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Colt Culture: Examining Representations of the American West in Victorian London

Jacqueline Randell

Title:
Colt Culture: Examining Representations of the American West in Victorian London
Author(s):
Randell, Jacqueline
Date:
Type:
Articles
Department(s):
Helvidius Group
Volume:
25
Persistent URL:
Book/Journal Title:
The Journal of Politics and Society
Geographic Area:
Europe
Publisher:
Helvidius Group of Columbia University
Publisher Location:
New York
Abstract:
In 1851, the Great Exhibition in London’s Hyde Park featured displays of art and technology from across the world. Compared to exhibitions from France, India, and Great Britain itself, the U.S. section seemed unimpressive with the exception of one item: the Colt revolver. Following its appearance at the Great Exhibition, the Colt revolver emerged frequently in British popular culture and culminated in the appearance of cowboys with revolvers in the late 1880s on Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show. This paper explores representations of masculinity, white imperial authority, and the American West in Victorian England by tracking the appearance of the Colt revolver in exhibitions, children’s literature, and staged shows. It follows three chronological stages of the Colt revolver: in exhibition culture, in popular literature, and in the Wild West Show. Ultimately, it demonstrates that while the Colt revolver failed in the British marketplace, it thrived in British popular imagination and established figures of the American West in the minds of many Victorians prior to the famed Wild West Show.
Subject(s):
Europeans
History
Item views
223
Metadata:
text | xml
Suggested Citation:
Jacqueline Randell, , Colt Culture: Examining Representations of the American West in Victorian London, Columbia University Academic Commons, .

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