‘I have every reason to love England’: Black neo-Victorianism and transatlantic radicalism in Belinda Starling’s The Journal of Dora Damage (2007)

Juan José Martín-González


This paper provides a close reading on post-colonial engagements with American slavery in Belinda Starling’s neo-Victorian novel The Journal of Dora Damage (2007), particularly on the transoceanic links between Antebellum America and Victorian Britain. Firstly, this article engages with previous feminist criticism on the novel in order to analyse Starling’s stimulating revision of Victorian female abolitionism and interracial relations. Secondly, drawing on recent historical reconstructions on the presence of American slaves in Victorian England and seeking to open new avenues of research within this novel, this paper considers the transatlantic context inherent in Starling’s narration, particularly the interplay between nineteenth-century radical discourses and African-American discourses of liberation.



Neo-Victorianism; Belinda Starling; The Journal of Dora Damage; Transatlanticism; Abolitionism

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