The Imperial Archive: Knowledge and Fantasy of Empire (Paperback)
  • The Imperial Archive: Knowledge and Fantasy of Empire (Paperback)

The Imperial Archive: Knowledge and Fantasy of Empire (Paperback)

Paperback Published: 22/09/1993
  • Can be ordered from our supplier

Delivered within 2 weeks

  • This item has been added to your basket

Check Marketplace availability

Nineteenth-century Britain could be seen as the first information society in history - for the simple reason that it accumulated knowledge from the far-flung corners of its empire much faster than it could easily digest it. The British Empire presented a vast administrative challenge: by meeting that challenge though maps and surveys, censuses and statistics, Victorian administrators developed a new symbiosis of knowledge and power. The narratives of the late 19th century are full of fantasies about an empire united not by force or civil control but by information. In "The Imperial Archive", Thomas Richards analyzes the ways in which the Victorian organization of knowledge was enlisted into the service of the British Empire, as fields like biology, geography and geology began to function almost as extensions of British intelligence. Richards argues that the techniques invented for managing this information explosion established an enduring axis between knowledge and the state, and also suggests a powerful new direction for the novel. He illustrates his argument by careful reference to a variety of institutions (above all the growth of the museum) and texts, including works by Rudyard Kipling, Erskine Childers, H.G. Wells and Bram Stoker.

Publisher: Verso Books
ISBN: 9780860916055

You may also be interested in...

Your review has been submitted successfully.

We would love to hear what you think of Waterstones. Why not review Waterstones on Trustpilot?

Review us on Trustpilot