into Eternity,” 172). 19. ​It i­ sn’t only Melmotte who resists narration; two other supporters of the railway also lack an origin. Fisker “had sprung out of some Californian gully, was perhaps ignorant of his own ­father and ­mother, and had tumbled up in the world on the strength of his own audacity” (v.I, 324). And when Paul proposes to Mrs. Hurtle despite “how ­little he knew of the lady,” Roger points out that she “might never have had a husband,—­might at this moment have two or three,—­might be overwhelmed with debt,—­might be anything bad, dangerous, and abominable” (v.I, 242, 256). 20. ​Goodlad, “Trollopian ‘Foreign Policy,’ ” 83, 67. For more on Trollope’s treatment of “rootless” Jewish characters, see also Cheyette, “Promised Land”; Delany, “Jews in the L ­ ater Trollope”; Litvak, “Jewish Geography”; Ragussis, “Moses in Egypt.” 21. ​Mehta, Liberalism and Empire, 30–31. 22. ​For more on the distinction between event and structure, see Koselleck, ­Futures Past. 23. ​It bears mentioning that Trollope’s investment in this dynamic runs deep enough that he repeats it almost exactly in his next novel, The Prime Minister. Ferdinand Lopez is, in a parallel to the Melmottes, “a friendless Portuguese,—­a probable Jew” (30), and no one “knew whence he had come, or what was his f­amily” (8). In the eyes of society, therefore, he is “without ­those far-­reaching fibres and roots by which . . . ​the solidity and stability of a ­human tree should be assured” (65). His foil, Arthur Fletcher, is like Carbury in belonging to “one of the oldest families in ­England” (30). Like Melmotte, Lopez seeks to profit from Latin American proj­ects (guano) that do not exist, and, like Melmotte, he is coded as imperialist: “he was imperious, and he had learned to carry his empire in his eye” (10). Lopez’s story ends much like Melmotte’s, in disgrace and suicide, and his foil, Arthur Fletcher, wins Lopez’s ­widow and the implied fulfillment of his ­family line. I do not give readings of both novels, but the significant overlap shows that the connection between individuals and narratives, faulty narratives and informal empire, exceeds just one text. 24. ​Çelikkol helpfully points out that “in a world of chaotic circulation,” like the one that enables Melmotte’s mobility and his international finance, it is hard to “have a sense of belonging to a nation” (Romances of ­Free Trade, 8). 25. ​See especially Beckert, who argues that ­under capitalism past data is only so predictive ­because at any given time the next crisis may overturn all previous expectations of the likely or pos­si­ble. We all know this and thus operate with less assurance that the past can tell us anything about the ­future (­Imagined ­Futures, 74). See also Koselleck, who argues that

244  Notes to Pages 103–108 ­ nder industrial modernity the f­ uture carries more weight than the pre­sent, which is reduced u to a “superseded former f­ uture” (­Futures Past, 3). 26. ​Sewell, “Temporalities of Capitalism,” 518. 27. ​Sewell, “Cap­i­tal­ist Epoch,” 7. 28. ​Kornbluh, Realizing Capital, 32. 29. ​Sewell, “Temporalities of Capitalism,” 526. 30. ​According to Sewell, “the unique or uncanny temporal dynamics of the cap­i­t al­ist epoch” are “what Karl Marx called the endless accumulation of capital” (“Cap­i­tal­ist Epoch,” 3). Elsewhere Sewell writes that “the rule that dominates cap­i­tal­ist economic life is accumulation of capital for accumulation’s sake” (“Temporalities of Capitalism,” 525). 31. ​Postone, Time, L ­ abor, and Social Domination, 289. 32. ​Postone, Time, L ­ abor, and Social Domination, 296 (emphasis in the original). 33. ​Postone, Time, L ­ abor, and Social Domination, 300 (emphasis mine). 34. ​Sewell: “This dynamic should not be understood as teleological” (“Cap­i­tal­ist Epoch,” 9). Postone: “In dealing with the category of capital, then, one is dealing with a central category of a society that becomes characterized by a constant directional movement with no determinate external telos, a society driven by production for the sake of production, by a pro­cess that exists for the sake of pro­cess” (Time, L ­ abor, and Social Domination, 269). 35. ​Sewell, “Temporalities of Capitalism,” 535; Sewell, “Cap­i­tal­ist Epoch,” 9; Postone, Time, L ­ abor, and Social Domination, 269. 36. ​This discussion of the telos of capitalism is related to but dif­fer­ent from the question of capitalism as the telos of history. ­There is a robust conversation about ­whether history is itself teleological, leading inevitably to the triumph of capitalism (and/or socialism) as the end of history. For more on this, see Sewell, “Cap­i­tal­ist Epoch”; Sewell, “Temporalities of Capitalism”; Wood, Democracy Against Capitalism; and Fukuyama, End of History. However, I am engaging a slightly dif­fer­ent question h ­ ere, which is not capitalism as the telos of history, but the telos internal to capitalism itself—­that is, the ends that capitalism imagines for itself within its own unique temporal manifestations. 37. ​Sewell, “Temporalities of Capitalism,” 526. 38. ​Kornbluh, Realizing Capital, 27, 29. 39. ​See Beckert (­Imagined ­Futures) on this dynamic generally, and Jaffe (“Trollope in the Stock Market”) on it in Trollope. 40. ​Victorianists have discussed extensively the mutually formative relationship between lit­er­a­ture and finance in the period, showing that changing economic structures produced new vocabularies and demanded new genres. (See Delaney, “Jews in the ­L ater Trollope”; Houston, Gothic, Economics, and Victorian Fiction; Poovey, Financial System; and Wagner, Financial Speculation.) And a few have discussed the ways that novelists considered the overlapping narrative forms of finance, history, and lit­er­a­ture. See Alborn, “Victorian Money Market,” and Kornbluh, Realizing Capital. The latter is closer to what I’m interested in h ­ ere. 41. ​Porter, Absent-­Minded Imperialists, 139–141. 42. ​This puts Mrs. Hurtle in com­pany with Gallagher and Robinson’s famous argument that the British Empire preferred financial influence over formal occupation when pos­si­ble (“Imperialism of ­Free Trade”).

Notes to Pages 109–120   245 43. ​Schmidt, Social and Economic Effect, 4–5. 44. ​Poovey, Financial System, 178, 182–183. 45. ​For a classic example of this, see Seeley’s Expansion of E ­ ngland, in which he argues against Turgot’s famous 1750 maxim that the colonies, like fruit, “cling to the [imperial] tree only ­until they ripen.” By contrast, Seeley held that the Empire would and should never dissolve (Expansion of E ­ ngland, 296–297). 46. ​Trollope, West Indies, 84, 85. Hereafter parenthetical citations. 47. ​For more on Trollope’s views about the in­de­pen­dence of Amer­i­ca, see Buzard, “Trollope and Travel,” 168, and Claybaugh, “Trollope and Amer­i­ca,” 214. 48. ​This reminds us of the surface/depth model of informal empire that some scholars have recently espoused (discussed extensively in the introduction to this book)—­t he idea that informal empire’s structure is one of a false outward support for Latin Amer­i­ca masking Britain’s true desire to profit at its expense. That Trollope’s Mexican railway board operates this way would seem to suggest that he shares this vision of informal empire, but whereas critical accounts cast the surface/depth structure as a functional, effective model of imperial power, Trollope’s version is of course precisely and pointedly dysfunctional. Its contradictions leave it hollow and lead to its undoing. 49. ​Wood, Democracy against Capitalism, 147. 50. ​Gordon Bigelow argues that Trollope’s novel The Macdermots of Ballycloran (1847) locates a similar misalignment between “cap­i­tal­ist economic relations” and “liberal models of development” in the Irish imperial zone (“Form and Vio­lence,” 401). This further corroborates my claim that Trollope saw capitalism as a potentially corrupting influence on the moral imperatives of imperial rule. Such corruption would of course be all the more pre­sent in the arena of informal empire, where profit was the explicit, primary motivation. Bigelow is interested in how this corruption distorts Trollope’s own narrative form, whereas I am tracking the ways Trollope perceives it to distort the forms of pro­gress itself. 51. ​Miller, Victorian Subjects, 87. 52. ​Van, “Ambivalent Speculations,” 44 (citing Conrad’s Imagining Amer­i­ca, 91).

Part II

Family and Informal Empire, 1840–1926

1. ​Brennan, “National Longing for Form,” 45. 2. ​Derrida, Politics of Friendship, viii. 3. ​Kilroy, ­Family Ideology, 8. 4. ​For more on France’s transition from a patriarchal to a fraternal social model, see Hunt, ­Family Romance. For more on the domestic as Eu­ro­pean po­liti­cal discourse, see Bonfiglio, “Liberal Cosmopolitanism,” 285. 5. ​Arendt, Origins of Totalitarianism, 176. 6. ​See for instance, Norcia’s study of geography primers by w ­ omen writers, which she uses as evidence that the “­family of man” trope appeared long before midcentury (X Marks the Spot). 7. ​Heinowitz, Spanish Amer­i­ca. 8. ​For more on this duality, see May, Disorderly ­Sisters, 16.

246  Notes to Pages 120–129 9. ​See, for instance, Furneaux’s study of queer relations in Dickens (Queer Dickens), as well as McCrea (­Family and Narrative) and Schaffer (Romance’s Rival), each of whom argues that the Victorian novel stages a conflict between competing ­family structures. 10. ​Bonfiglio, “Liberal Cosmopolitanism,” 287. 11. ​Arendt, Origins of Totalitarianism, 177. 12. ​May, Disorderly ­Sisters, 200. 13. ​That this was so is rendered all the clearer by the ways in which writers separated from Victorian thinking, ­either by time or distance, expressed their skepticism of Victorian politics as a rejection of Victorian ­family structures. See for instance, Esty (Unseason­ able Youth) on how twentieth-­century writers no longer relied on the narrative of youth development. 14. ​McClintock, Imperial Leather, 45. 15. ​See especially Seeley, Expansion of E ­ ngland, 296–297. 16. ​McClintock (Imperial Leather) discusses this at some length. See also Phillips, Sex, Politics and Empire; Stoler, Carnal Knowledge. 17. ​McClintock, Imperial Leather, 36. 18. ​Hobsbawm, On History; Tobin, Time and the Novel. 19. ​McClintock, Imperial Leather, 45. 20. ​For a brief discussion of how the image of Queen Victoria as imperial “­mother” was used by both imperialists and separatists in India, see S­ ullivan, Narratives of Empire, 3. 21. ​See, for instance, Bystrom, “Demo­cratic South Africa”; Renk, Ca­rib­bean Shadows. 22. ​McClintock, Imperial Leather, 28–29. 23. ​I especially like, and follow, Bystrom’s method of reading for relation, which she describes this way: “Relation . . . ​is ­here a flexible signifier meant to draw attention to the threads—­emotional and rational, real and ­imagined—­that link us to other ­people. It directs our gaze to ­family ­matters and asks us to consider carefully the way we live with relatives and ­others with whom we share domestic space, without losing sight of how t­ hese intimate relationships connect to wider social norms” (Democracy at Home, 3). 24. ​Glissant, Poetics of Relation. 25. ​Bonfiglio, “Liberal Cosmopolitanism,” 287. 26. ​See May for a discussion of how Victorian sororal relations emphasize the “synchronic, horizontal familial crosscut” (Disorderly ­Sisters, 18). 27. ​Arendt, Origins of Totalitarianism, 474. 28. ​Derrida, Politics of Friendship; Leela Gandhi, Affective Communities; Haraway, Stay­ ing with the Trou­ble, 2. 29. ​Gandhi, Affective Communities, 6. 30. ​As I w ­ ill detail in the chapters that follow, it is not my claim that marriage relations, in the nineteenth ­c entury or now, are inherently more equitable (or less patriarchal) than parental ones. Rather, I explore the ways that authors used an image of equitable marriage as a way to think about and sometimes idealize certain kinds of international relations. 31. ​McCrea, ­Family and Narrative, 8. For more on the overlap between nineteenth-­ century narrative and ­family form, see Hirsch, Mother/Daughter Plot; Schaffer, Romance’s Rival; and Tobin, Time and the Novel.

Notes to Pages 129–136   247 32. ​“­Family romance”: see Hirsch, Mother/Daughter Plot, and May, Disorderly ­Sisters. “Genealogical plot”: see McCrea, ­Family and Narrative. “National romance”: see Sommer, Foundational Fictions. “Colonial ­family romance”: see Verges, Monsters and Revolutionaries. 33. ​Felstiner, “­Family Meta­phors.” 34. ​Sommer, Foundational Fictions, 18. 35. ​Anderson, ­Imagined Communities; Brennan, “National Longing for Form.” 36. ​Jameson, “Third-­World Lit­er­a­ture,” 69. 37. ​Both Sommer (Foundational Fictions, 43–50) and Andrade (Nation Writ Small, 34– 39) use a similar method of reading the complex interplay between literal and allegorical in their analyses of ­family plots in national contexts.

Chapter 4

Vicente Fidel López Re-­members the Nation

1. ​Burns, Poverty of Pro­gress, 21. 2. ​The novel was not published ­until 1854, but in the prologue to the complete version, López claims to have written it fourteen years e­ arlier while he was exiled in Chile from the authoritarian Rosas regime. The fact that several chapters ­were published in Santiago in 1843 would seem to corroborate this claim. (See Gerassi-­Navarro, Pirate Novels, 204n13.) 3. ​Gerassi-­Navarro, Pirate Novels, 74. 4. ​Sommer, Foundational Fictions, 4. 5. ​Sommer, Foundational Fictions, 4. 6. ​Sommer, Foundational Fictions, 7. 7. ​Garrels, in Sarmiento, Provincial Past, 277n28. 8. ​Young and Cisneros, Historical Dictionary, 270. 9. ​For more on this, see Smith, Encyclopedia, 422. 10. ​See Sommer for a discussion of how López’s po­liti­cal and academic disagreements may have led his novel to become less favored than t­ hose by his peers (Foundational Fictions, 110–111); García de Aldridge, “Two Latin-­A merican Theorists,” 196–197; Shaw, Modern Spanish American Fiction, 14; Anderson-­Imbert, Spanish-­American Lit­er­a­ture, 231; Benítez-­ Rojo, “Spanish-­A merican Novel,” 448. Benítez-­Rojo places José Mármol’s novel Amalia—­ also written from exile—­first in this list. 11. ​See Gerassi-­Navarro, Pirate Novels, 170. 12. ​García de Aldridge, “Two Latin-­A merican Theorists,” 197. 13. ​Sommer, Foundational Fictions, 2. 14. ​García de Aldridge, “Two Latin American Theorists,” 186–188. 15. ​[“It seemed to me then that a series of [historical] novels . . . ​was a proj­ect worthy of the purest patriotism; ­because I believed that ­people who lack clear knowledge and awareness of their national traditions are like men deprived of home and f­ amily, who waste their lives in sad, obscure ventures without anyone being bound to them by re­spect, by love, or by gratitude. . . . ​This is perhaps the reason that Walter Scott and Cooper are unique in the modern world: it is a fact at least that the nations for whom they wrote are the only ones where national traditions are respected as inviolable belief.”] López, La novia del hereje. Hereafter parenthetical citations. 16. ​Smith, Encyclopedia, 57.

248  Notes to Pages 136–141 17. ​[“to cast a glance at the past, from the clamor of the revolution, in order to conceive the line of generation that brought about events, and to orient ourselves t­ oward the purpose of our course”] 18. ​[“a prehistory of the national pre­sent.”] Ianes, “Arquetipo narrativo,” 154. Lukács uses the same phrase to describe Scott’s novels, arguing that they revive the past as a “prehistory of the pre­sent” (Historical Novel, 53). If Ianes draws his phrasing from Lukács, he does not say so. 19. ​[“the capable novelist can use his imagination to re­create what’s lost, freely creating the ­family life and fastening himself closely to historical life, using the combination of the two to re­create the ­whole truth.”] Emphasis in the original. 20. ​It may seem that I am slipping between the concept of national identity for Argentina and the continental concept of Latin American identity. This slippage is a purposeful reflection of a scalar overlap that López was well attuned to. While Argentina, Chile, Peru, and o­ thers w ­ ere involved in establishing their separate identities a­ fter in­de­pen­dence, their centuries of shared colonial history also provided a deep sense of connection and led to significant Pan-­A merican po­liti­cal and cultural movements. This is one reason López could si­mul­ta­neously speak of the historical novel as integral to the proj­ect of Argentina’s national identity formation, while also setting his own historical novel in Peru. The two nations w ­ ere easily analogized through their shared history of conquest, language, religion, and complex racial makeup, and belonging as they did to a larger, self-­conscious Pan-­A merican identity. For more on this, and how other nineteenth-­century Latin American novelists made similar moves, see Sommer, Foundational Fictions, 23–24. 21. ​See Gerassi-­Navarro, Pirate Novels, for more on the ways that López and other members of the Generación del ’37 advocated for the anglicization of Latin Amer­i­ca. 22. ​“Creole” or criollo refers to t­ hose of Spanish ancestry who w ­ ere born in the Amer­i­ cas. Creoles typically could not achieve the power and wealth in the Amer­i­cas that Spaniards born in Spain could. Ultimately, this was a major f­ actor in the Creole-­led in­de­pen­dence movement at the turn of the nineteenth ­century. López uses María’s Creole status to set her apart from the Spaniards and help establish a new, separate “American” identity. 23. ​[“The im­mense, opulent city now lay ruined around the hillside on which it used to show off its grandeur, watching, so to speak, from the sadness of its tomb, the vain graces with which Lima r­ ose young and flourishing just a few miles away in the same valley. Pachacamac had been for Peruvians as Jerusalem for the Christians and Mecca for Muslims, the object of pilgrimages by the devout. . . . ​The worship of Pachacamac and Viracocha had excited all the indignation and greed of the Spanish. Hernando Pizarro came first, destroyed the idols, sacked the ­temples and the ­houses, and caused the city to be abandoned so that in a few years it lost its roofs and lay in ruins.”] 24. ​[“subjugate”] 25. ​[“the first nation of the world.”] The word “nación” in Spanish may equally mean both the specific po­liti­cal entity “nation” and also more generally a “­people.” 26. ​[“in peace or in war”] 27. ​[“in a ­matter of moments the two chiefs understood one another”] 28. ​[“be your friend”; “I see that you send arrows into the hearts of your friends, and I open my breast to them so that they may enter.”] 29. ​[“exemplary generosity and integrity”]

Notes to Pages 142–147   249 30. ​[“Upon seeing him she could not contain the ‘ay!’ of admiration that the young man’s loveliness wrenched from her. It seemed like a dream to her; and her inexpert and innocent glances revealed more and more the dominance that this man’s beauty and gentility had over her spirit. ‘Oh! My God! He’s Christian like us!’ ”] 31. ​[“an inexplicable force”; “an internal emotion more power­f ul than her ­will”] 32. ​[“was even then already becoming the famous American Babel”] 33. ​This heterogeneous population is one way that the novel signals that Lima represents Latin Amer­i­ca more broadly. As one critic puts it, La novia is “the first Spanish American historical novel with a cosmopolitan setting” (Benítez-­Rojo, “Spanish-­A merican Novel,” 449). 34. ​[“the same cause!”] 35. ​[“The pirate, the bandit, the thief, the adventurer, the Indian, in the end all t­ hose who wish to raise arms against the king of Spain, may count me among their allies; for this reason I have served your master [Drake], who by my faith well deserves it on his merits!”] 36. ​[“The organ­ization of the h ­ ouse rested entirely on the despotism and capriciousness of the ­father. The axis of domestic society was not love, which is the only moralizing ele­ ment of domesticity; its forms lacked tenderness, which is nothing less than the genuine and educational expression of this love; and all of its resources w ­ ere concentrated in fear. . . . ​Let us call on history to ratify our observations. Whosoever takes up the work of inquiring into the domestic status of t­ hose countries and ­those epochs where ­great barbaric tyranny has appeared, where society has been plunged into corruption, ­will find that the principal characteristic is paternal despotism in ­house­hold relations.”] 37. ​For more on how López pre­sents the overlap between f­ amily and nation, particularly from the point of view of how piracy intervenes in both, see Gerassi-­Navarro, Pirate Novels. 38. ​Stoler, Carnal Knowledge, 7. 39. ​Sommer, Foundational Fictions, 31, 48. 40. ​[“vengeance against the oppressors of your country and your ­family”] 41. ​[“My ­father welcomed him into his home with an infinite goodness of heart: it was the work of an instant to procure him the clothes of an Indian; and guarding him in our home with inviolable secrecy was easy for us ­because, our race being isolated from intimate dealings with the Spaniards, a fraternal association had been established among our members: the affair of one was the affair of all, and ­there was no need for an explicit promise in order to have this agreement. This is how our guest came to be hidden by the entire village of the oppressed, who, even though they ­were weak, ­were dragging themselves along between the land of their ancestors and the ­soles of their oppressors.”] 42. ​This pledge of dual belonging—­both to marry an indigenous ­woman and to fight for indigenous freedom from the Spanish—­will recur with striking similarity in H. Rider Haggard’s Montezuma’s ­Daughter (1893), discussed in the next chapter. 43. ​When Mercedes reveals that Padre Andrés’s d ­ aughter is still living, she leaves it unclear w ­ hether that ­daughter is María, or María’s servant, Juana, both of whom are already imprisoned ­under Padre Andrés’s authority. We learn for certain only at the end of the novel that Juana was his biological ­daughter. 44. ​Hirsch, Mother/Daughter Plot, 43. 45. ​López is remixing history h ­ ere, since at this time Drake and Oxenham w ­ ere both in the Pacific but captaining separate expeditions. Both did raid Spanish ships, and Oxenham was

250  Notes to Pages 148–155 imprisoned in Lima in 1578 and executed, but it was punishment for his pirateering, not for attempting to liberate American w ­ omen from the Inquisition, as López tells it. Exploring the nature of López’s historical revisions would be a fascinating pursuit, but it is beyond my scope ­here. 46. ​[“you could show me the very throne of E ­ ngland as the price of my deed, but you may rest assured that even then I would resist.”] 47. ​[“flag and . . . ​country.”] “Pabellón” has the dual meaning of a ship’s standard and a national flag. 48. ​[“has a weakness for nobility”] 49. ​Chakrabarty, Provincializing Eu­rope, 8. 50. ​Bolívar, “The Jamaica Letter,” El Libertador, 18. 51. ​Sommer, Foundational Fictions, 15. 52. ​Glissant, Poetics of Relation, 47. 53. ​Said, World, Text, Critic. 54. ​See Hirsch (Mother/Daughter Plot) for more on how narratives based in patriarchal ­family structures erase and exclude w ­ omen. 55. ​Glissant, Poetics of Relation, 144; Said, Beginnings, xiii. 56. ​[“a fundamentally aristocratic country”; “an injustice”] 57. ​Benítez-­Rojo, “Spanish-­A merican Novel,” 449. 58. ​[“worse condition”] 59. ​[“make a fortune in order to enjoy it as I please when I return to Spain”] 60. ​Benítez-­Rojo, “Spanish-­A merican Novel.” 61. ​Garrels, “Espíritu de la familia,” 14. 62. ​McCrea, ­Family and Narrative; Schaffer, Romance’s Rival. 63. ​Gerassi-­Navarro, Pirate Novels, 170. See also Sommer, Foundational Fictions, 15. 64. ​López worked in vari­ous capacities for at least four Chilean periodicals, collaborating closely with Sarmiento in this work. See Molina, Como crecen los hongos, 73. 65. ​[“progressive”; “affection, tenderness, intimacy, and a smooth, harmonious order.”] Garrels, “Espíritu de la familia,” 16. 66. ​Çelikkol, Romances of ­Free Trade, 19, 18. 67. ​See Çelikkol, Romances of ­Free Trade, Sommer, Foundational Fictions. 68. ​Çelikkol, Romances of ­Free Trade, 19. 69. ​­There are ethical issues grouping Creoles together with indigenous, black, and mixed ­people, since even though Creoles ­were below Spaniards in the social hierarchy, they had significantly greater social advantages than ­these other groups, both u ­ nder Spanish colonial rule and ­a fter in­de­pen­dence. However, López, like many other Latin American liberals, works to craft a specifically “American” identity by separating the Spaniards from every­one ­else, suggesting that anyone not born in Spain suffers u ­ nder colonialism. 70. ​[“essentially American at its core, and lacking . . . ​in foreign styles, which so contribute to stripping away our knowledge and awareness of the socie­ties we are part of ”] 71. ​[“Limeña by race, María was the ideal of the American w ­ oman, like that En­ glishwoman by race, Esther, with her golden curls draped on her swanlike neck, and with the languid look of her sky blue eyes, is, when she passes through the ruins of Rome or the splendid monuments of Florentine art, the ideal of the Eu­ro­pean w ­ oman.”]

Notes to Pages 155–163   251 72. ​This novel would go on to be published u ­ nder the title Esther (1858), though when López was writing La novia, he had read only fragments of the as yet unfinished work. 73. ​[“mutual.”] Molina, Como crecen los hongos. 74. ​[“[he] is a Creole pur sang, in his vivacity, in his frankness, his self-­confidence, and a certain refinement of bearing and soul, which I do not find in the pure Spaniard, though I am of course biased, since I have a Creole rib.”] Emphasis in the original. 75. ​[“In the accounts of the earthquake, the unpre­c e­dented audacity of the heretics emerged as the headline.”] 76. ​Gerassi-­Navarro, Pirate Novels, 122. 77. ​Wilson, Elizabethans, 184. 78. ​Lane, Pillaging the Empire, 41 (emphasis mine). 79. ​Anderson-­Imbert, Spanish-­American Lit­er­a­ture, 232. Gerassi-­Navarro argues that some nineteenth-­c entury Latin American writers portrayed the pirate in this way, while ­others focused on the terror of his lawlessness, and she suggests that that ­t hese divergent repre­sen­ta­tions highlight the uncertain work of postcolonial nation-­building (Pirate Novels, 4). 80. ​Gerassi-­Navarro, Pirate Novels, 84, 83. 81. ​See López, La novia del hereje, 30, 77. 82. ​[“the habit of being received, and imposing himself, in the most impor­tant ­houses”] 83. ​[“a position without rival, which put the intimacy of the families at his disposal”] 84. ​[“is ­today the only one with the flag of war raised [against Spain] a­ fter all ­others have fallen”] 85. ​[“as saviors”] 86. ​[“God has brought you, Milord!”] 87. ​[“in this muzzle.”] Emphasis in the original. 88. ​For more on the way that the novel’s ending in E ­ ngland both expands the bound­ aries of American ­family and invites a problematic loss of American identity, see Gerassi-­ Navarro, Pirate Novels, 78, 152. 89. ​[“the innovations that shook the Christian world and prepared the new features of our current civilization”] 90. ​[“contrast of two ideological, cultural, and economic poles . . . ​the backwardness of the rigid Spanish colonial mono­poly, and ­free trade liberalism as a symptom of pro­gress.”] Ianes, “Arquetipo narrativo,” 164. 91. ​[“enormous feats . . . ​g lorious steps for humanity on the path to civilization and knowledge of the globe”] 92. ​According to Lukács, famous or “world-­historical figures” like Drake appear as minor characters in the historical novel, where they “render vis­i­ble the generally progressive features of the ­whole of society, of the w ­ hole age” (Historical Novel, 47). 93. ​[“spreading well-­being and wealth along their route”] 94. ​Heinowitz, Spanish Amer­i­ca. 95. ​Gandhi, Affective Communities, 11. 96. ​Sommer, Foundational Fictions, 13. 97. ​Gerassi-­Navarro, Pirate Novels, 127.

252  Notes to Pages 165–179 Chapter 5

H. Rider Haggard and the Antagonism of Valid Fiancées

1. ​Aguirre, Informal Empire, 146. 2. ​[“ingeniously employs the history of the conquest of Mexico in order to proclaim the greatness of the British Empire.”] Anaya Ferreira, “Hijos de Moctezuma,” 52. 3. ​Ramirez, British Repre­sen­ta­tions, 2, 48. 4. ​See Aguirre, Informal Empire, 140. 5. ​Haggard, Montezuma’s ­Daughter. Hereafter parenthetical citations. 6. ​Said, Culture and Imperialism, 187–188. On this topic, see also de Groot, Historical Novel; Hanson, “Lost among White O ­ thers”; Sanders, Victorian Historical Novel. 7. ​McClintock, Imperial Leather. 8. ​McClintock, Imperial Leather, 4. 9. ​See, for example, Anaya Ferreira, “Hijos de Moctezuma”; Franey, Victorian Travel Writing; Katz, Rider Haggard. 10. ​Snodgrass, Encyclopedia, 128. 11. ​Ramirez, British Repre­sen­ta­tions, 48; Aguirre, Informal Empire, 139. 12. ​Cardoso and Faletto, De­pen­dency and Development. 13. ​Burns, Poverty of Pro­gress, 137. 14. ​Haggard, Days of My Life, 40. 15. ​Haggard, Days of My Life, 39. 16. ​Haggard, Days of My Life, 39–40. Emphasis in the original. 17. ​McClintock, Imperial Leather, 247. 18. ​Though I do not have space in this chapter to discuss it, Haggard’s Peru novel, Vir­ gin of the Sun, bears out t­ hese arguments in similar ways. 19. ​McClintock, Imperial Leather, 236. 20. ​Haggard, Allan Quatermain, 22, 176. 21. ​Hanson, “Lost among White O ­ thers,” 507. 22. ​Heinowitz, Spanish Amer­i­ca, 7. 23. ​Forman, “When Britons Brave Brazil,” 462–463. 24. ​Heinowitz, Spanish Amer­i­ca, 15. See also Fulford, “British Romantics.” 25. ​This makes him a striking parallel to Padre Andrés in López’s La novia del hereje, who likewise allies strategically with the cause of indigenous sovereignty only a­ fter the fallout of a personal fight. Both novels link this dynamic to imperialism (see discussion of pragmatic familial form in the previous chapter). Padre Andrés, of course, remains unreformed. 26. ​[“even though he appears to assimilate entirely into Aztec society, at his core he never integrates, forever retaining his Christian faith, his gentleman’s conduct and his innate puritan moral virtues, ‘qualities’ that in the final instance make him superior to the indigenous.”] Anaya Ferreira, “Hijos de Moctezuma,” 54. 27. ​Haggard, Allan Quatermain, 250. 28. ​Haggard, Allan Quatermain, 213. A similar subordination occurs between Good and the Kukuana ­woman Foulata in King Solomon’s Mines. Though they do not marry—­Foulata is killed before that possibility can arise—­the young ­woman asserts her willing subordination to Good’s desires, saying “whither thou goest, ­there ­will I go also” (Haggard, King Solo­ mon’s Mines, 261).

Notes to Pages 180–196   253 29. ​Bhabha, “Of Mimicry and Man.” 30. ​May, Disorderly ­Sisters, 38–39. 31. ​By “politico-­family,” I mean the dense structural overlap between individual families and the vari­ous familial forms marshalled in ser­vice of national identity. I define this term in chapter 4, and a more detailed discussion of it can be found t­ here. 32. ​Ahmed, Cultural Politics of Emotion. See especially chapter 6. 33. ​Derrida, Politics of Friendship, 181–182. 34. ​Gandhi, Affective Communities, 31. 35. ​Gandhi, Affective Communities, 29, quoting Marios Constantinou. 36. ​McCrea, ­Family and Narrative, 7–9. 37. ​McClintock, Imperial Leather, 235. 38. ​Haggard, Allan Quatermain, 307. 39. ​McClintock, Imperial Leather, 241. 40. ​Haggard, Allan Quatermain, 108. 41. ​McCrea, ­Family and Narrative, 7. 42. ​McCrea, ­Family and Narrative, 15. 43. ​McCrea, ­Family and Narrative, 14. 44. ​McClintock, Imperial Leather, 244. 45. ​McClintock, Imperial Leather, 4. 46. ​Haggard, Heart of the World, 1. Hereafter parenthetical citations. 47. ​Said, Culture and Imperialism, 187–188. 48. ​Haggard, Days of My Life, 64. 49. ​Hanson, “Lost among White O ­ thers,” 521. 50. ​Fulford, “British Romantics,” 249. 51. ​Nkrumah, Neo-­Colonialism, 241.

Chapter 6

Where Pro­gress and F ­ amily (Almost) Meet

1. ​Shelley, Frankenstein, 99. 2. ​Collins, ­Woman in White, 198. 3. ​Other authors continued to use South Amer­i­ca as a blank offstage site. For instance, Thomas Hardy’s Tess of the D’Urbervilles (1891) sends Angel Clare to Brazil to experience nondescript hardships and return changed, in much the same way Collins dispatches Walter Hartright to Honduras in The ­Woman in White. 4. ​Hampsten, “Revisiting,” 92. 5. ​Esty, Shrinking Island, 122. 6. ​One doubts w ­ hether Hudson, no g­ reat admirer of the wealthy, would be pleased to know that the town of Guillermo Hudson features a gated community named ­a fter his ­family’s ranch and walled off from the surrounding, much poorer community. 7. ​Ford, Thus to Revisit, 69. 8. ​Borges, “Sobre The Purple Land,” 211. 9. ​[“true creators of the g­ reat Argentine lit­er­a­ture”; “compass.”] Martínez Estrada, Mundo Maravilloso, 160, 159. 10. ​Hudson, Far Away, 313.

254  Notes to Pages 196–204 11. ​Hudson to Lady Grogan, November 5, 1910, Unpublished Letters, vol. 2, 444. 12. ​Maxwell and Trumpener, “Romance of the Outlands,” 107. 13. ​On empire: “[The] cry should be ‘hands off,’ in Ireland as well as in Asia and Africa” (Hudson to Garnett, January 21, 1912, 153 Letters, 108). On the rich: “The Philanderers,” he writes to Garnett, “is all about p ­ eople of the class which I detest more e­ very day—­the upper class—­the p ­ eople who devote their time and talents to their own selfish enjoyment—­ motorists, golfers, sportsmen” (Hudson to Garnett, August 19, 1908, 153 Letters, 96). On pro­g­ ress: see vari­ous quotes in the remainder of this chapter. 14. ​Maxwell and Trumpener, “Romance of the Outlands,” 107; Huberman, Gauchos and Foreigners, 38. 15. ​[“that appears gaucho but is written in En­glish”; “prodigal son, the most creole of the writers born on the shores of La Plata, British but also man of our plains, true appreciator of the pampas, En­glish writer, gaucho devoid of any purely external ornaments and accessories, Anglo-­A rgentine, autodidact, contemplative nomad, romantic interpreter of the new world, En­glishman from Chascomús and man of universal science, inveterate traveler, first Argentine reader of The Origin of Species, established romantic, fallow field of Nordic vines irrigated with ­water from the pampas.”] Fernández, “Pampa de memoria,” np. 16. ​[“deep down as much Argentine as British.”] Hazelton, “Otras lenguas,” 169. 17. ​Hudson, Far Away, 272 (emphasis mine). 18. ​Huberman, Gauchos and Foreigners, 53. 19. ​Amaral, Capitalism on the Pampas, 227–229. 20. ​Zepeda, “Argentina,” 102. 21. ​Beckman, “Global Capitalism,” 541, 545. 22. ​White, ­Middle Ground. 23. ​Campbell, Rhizomatic West. 24. ​Hudson, Far Away, 180. 25. ​Hudson, Far Away, 151–153. 26. ​Franco, “Not-­So-­Romantic Journey”; Pratt, Imperial Eyes. 27. ​Brown, “Not-­So-­Imperial Eyes,” 98–99. For more on British soldiers in Bolívar’s armies, see Hampsten, “Revisiting,” 94; Waddell, “British Neutrality.” For more on Brown’s claims about the region’s British mi­grants, see Brown, Adventuring. 28. ​Walker, “Home Thoughts,” 338. 29. ​Hudson to Lady Grogan, November 5, 1910, Unpublished Letters, vol. 2, 444. 30. ​Hudson, Far Away, 189. 31. ​Hudson, Far Away, 27. 32. ​Hudson, Far Away, 212. 33. ​Hudson, Far Away, 185. 34. ​For more on this history, see Young, Colonial Desire. 35. ​Bhabha, “Signs Taken for Won­ders.” 36. ​Gandhi, Affective Communities, 6. 37. ​Bakhtin, Dostoevsky’s Poetics. 38. ​Hudson, Far Away, 251–252. 39. ​Hudson, Far Away, 252. It is impor­tant to note that “native” for Hudson means Creole, a problematic erasure of indigenous status made pos­si­ble by postcolonial in­de­pen­dence.

Notes to Pages 205–222   255 40. ​I read and cite the 1885 version of the novel, which differs from the 1904 version only in having a longer title and an additional prefatory chapter. 41. ​Hudson, Purple Land, I.22. The book is divided into two volumes. Hereafter parenthetical citations. 42. ​[“happy Creolization.”] Borges, “Sobre The Purple Land,” 210. 43. ​Landau, “Decolonising Travel,” 28, 44. 44. ​Almeida, Reimagining the Transatlantic, 223. This echoes Gandhi’s more general argument that the hybrid colonial subject is not an agent of re­sis­tance but rather a privileged, desiring accessory to global capitalism (Affective Communities). 45. ​Hudson to Phillips, July 7, 1902, Landscapes and Literati, 122. 46. ​Bhabha, “Narrating the Nation”; White, Content of the Form. 47. ​Hudson, Far Away, 252. 48. ​Hudson to Hubbard, February 8, 1905, Unpublished Letters, vol. 1, 384. 49. ​Hudson himself figures a difference in En­glish and South American historical narratives. Within the narrative of British literary history he fits into a particularly fin-­de-­ siècle world-­weariness, a skepticism of pro­gress, and a modernist fear that the best of nature and man had gone from the world. But in the land of his birth Hudson exemplifies costumbrismo and gauchesque lit­er­a­ture and stands as a forerunner of the emergent Argentine national style—in that story, he f­aces t­oward the f­ uture, not the past. The same man with the same body of work helps produce two entirely differently formed narratives of history. 50. ​Hudson, Green Mansions, 101, 220–221. 51. ​Landau, “Decolonising Travel,” 37. 52. ​Landau, “Decolonising Travel,” 44. 53. ​Hazelton, “Otras lenguas.” 54. ​[“Every­t hing tends to come apart, to fragment, to dissolve.”] Martínez Estrada, Mundo Maravilloso, 221. 55. ​Bakhtin, Dostoevsky’s Poetics, 79–80. 56. ​Hudson, Far Away, 200. 57. ​Hudson to Graham, November 2, 1915, W. H. Hudson’s Letters, 97. 58. ​Hudson, Far Away, 224, 11. 59. ​Hudson to Garnett, July 2, 1919, 153 Letters, 168. 60. ​Schmitt, Memory of the H ­ uman, 135. 61. ​Schmitt, Memory of the H ­ uman, 135. 62. ​Hudson, Far Away, 10. 63. ​Schmitt, Memory of the H ­ uman, 135. 64. ​Conrad to Graham, June 2, 1911, Collected Letters, vol. 4, 447. 65. ​Ford, Thus to Revisit, 69–70. 66. ​Hudson to Graham, January 26, 1906, W. H. Hudson’s Letters, 89. 67. ​Hudson, Far Away, 73. 68. ​Conrad to J. M. Dent & Sons, September 12, 1922, Collected Letters, vol. 7, 519. 69. ​Conrad to Graham, August 25, 1922, Collected Letters, vol. 7, 514. 70. ​Ford, Thus to Revisit, 72. 71. ​Hudson to Hubbard, November 3, 1904, Unpublished Letters, vol. 1, 367.

256  Notes to Pages 222–229 72. ​Hudson to Hubbard, November 3, 1904, Unpublished Letters, vol. 1, 367; Hudson to Gissing, November 10, 1904, Landscapes and Literati, 65. 73. ​Hudson to Curle, June 7, 1914, Unpublished Letters, vol. 2, 493. 74. ​Hudson to Garnett, June 12, 1915, 153 Letters, 130. 75. ​E. M. Forster, although he praised Woolf’s The Voyage Out overall, agreed with Hudson that its setting was particularly nondescript, calling it “a South Amer­i­ca not found on any map” (Forster, “Novels,” 277). It is perhaps relevant to Hudson’s frustration that neither Conrad nor Woolf wrote from personal experience of South Amer­i­ca. 76. ​Hudson to Baird, May 20, 1867, Unpublished Letters, vol. 1, 7; Hudson to Baird, August 5, 1869, Unpublished Letters, vol. 1, 15. 77. ​Hudson, Unpublished Letters, vol. 1, 25. 78. ​Hudson to the Ranee of Sarawak, March  13, 1916, Unpublished Letters, vol. 2, 532–533. 79. ​Respectively: Hudson to Garnett, June 2, 1920, 153 Letters, 179; Hudson to Phillips, March 10, 1901, Unpublished Letters, vol. 1, 210; Hudson to the Ranee of Sarawak, 1919; Hudson, Unpublished Letters, vol. 2, 651. 80. ​Hudson to Hating, January 2, 1917, Unpublished Letters, vol. 2, 567. 81. ​Ford, Thus to Revisit, 76–77.

Coda 1. ​Barthes, “­Great F ­ amily of Man.” 2. ​Ahmed, Cultural Politics of Emotion. 3. ​As Adelman puts it: “The commercial interests that motivated the recognition of state power in South Amer­i­ca at the end of the cycle of Atlantic revolutions changed the historic relationship between interests and institutions that once dovetailed ­under empire. . . . ​Thereafter, the relations between capital and public power, private interests and public institutions, had to be negotiated on dif­fer­ent terms” (Sovereignty and Revolution, 349). 4. ​A number of critics describe it this way. John Lynch, for instance, writes that in the years leading up to the Spanish-­A merican revolutions, “British policy ­towards Spanish Amer­i­ca was diffident in its approach and vague in its intent,” and he characterizes British activity in Latin Amer­i­ca as “improvisation” (“British Policy,” 1, 21). Matthew Brown argues that “British enterprise in northern South Amer­i­ca [at the turn of the nineteenth c­ entury] was generally informal, short-­termist, improvised and reliant upon pre-­existing networks.” (Adventuring, 17). On how this dynamic continued into the Victorian period, see Darwin, “Imperialism and the Victorians,” 617–620; and Aguirre, Informal Empire, xvii.

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I n de x

acceleration: of pro­gress, 39; and temporality, 37, 39–40, 98 accumulation: and development proj­ects, 111, 115; and temporality, 95, 103–7, 117, 244n30; treadmill of, 43, 96, 103–4, 112 Adelman, Jeremy: on quest for sovereignty, 45, 256n3 affordance, 23–24, 27–28, 153; vs. deterrence, 27, 55, 81–82 Aguirre, Robert, 4; on informal empire, 20; on Montezuma’s ­Daughter, 165, 167 Ahmed, Sara: on love and exclusion, 183; on under­pinnings of twenty-­first-­century white nationalist ideologies, 228 Alberdi, Juan Bautista: on Anglo-­Argentine marriage, 135, 152; and Generación del ’37, 133 Alborn, Timothy: on Victorian financial crises and the novel, 95 allegory, 144, 247n37; as way to describe national ­family, 123–24, 129, 132 Almeida, Joselyn: on “monolingual transatlanticism,” 32; on The Purple Land, 208–9 altruism: and commercialism, 49–53 Amaru, Túpac, 138 Anaya Ferreira, Nair María: on Montezuma’s ­Daughter, 165, 176 Anderson, Benedict: on concept of nationalism, 3, 65, 129–30 antagonism: as inherent to informal empire, 31, 51, 192; in marital plot of Montezuma’s ­Daughter, 180–89 Arendt, Hannah: on nation-­a s-­family trope, 120; on pro­gress, 236n14; on tyranny and terror, 127 Auchmuty, General Samuel, 205

Bakhtin, Mikhail: on hybridity, 203–4, 218 Bann, Stephen: on history becoming self-­conscious, 37 Barbauld, Anna Laetitia, 10, 91, 93, 229; and Columbus, 242n36; Eigh­teen Hundred and Eleven, 2, 11, 24, 26, 28, 33, 67–90, 240n12, 241n22; on informal empire, 68, 161; and pro­g ress narrative, 32, 43, 96, 117–18, 194, 225. See also Eigh­teen Hundred and Eleven Barrell, John: on eighteenth-­century long poems, 22 Barthes, Roland: on 1950 “The F ­ amily of Man” photo exhibition, 228 Beckert, Jens: on past data u ­ nder capitalism, 243n25 Beckman, Ericka: on Colombia, 200; on Latin American lit­er­a­ture and capitalism, 28; on (non-)in­de­pen­dence of new nations, 10 Bello, Andrés: on Latin American freedom, 49 Benitez-­Rojo, Antonio: on mutual benefit in La novia del hereje, 150 Bentham, Jeremy: and Mexico, 3 Bethell, Leslie: on “the British ­century,” 1, 7 Bhabha, Homi: on colonizers and hybridity, 203–4, 216; on mimicry, 180; on nationalism and narrative form, 23, 210 Bigelow, Gordon: on The Macdermots of Ballycloran, 245n50 binary model of informal empire, 11–12, 29. See also dialectical model of informal empire; surface/depth model of informal empire

272  Index Birns, Nicholas: on Britain’s cultural imperialism, 78; on Eigh­teen Hundred and Eleven, 70 Black, John: as translator of Humboldt’s writing, 20 Bolívar, Simón, 1–3, 10–11, 18, 26, 29, 31–33, 45–67, 87–91, 93, 148–49, 161, 229; and ancient Rome, 45, 53, 236n2; and duality, 49–53; and the Enlightenment, 47, 56, 242n33; Jamaica Letter, 50–53, 55, 58–59, 88, 237n20, 238n21, 242n36; and pro­gress narrative, 32, 43, 45–67, 87–90, 96, 110, 117–18, 159, 194, 225; relations with British, 2–3, 46–49, 62–63, 79–81, 191–92, 239n69; and United States, 237n14; and “Universal Equilibrium,” 60, 63, 88, 238n21. See also Congress of Panama Borges, Jorge Luis: on The Purple Land, 196, 208–9, 214 Brennan, Timothy: on concept of nationalism, 3, 129–30 Brown, Matthew: on British travelers to South Amer­i­ca, 11, 201–2, 207; on nations as consequence of wars of in­de­pen­dence, 58 Burke, Edmund: on East India Com­pany, 8; on liberty as generational inheritance, 120 Burns, E. Bradford: on Latin American elites, 7 Byron, Lord: and Venezuela, 3 Bystrom, Kerry: on relation, 246n23 Cané, Miguel, 155 Canning, George: on informal empire, 2–3, 10–11, 79, 81, 161 capitalism: and colonialism, 108–9; and end of history, 244n36; and pro­gress, 114; and temporality, 103–4, 107, 244n30 Carr, David: on nationalism and narrative form, 23, 87; on scalar levels of historical narrative, 72 Castlereagh, British Foreign Secretary: and Bolívar, 49 Çelikkol, Ayşe: on British fears about f­ ree trade, 5, 153 Chakrabarty, Dipesh: on pro­gress narrative, 28, 40; on “waiting room of history,” 49, 149 Chasteen, John: on Bolívar, 242n33

civilizing mission, 51, 96, 108–10, 114, 118, 121, 220; sequence prob­lem of, 40–41 Collier, Simon: on Bolívar, 242n33 Columbus, Christopher, 79, 82–83, 125, 242n36 Congress of Panama, 48–49, 60–62, 64 Conrad, Joseph: and Hudson, 196, 221–23; Nostromo, 17–20, 24, 27–28, 84, 93, 221–23 Cortés, Hernando: as invoked in Montezu­ ma’s ­Daughter, 170 Crocco, Francesco: on Britain’s cultural imperialism, 78 Cullen, Henry: and Bolívar’s Jamaica Letter, 50 cultural imperialism, 78–80 Darwinism, 119–21, 199, 254n15 Davidson, J. H.: on Trollope’s rejection of “so-­called colonies,” 97 Derrida, Jacques: on expression of nation in familial terms, 120; on filiation in politics, 183; on friendship relations, 127, 162, 183–84 dialectical model of informal empire, 12–13, 29, 169, 183, 218. See also binary model of informal empire; surface/depth model of informal empire Díaz, Bernal: as invoked in Montezuma’s ­Daughter, 176, 178 Drake, Francis: and Cacafuego, 139, 156; invoked in La novia del hereje, 139–42, 147–52, 155–61, 249n45 East India Com­pany, 8 Echeverría, Esteban: and Generación del ’37, 133 Egaña, Mariano: and ties between sovereignty and f­ ree trade, 6 Eigh­teen Hundred and Eleven (Barbauld), 2, 11, 24, 26, 28, 33, 67–90, 240n12, 241n22; anaphora in, 28, 74 Eliot, George: on choice between ­family and citizenship in Antigone, 181; tension in novels of, 31 Esty, Jed: on Bildungsroman, 19; on temporal paradox of empire, 41; on Tolkien and Eliot, 196 evolution. See Darwinism

Index  273 Ewell, Judith: on Bolívar’s failure to see Latin Amer­i­ca join international community, 63; on ­Great Britain as logical ally for Spanish Amer­i­ca, 50 Fabian, Johannes: on temporal relativity in western intellectual tradition, 40 ­family, 14–16, 118–226; vs. citizenship, 181; “­Family of Man,” 118, 121–28, 144, 148–49, 161–62, 166, 171, 180, 187, 228; and historical novels, 137, 194; and history, 134, 137, 174; and informal empire, 118–226; and national stability, 152; nations as, 24, 57, 110, 120–29, 149, 193; politico-­family, 144–53, 157, 162, 181, 253n31; and power, 126–27, 144; and temporality, 122, 126. See also genealogical consciousness; Green Mansions; La novia del hereje; Montezuma’s ­Daughter; Purple Land, The Favretti, Maggie: on Eigh­teen Hundred and Eleven’s condemnation of Britain’s trade policies, 68 Fernández, Laura: on Hudson’s hybridity, 198–99 Ford, Ford Madox: and Hudson, 196, 222, 224–25 formalism, 20–25, 29–31, 40, 81 Forman, Ross: on isolation and British Empire, 173 Forster, E. M.: on The Voyage Out, 256n75 Franco, Jean: on British travelers to South Amer­i­ca, 11, 201, 218 Frankenstein (Shelley), and South Amer­i­ca, 20, 195 freedom: and commerce, 49–50; as financially valuable, 238n37; as generational inheritance (Burke), 120; Latin Amer­i­ca as symbol of, 2, 9–10, 42, 77, 93; and unfreedom, 2–3, 10–14, 29–30, 46, 53–55, 82, 89, 93, 128, 130 ­free trade, 229; duality of, 53; and informal empire, 5–9, 29, 42–43, 64, 89; and national identity, 153 French, Jennifer: on lit­er­a­ture, language, and politics, 28 frontier, the, 200 Fulford, Tim: on colonial guilt in Romantic writings, 234n60; on informal empire, 193

Gallagher, Catherine: on Rus­sian Formalists vs. structuralists, 28 Gallagher, John: on informal empire, 7, 9, 11, 57, 193, 232n14, 244n42 Galsworthy, John: and Hudson, 196 Gandhi, Leela: on critique of imperial thought, 16; on friendship relations, 127, 162–63, 184; on hybridity, 127, 203 Garnett, Edward: and Hudson, 222 Gellner, Ernest: on nationalism and narrative form, 23 genealogical consciousness, 14–16, 25, 119, 121–22, 124, 134, 137, 172, 184, 194. See also ­family Generación del ’37, 133–35 generation, 124–26, 128; and Montezuma’s ­Daughter, 184–89. See also ­family Gerassi-­Navarro, Nina: on La novia del hereje, 151–52, 157, 163 Glissant, Édouard: on filiation (“root identity”), 126, 149–50 Goodlad, Lauren: on Trollop’s views of the En­glish, 98, 101 Gottlieb, Evan: on subversive logic of Eigh­teen Hundred and Eleven, 84 Graham, R. B. Cunninghame: and Hudson, 220, 222 Green Mansions (Hudson), 214–15 Guest, Harriet: on eighteenth-­century long poems, 22 Haggard, H. Rider, 16, 32–33, 130–31, 165–94, 209, 225; Allan Quatermain, 166, 172, 179–80, 185–86, 188, 227; The Days of My Life, 169; and empire, 166; on ­family and national belonging, 26–27; Heart of the World, 165, 167, 170–71, 186, 189–94; King Solomon’s Mines, 166–67, 172, 185–88, 191; Montezuma’s ­Daughter, 165–94; and origins, 172, 185; She, 166; titles of, 188. See also Montezuma’s ­Daughter Hahner, June: on British travelers to South Amer­i­ca, 11 Haraway, Donna: on “oddkin,” 30, 127 Hartog, François: on “regimes of historicity,” 36 Hazelton, Hugh: on Hudson’s hybridity, 199; on The Purple Land, 217–18

274  Index Heinowitz, Rebecca Cole, 4; on Eigh­teen Hundred and Eleven, 84; on freedom vs. domination, 29–30, 161–62; on Romantic texts of informal empire, 12–13, 20, 120, 148, 175, 193 Hensley, Nathan K.: on “cycles of anti-­ teleological historical motion,” 19; on paradox of vio­lence and peace, 14 Hirsch, Marianne: on patriarchal figures in western novels, 147 historical consciousness, 14–16, 25, 36–37, 42–43, 45, 58, 71, 119, 122, 124, 134, 137, 172, 184, 194. See also history history: and Amer­i­ca (Van), 116; as anti-­ progressive, 114–17; and capitalism, 104, 107; as created (López), 136; as cyclical, 36, 39, 69, 71, 75–77, 80–86; and Eigh­teen Hundred and Eleven, 69–90, 240n12; end of, 36, 39, 244n36; erasure of, 174, 184; and ­family, 134, 137, 174; metahistory, 85–87; as pro­gress, 35–37, 39–40, 54, 95–98; protagonist of, 15, 23, 32, 41–43, 58–60, 69, 72–79, 89, 96, 111–12, 115, 117. See also historical consciousness Hobsbawm, Eric: on “invention of tradition,” 58; on past as genealogy, 122; on utopia and pro­gress, 39 Huberman, Ariana: on Hudson’s hybridity in Far Away and Long Ago, 199 Hudson, William Henry, 26, 33, 131, 195–226, 254n15; and birds, 131, 196, 199, 202, 208, 214, 219–20, 223, 254n13, 254n15, 255n49; and Conrad, 196, 221–23; Far Away and Long Ago, 199, 201–2, 210, 214, 219–21; Green Mansions, 214–15; and hybridity, 131, 197–220, 226; on A ­Little Boy Lost, 213; and pro­gress, 219–21; The Purple Land, 131, 195–226; and racism, 221; and Woolf, 222–23 Humboldt, Alexander von, 20 hybridity, 124–25, 127–28, 131; vs. amalgamation, 216–18; and choice, 204; and Hudson, 131, 197–220; and La novia del hereje, 137, 154–57; and Montezuma’s ­Daughter, 175–80. See also ­family Hyslop, Maxwell: correspondence with Bolívar, 59, 61–62

Ianes, Raúl: on López’s desire to emulate Walter Scott, 136 in­de­pen­dence. See freedom informal empire: material and economic history of, 4–9, 62, 89, 93–94, 169, 199–200; models of, 11–13, 29, 148, 169, 175–83, 193–94, 218, 245n48 Jamaica Letter (Bolívar), 50–53, 55, 58–59, 88, 237n20, 238n21, 242n36 Jameson, Fredric: on allegorizing national destinies in “third-­world lit­er­a­ture,” 132 Jebb, J. Gladwyn: and nobility of failure (according to Haggard), 169–71, 190 Kaul, Suvir: on Eigh­teen Hundred and Eleven, 82; on po­liti­cal criticism, 21 Kornbluh, Anna: on financial transactions as proleptic, 105; on form in novels, 26, 235n96; on The Way We Live Now, 100, 105 Koselleck, Reinhart: on “events” vs. “structures,” 85; on narrative and notion of republic, 23; on pre­sent u ­ nder industrial modernity, 243n25; on pro­gress and history, 37 Lancaster, Joseph: and Bolívar, 48 Landau, Aaron: on The Purple Land, 208–9, 217 Lane, Kris: on the En­glish’s pragmatic relationship with Americans, 157 La novia del hereje (López), 24, 133–64, 171–72; and En­glish pirates, 157–59; and ­family, 24, 137; and hybridity, 137, 154–57; and marriage, 144–54; and origin, 137–43; and paradox, 156–61; and relation, 137, 143–54; and strangers, 151 La Plata, British invasion of, 2, 70, 83; in The Purple Land, 196, 205 Levine, Caroline: and “collision,” 27; on form and affordance, 23, 81; on “the forms of the content,” 28 Locke, John: on f­ amily as “the very model for civic governance,” 120 López, Vicente Fidel, 16, 26, 32–33, 130–64, 193–94, 209, 223, 225, 227; in Chile, 152, 247n2; and historical novels, 135–37, 194,

Index  275 248n20; and history, 134–37, 194; La novia del hereje, 24, 133–64, 171–72; on marriage (and choice), 152; and Walter Scott, 136. See also La novia del hereje Lukács, Georg: on Scott’s work, 243n16, 248n18; on “world-­historical figures” in historical novels, 251n92 Lynch, Benito: El inglés de los güesos, 28 Lynch, John: on Bolívar’s interest in ancient history, 53; on Jamaica Letter, 237n20 Lynn, Martin: on term “informal empire,” 233n43 Mansfield Park (Austen), nation and f­ amily in, 124 María (Isaacs), 200 Mármol, José: and Generación del ’37, 133 marriage, 246n30; and economics, 152; as exploitative, 150, 188; in La novia del hereje, 144–54; and national belonging, 174–75, 181–82; relation between Latin Amer­i­ca and Britain as one of, 128, 188, 227. See also ­family Martínez Estrada, Ezequiel: on Hudson, 196, 218 Marx, Karl: on “endless accumulation of capital,” 244n30; on pro­gress, 65 Marxism, 21–23 Maxwell, Richard: on Hudson, 196 May, Leila: on choice between ­family and citizenship in Antigone, 181 McClintock, Anne: on “­Family of Man,” 121, 144, 161, 166; on fantasy of colonial discovery, 125; on Haggard’s Africa novels, 166–67, 185; on Haggard’s preoccupation with origins, 172; on Haggard’s views on mining cap­i­tal­ists, 170; on “the white economic order of mining capital,” 168, 189. See also ­family: “­Family of Man” McCrea, Barry: on adding stranger to f­ amily structure, 151; on nineteenth-­century novel’s relationship with f­ amily form, 129, 185, 187 Mehta, Uday Singh: on imperial narratives, 38, 84, 101; on pro­gress’s relentless teleology, 28; on sequence prob­lem of civilizing mission, 40–41

Meléndez, Mariselle: on paradoxes in nineteenth-­century Latin American essay, 53 Mellor, Anne: on Eigh­teen Hundred and Eleven’s condemnation of Britain’s trade policies, 68 Mill, James: on informal empire, 2–3, 11, 52, 70, 79, 82, 161 Mill, John Stuart: on pro­gress, 15, 18 mimicry, 180 mining, 62, 83–84, 165–66, 168, 189–90; and British leverage over Latin Amer­i­ca, 6; Haggard on, 169–70, 192 Miranda, Francisco de: and Britain, 47–49; view of Atlantic world, 60 Mitre, Bartolomé: and Generación del ’37, 133; and history, 134 Monteagudo, Bernardo de: correspondence with Bolívar, 55 Montezuma’s ­Daughter (Haggard), 165–94; and generation, 184–89; and hybridity, 175–80; and oaths, 174–78, 182–83; and origin, 172–75; and relation, 184–89 Montezuma’s trea­sure: Haggard’s interrupted search for, 171; in Heart of the World, 190–92; in Montezuma’s ­Daughter, 165–66, 168, 177, 188 Morgan, Monique: on meta-­awareness of structure in nineteenth-­century narrative poems, 85 Mörner, Magnus: on British travelers to South Amer­i­ca, 11 Mufti, Nasser: on Nostromo, 17 Napoleonic Wars: as catalyst for the British invasion of La Plata, 2; in Eigh­teen Hundred and Eleven, 67, 84; and Latin American in­de­pen­dence, 47, 51 nation: as constructed, 85–86; and f­ amily, 120–36, 143–54, 175; and novels, 134. See also ­family: nations as; national identity; nationalism national identity: blurring of, 59–60, 248n20; crafting of, 58–59, 149; and f­ ree trade, 153; and marriage, 174–75, 181–82. See also nation; nationalism

276  Index nationalism, 3, 65, 74–75, 80–81, 239n53; as authored concept, 23. See also nation; national identity New Criticism, 21 Nkrumah, Kwame: on neo­co­lo­nial­ism and economic imperialism, 12, 193, 232n14 Nostromo (Conrad), 17–20, 24, 27–28, 84, 93, 221–23 oaths: and honor (in Montezuma’s ­Daughter), 176–78, 182–83; and rebirth (in Montezu­ ma’s ­Daughter), 174–75 origin, 124–26, 128; and La novia del hereje, 137–43; and Montezuma’s ­Daughter, 172–75. See also ­family Oxenham, John: invoked in La novia del hereje, 147–48, 152, 156–57, 249n45 Panama Congress, 48–49, 60–62, 64 paternalism, 15, 56, 120–24, 128, 130–31, 138, 143–53, 161, 209 Pizarro, Gonzalo: invoked in La novia del hereje, 156 Porter, Bernard: on The Way We Live Now and empire, 108 Postone, Moishe: on “treadmill effect,” 103–4 power, 29–33, 230; economizing of, 57; and ­family, 126–27, 144 Pratt, Mary Louise: on British travelers to South Amer­i­ca, 11, 201; on “imperial eyes,” 11, 224 presentism, 230 pro­gress, 14–16, 18, 119, 229; acceleration of, 39; and capitalism, 114; in Eigh­teen Hundred and Eleven, 76–77; and freedom, 15; and Generación del ’37, 133, 135; history as, 35–37, 40, 54, 95–98; and Hudson, 219–21; and informal empire, 35–118; and La novia del hereje, 160–61; Latin Amer­i­ca as signifying, 42; protagonist of, 15, 23, 32, 41–43, 58–60, 69, 72–79, 89, 96, 111–12, 115, 117; reversed, 111, 115, 220; and sequence, 53–61, 80–85; and temporality, 38–43, 104–6, 113; and utopia, 39, 65; as zero-­sum, 80, 82, 88 Purple Land, The (Hudson), 131, 195–226; British settlers in, 205–7; magical realism in, 214; storytelling in, 209–19

Queen Elizabeth I: invoked in Montezuma’s ­Daughter, 165–71, 188, 191 Queen Victoria: as imperial “­mother,” 246n20; invoked in Heart of the World, 191 Racine, Karen: on strange bedfellows produced by idea of Latin American in­de­pen­dence, 50 racism, 121; and Hudson, 221; and Trollope, 96, 115 Ramirez, Luz Elena: on Heart of the World, 167; on Montezuma’s ­Daughter, 165 relation, 124–28, 131, 246n23; and La novia del hereje, 137, 143–54; and Montezuma’s ­Daughter, 184–89. See also ­family Revenga, José Rafael: correspondence with Bolívar, 54–55, 61 Rivas Rojas, Raquel: on Bolívar’s Jamaica Letter, 58–59 Robinson, Ronald: on informal empire, 7, 9, 11, 57, 193, 232n14, 244n42 Roo­se­velt, Theodore: and Hudson, 224 Rosas, Juan Manuel de, 133–34, 135, 223–24 Rus­sian Formalism, 21, 28 Said, Edward: on filiation, 149–50, 162; on Nostromo, 19; on quest tale genre as inherently imperial, 166, 192 Santander, Francisco de Paula: correspondence with Bolívar, 63–64 Sarmiento, Domingo Faustino: Facundo, 136; and Generación del ’37, 133; on historical novels, 135–36; on marriage and choice, 152; and Walter Scott, 136 Sartre, Jean-­Paul: on neo­co­lo­nial­ism and economic imperialism, 12–13 Schaffer, Talia: on adding stranger to f­ amily structure, 151; on spousal relations within Britain, 127 Schmitt, Cannon: on Hudson, 220–21; on portrayal of Latin Amer­i­ca in British lit­er­a­ture, 20 Schwarz, Roberto: on “aesthetic formalization” of contradictions in social experience, 22 Scott, Walter, 136, 243n16, 248n18 Seeley, J. R.: on colonies, 245n45 Sewell, William H., Jr.: on capitalism, 103, 244n30

Index  277 Shalev, Eran: on Britain’s toleration of its imperial nature, 84 Shand, Alexander Innes: on boom of English-­led rail proj­ects, 109 Smith, Charlotte: tension in sonnets of, 31 Snodgrass, Mary Ellen: on Haggard as canonical imperial author, 167 Sommer, Doris: on “national novels,” 134; on “national romances,” 129, 131, 144 Southey, Robert: on ­England as “mad” about South Amer­i­ca, 1 Spanish Conquest: in British lit­er­a­ture, 20, 69, 234n72; in La novia del hereje, 138–40, 142–43; and Latin American postcolonial identity, 58; in Montezuma’s ­Daughter, 170, 173–74, 176 speculation, financial, 93–95, 102, 105–7; and development, 115; and temporality, 113, 116 Steer, Philip: on “cycles of anti-­teleological historical motion,” 19 Stoler, Ann: on “the affective grid of colonial politics,” 144 structuralism, 21, 25, 28 surface/depth model of informal empire, 12–13, 29, 148, 175–83, 193–94, 245n48. See also binary model of informal empire; dialectical model of informal empire telos, 39–40, 44, 69, 77–80, 84, 210–21; collapse of, 91–118 Thompson, Andrew: on informal empire as a continuum, 8 time/temporality: and acceleration, 37, 39–40, 98; and accumulation, 95, 103–7, 117, 244n30; and Amer­i­ca, 116; and capitalism, 103–4, 107; and empire, 41; and ­family, 122, 126; as perpetual pre­sent, 38, 103–4; and pro­gress, 38–43, 104–6, 113; and rootlessness, 100–101; and speculation, 113, 116; in The Way We Live Now, 95, 97–108, 113 Tobin, Patricia: on “the genealogical imperative,” 122

translatio imperii, 76, 88–89 Trollope, Anthony, 16, 26, 91–118, 169, 229; An Autobiography, 94, 101; on capitalism, 245n50; on empire, 96–97, 109–10, 123, 193; and F ­ amily of Man, 123; The Macdermots of Ballycloran, 245n50; on pro­gress, 41, 43, 109–115, 117; The Prime Minister, 91–92, 95, 101, 111, 243n23; and racism, 96, 115; The Way We Live Now, 33, 43, 91, 94–119, 195, 227–28; The West Indies and the Spanish Main, 95, 109–115. See also Way We Live Now, The truth, and narrative, 209–19 Van, Annette: on Amer­i­ca as a temporal paradox, 116 Waddell, D. A. G.: on British soldiers and informal empire, 11 Walker, John: on Hudson as “sympathetic observer,” 202, 224 Way We Live Now, The (Trollope), 33, 43, 91, 94–119, 195, 227–28; silence (as statement) in, 107; temporality in, 95, 97–108, 113 Wellesley, Marquis of, 47–51, 88 White, Hayden, 28; on “events” vs. “structures,” 85; on history, 23, 37, 58, 77; “narrative center,” 71–72, 77; on nationalist implications of storytelling, 210 Whitelocke, General John, 205 Wilberforce, William: and Bolívar, 48 ­Woman in White, The (Collins): and Latin Amer­i­ca, 20, 195 Wood, Ellen Meiskins: on idea(s) of pro­gress, 113–14 Woolf, ­Virginia: The Voyage Out, 221–23, 256n75 Yeats, William Butler: on history, 39 zero-­sum: belonging as, 174; history as, 88; imperialism as, 140; love/marriage as, 180–83; pro­gress as, 80, 82, 88; power as, 88

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