Unconquerable Monsters Of The Imperial Periphery: Early Dinosaur Fiction, 1864-1912
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This thesis defines the term "dinosaur fiction" as narratives that feature living fossil reptiles in the modern world and looks to the emergent period of dinosaur fiction, 1864-1912, for patterns of representational practices and ideologies. An analysis of Jules Verne's Journey to the Centre of the Earth, James De Mille's A Strange Manuscript in a Copper Cylinder, Frank Savile's Beyond the Great South Wall, and Arthur Conan Doyle's The Lost World suggests that the dinosaur figures societal fears of future technological advancements, indomitable resistance to colonization, and the loss of a sense of self intimately bound with the logic of empire, as well as the implicit threat of eventual human extinction. This last and greatest evolutionary threat encourages visions of human futurity, whether reproductive or homosocial, that cross race and class boundaries.