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Hunting Narratives of the Age of Empire: A Gender Reading of Their Iconography

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The hunting-and-collecting mania of sportsmen from north-western Europe and the eastern United States is explored by focusing on the many hunting narratives that recount trips to the Canadian part of the Rocky Mountains and the Pacific Shore during the Age of Empire (1875-1914). These narratives, many of which were lavishly illustrated, have remained largely unexplored as a source for the social history of hunting. Here the hundreds of frequently dramatic visual representations, in particular the trophy displays, are systematically scrutinised and major iconographic motifs identified. The point is made that the iconographic idiom did not primarily convey a meaning that related to the hunters' participation in the work of empire, but one that celebrated the hunters' character traits and masculinity, often by means of a conflation of victor-and-vanquished.
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Keywords: British Columbia; gender; hunting; iconography; trophies

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: August 1, 2005

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  • Environment and History is an interdisciplinary journal which aims to bring scholars in the humanities and biological sciences closer together, with the deliberate intention of constructing long and well-founded perspectives on present day environmental problems.

    Environment and History has a Journal Impact Factor (2018) of 0.800. 5 Year Impact Factor: 0.918.
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