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Picturing the Indian Tiger: Imperial iconography in the nineteenth century


Crane, RJ and Fletcher, LM, Picturing the Indian Tiger: Imperial iconography in the nineteenth century, Victorian Literature and Culture, 42, (3) pp. 369-386. ISSN 1060-1503 (2014) [Refereed Article]


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Copyright 2014 Cambridge University Press

DOI: doi:10.1017/S1060150314000047


© 2014 Cambridge University Press. In The Empire of Nature John M. MacKenzie suggests there were three animals in India with which the British had a special hunting relationship, the tiger, the elephant and the pig (179). Of these, the tiger is the one most closely associated with Britain's imperial relationship with India. By the mid nineteenth century, as Joseph Sramek explains, tigers. had become invested with several potent meanings (659). Several critics including Sramek and Annu Jalais demonstrate how tigers were closely associated with Indian rulers, and, at the same time, with all that was wild and untamed about the subcontinent. Thus [o]nly by successfully vanquishing tigers would Britons prove their manliness and their fitness to rule over Indians (Sramek 659). Through close readings of selected tiger images from the second half of the nineteenth century, this paper considers the way tigers were consistently used as visual signifiers of India in a series of stock-in-trade images which depict tiger hunts, white men protecting white women from tigers, and tigers menacing Indians.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Language, Communication and Culture
Research Group:Literary studies
Research Field:British and Irish literature
Objective Division:Culture and Society
Objective Group:Communication
Objective Field:Literature
UTAS Author:Crane, RJ (Professor Ralph Crane)
UTAS Author:Fletcher, LM (Professor Lisa Fletcher)
ID Code:96551
Year Published:2014
Web of Science® Times Cited:7
Deposited By:School of Humanities
Deposited On:2014-11-11
Last Modified:2018-03-13
Downloads:155 View Download Statistics

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