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By Patricia M. E. Lorcin (auth.)

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Additional info for Historicizing Colonial Nostalgia: European Women’s Narratives of Algeria and Kenya 1900-Present

Sample text

Geographically Algeria can be divided into two regions, the temperate coastal plains bordering the Mediterranean and the arid southern desert. The two regions are separated by a series of mountainous sections that form part of the Atlas range. With the exception of a short border with Libya to the east, during the colonial period covered by this study, the remaining land borders were with territories occupied by the French, providing a sense of French continuity along the southern Mediterranean shore.

Settlers . . say it compares with the best of New Zealand . . 82 The draw of such publicity, which was no doubt instrumental in attracting members of the upper classes to the colony, was compounded by economic and financial factors. 83 Kenya was to provide them with the land and manpower to recreate the patterns of landholding and labor with which they were accustomed. Secondly, setting up in Kenya required a considerable investment, as will be seen in the ensuing chapter. This requirement effectively excluded working class or lower middle class individuals, unless they accompanied, or came to work for, moneyed settlers in some service capacity.

Issues of governance and inter-racial relations were the main colonial preoccupations, but the Depression and the rise of fascism also featured in women’s writing, particularly in Kenya. The political turbulence of the period created a “realist” response to the colonial situation and an enforcement of the nostalgic patterns of settler identity. Part III comprises two chapters that cover the period of decolonization. Chapter 6 explores the differences in the way the two colonies were decolonized, women’s responses to decolonization, and the fracturing of their identity.

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