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  • Print publication year: 2020
  • Online publication date: December 2019

Chapter 4 - Manning the Imperial Outpost


This chapter argues that Australia and New Zealand versions of the invasion novel crystallized an indigenized, militaristic settler masculinity that soon proved adaptable to other geopolitical contexts. Novels such as George Ranken’s The Invasion (1877) and Kenneth Mackay’s The Yellow Wave (1895) defined settler masculinity by valorizing character qualities previously associated with indigenous colonial resistance. The global circulation of that formal logic, spurred by the Second Anglo-Boer War (1899-1902), can be seen clearly in the work of Erskine Childers: alongside editing a history of the war’s guerilla phase, he reworked the invasion novel in The Riddle of the Sands (1903) to imagine countering a threat of metropolitan conflict with a colonial mindset. In World War I, the Australian and New Zealand role in the Dardanelles Campaign was also celebrated in texts such as John Masefield’s Gallipoli (1916) as a settler invasion of Europe. Casting militarized settler masculinity as “surplus value,” highly valuable and yet disposable, constitutes one final intersection of political economy and literary form, colony and metropole, arising from the Victorian settler empire.