Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://hdl.handle.net/10356/148552
Title: ‘The Wealth of Worlds’ : gender, race, and property in The Woman of Colour — a roundtable on The Woman of Colour (1808) : pedagogic and critical approaches (Roundtable)
Authors: Sinanan, Kerry
Keywords: Humanities::Literature::English
Issue Date: 2021
Source: Sinanan, K. (2021). ‘The Wealth of Worlds’ : gender, race, and property in The Woman of Colour — a roundtable on The Woman of Colour (1808) : pedagogic and critical approaches (Roundtable). Studies in Religion and the Enlightenment, 2(2), 53-56. https://dx.doi.org/10.32655/srej.2021.2.2.17
Journal: Studies in Religion and the Enlightenment 
Abstract: Towards the end of The Woman of Colour, Olivia Fairfield declines to entertain the idea of an offer of marriage from Charles Honeywood. Olivia’s first marriage to Au-gustus Merton has been annulled upon the discovery that his first wife, Angelina, whom he was told was dead, is in fact still alive, and they are reunited with Olivia’s blessing. Although Olivia is legally free to marry again, she refuses because of fidelity to her “first love,” Augustus: she cannot, she says, love another and considers herself to be “the widow of my love.” At the same time, Olivia insists that her constancy in loving Augustus is no threat to his true union with Angelina: “Heaven is my witness . . . that I consider Augustus Merton as the husband of Angelina, that for the ‘wealth of worlds’ I would not interrupt their happi-ness” (182). This particular phrase of Olivia’s, which Lyndon Dominique suggests is likely to be a quotation from Mark Akenside’s The Pleasures of Imagination (1774), takes on a partic-ular resonance in a novel that rewrites the norms of gender, race, and property inheritance at the time of the Abolition Bill (1807). The phrase participates in the trope of romantic love as colonial conquest but inevitably suggests the actual plundering of empire that is less roman-tic. Olivia refuses the role of plunderer, of taking what is not hers even while she “loves” Au-gustus and the novel’s plot allows some restitution of the actual “wealth of worlds” that her father, a white Jamaican planter, has accumulated.
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10356/148552
ISSN: 2661-3336
DOI: 10.32655/srej.2021.2.2.17
Rights: © 2021 Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, & the Brigham Young University Faculty Publishing Service.
Fulltext Permission: open
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
Appears in Collections:Studies in Religion and the Enlightenment

Files in This Item:
File Description SizeFormat 
6 Sinanan Final 2021.2.2.17.pdf231.16 kBAdobe PDFThumbnail
View/Open

Page view(s)

182
Updated on Jan 23, 2022

Download(s)

23
Updated on Jan 23, 2022

Google ScholarTM

Check

Altmetric


Plumx

Items in DR-NTU are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.