University of Cambridge > > Reading and Reception Studies Seminar > 'Detestation or Sympathy: Dickens and Flaubert on Encountering "Savages"'

'Detestation or Sympathy: Dickens and Flaubert on Encountering "Savages"'

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Dr Elinor Shaffer FBA.

A meeting open to all; registration not required

‘Charles Dickens saw the “Zulu Kafirs” in London in June 1853, which inspired him to write the angry pamphlet “The Noble Savage”, published in his periodical Household Words. Later that year, Gustave Flaubert saw a group of “Cafres” – who were more probably “Bushmen” (San) – in Rouen and mentioned them at length in a letter to his friend Louis Bouilhet. This talk will look at these two very different reactions and the way they shed light on the political and aesthetic views of their respective authors.’

Fanny’s paper will be followed by questions and discussion. The meeting will conclude at 6:45pm with drinks. All are welcome!

Fanny Robles is College Lector in French at St John’s College Cambridge. She is currently completing her PhD thesis on the relationship between ethnological exhibitions and Victorian literature at the University of Toulouse. She has contributed the chapter entitled ‘Of Cavemen, “Struggleforlifeurs”, and Deep Ecology: J.-H. Rosny Aîné’s Literary Response to Darwin and Human Evolution’ to the forthcoming book on The Literary and Cultural Reception of Charles Darwin in Europe, edited by Thomas F. Glick and Elinor Shaffer, volume 3 of The Reception of Charles Darwin in Europe (Bloomsbury Academic). She is also the author of ‘Journey to the Centre of Humanity: Jules Verne’s Popularization of Anthropology in Le Village aérien’, in Science in the Nursery: The Popularization of Science in Britain and France, 1761-1901, edited by Laurence Talairach-Vielmas (Cambridge Scholars 2011).

This talk is part of the Reading and Reception Studies Seminar series.

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