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Nimrods: Hunting, Authority, Identity

Pablo Mukherjee
The Modern Language Review
Vol. 100, No. 4 (Oct., 2005), pp. 923-939
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3737717
Page Count: 17
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Nimrods: Hunting, Authority, Identity
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Abstract

Why does the proposed ban on hunting-a seemingly marginal and anachronistic activity-by the ruling Labour government stir up such passion in twenty-first-century Britain? An examination of the current rhetoric about hunting shows the presence of deeply held ideas about tradition, authority, and 'Britishness'. This article argues that to understand the popularity and relevance of these ideas, one has to go back to nineteenth-century Britain, when domestic controversy about hunting was entwined with an imperial context. Examining authors as diverse as Charles Kingsley and George Lawrence, and a host of memoirs by nineteenth-century imperial hunters, the article suggests that it was the coexistence of domestic and imperial contexts that enabled nineteenth-century British hunting narratives to construct a complex and problematic sense of 'tradition', the effects of which are still evident today.

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