Envisioning the Worst: Representations of "Hottentots" in Early-modern England
University of Delaware Press, 2001 - 289 pages
"The descriptions of Africa's southern-most people that appear in travel narratives and collections, geography books, and other textbooks of learning written from the first contact between English sailors and the Cape Khoikhoi in 1591 until the establishment of the British Cape Colony in the 1820s only tell part of the story about the invention and construction of "Hottentots." No other indigenous society was described so negatively or appropriated for such extensive use in domestic discourses. Indeed, the countless number of literal and figurative "Hottentot" references that appear in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century journals, letters, poetry, novels, and drama, as well as in scientific, imperialist, political, and abolitionist writings demonstrate how the very idea of them figures in crucial ways in the early modern consciousness as well as in some of the period's most critical debates, especially those concerning race, nationalism, and gender.".
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