Edward Gibbon Wakefield: Abductor and Mystagogue

Edward Gibbon Wakefield: Abductor and Mystagogue (1997). Historians are not supposed to have personal likes and dislikes. This may explain why there has been so little explicit recognition of the fact that the colonisation 'theorist' Edward Gibbon Wakefield was a scoundrel. His kidnapping of an heiress, whom he tricked into going through a marriage ceremony with him, was not a romantic madcap adventure but a particularly chilling crime. But the key to understanding Wakefield lies not so much in his unpleasantness, a quality in which he was hardly unique, but in the fact that he was a fantasist.

Edward Gibbon Wakefield: Abductor and Mystagogue - Part A

Part A of Edward Gibbon Wakefield: Abductor and Mystagogue argues that, far from being an imperial visionary, he was in fact remarkably myopic. Part A also offers a bleak account of the abduction of Ellen Turner.

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Edward Gibbon Wakefield: Abductor and Mystagogue - Part B

Part B of Edward Gibbon Wakefield: Abductor and Mystagogue reconstructs his fantasy world and contends that his 'sufficient price' theory of colonial land sales was part of his self-centred fictional university.

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