Twisting Dickens’ Tale: Sir Harry Johnston’s Revenge

By Terrence Craig.

Published by The International Journal of Literary Humanities

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: May 19, 2017 $US5.00

Sir Harry Johnston, one of the imperial explorers and administrators in nineteenth-century British Africa, wrote five novels toward the end of his life. “The Gay-Dombeys” (1919) was a fanfiction sequel to Dickens’ “Dombey and Son” but adapted to Johnston’s own African experience and his disappointment at a career prematurely ended. This novel is coded to convey his resentments against the mandarins responsible for his early retirement. An informed overview of imperial politics and society in the late 1800s, “The Gay-Dombeys” is an example of autobiographical revenge. The novel is coded to convey his resentments against the mandarins responsible for his early retirement. This article explains the coding relative to the author’s overview of imperial politics and society in the late 1800s and as a disguised novel of autobiographical revenge.

Keywords: Colonial, Fiction, Revenge, Dickens, Johnston, Autobiography

The International Journal of Literary Humanities, Volume 15, Issue 2, pp.43-50. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: May 19, 2017 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 503.257KB)).

Dr. Terrence Craig

Professor, English Department, Mount Allison University, Sackville, New Brunswick, Canada