By Diana C. Archibald
A rather predictable pattern emerges in almost every Victorian novel that encounters the New Worlds: if an English hero is destined for a happy ending, he either marries an English angel-wife and brings her with him to the New World or, more often, abandons thoughts of settling abroad and returns to England to marry and establish a home. This pattern seems to support the supposedly complementary ideologies of domesticity and imperialism.
The literary texts, however, reveal much ambivalence toward this domestic ideal. Female emigrants were desperately needed in the colonies; thus, a woman's imperial duty was to leave England. Yet her womanly duty told her to remain an untainted idol beside an English hearthside. The domestic ideal, then, seems to have been more in conflict with imperialistic ideology than heretofore supposed.
- Columbia, MO