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Haiti in the British ImaginationImperial Worlds, 1847-1915$
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Jack Daniel Webb

Print publication date: 2021

Print ISBN-13: 9781800348226

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: September 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781800348226.001.0001

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(p.1) Introduction
Haiti in the British Imagination

Jack Daniel Webb

Liverpool University Press

This chapter situates the book in relation to existing scholarship on Haiti and the British Empire. In particular, it details the work’s central concern that relations between Britain and Haiti in this period were characterised by dialogue. Through cultural and intellectual exchange, Haitians and Britons impacted on the worldview’s of one another. British representations of Haiti were thus constructed in relation to the concerns and actions of Haitians as well as British domestic and imperial anxieties. To illustrate this dynamic, the chapter delves into correspondence between Haitian and British state actors and specific examples of people moving between the two. Varying instances of such migrants include Antoinette, or the ‘Woolly Woman of Hayti’ as she advertised herself to London’s crowds; or General Dubois who inspired cheers from abolitionists in his talk on Haiti. In these interactions, the chapter demonstrates, we see multiple and flexible versions of Haiti as they are negotiated between interlocutors.

Keywords:   Dialogue, Migration, Imperialism, Nation, Race

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