Adventurers, adventure and popular colonial culture
My second-book project explores the figure of the globetrotting adventurer and the genre of adventure fiction as prisms for the investigation of turn-of-the-century imperialism and popular colonial culture.
In particular, I trace the iridescent globetrotting life, literary work and afterlife of the Danish naval officer, travel writer and adventure author Walter Christmas.
Christmas’s multi-coloured career as a seaman and would-be entrepreneur in various European and extra-European countries shows how ‘peripheral’ European nations such as Denmark participated in the wider trends of Age-of-Empire imperialism and globalization through the individual activities of what I call “men between the spots”.
At the same time, his travel literature and famous boys’ adventure series “Peder Most” shaped the “colonial fantasies” of Danish youths well into the 1950s.
The pages of the Armchair Sailor’s Story Book introduce you to various themes from the study of Age-of-Empire imperialism, colonialism and popular colonial culture. They take you on exploratory voyages around empires and the world building on factual and fictional travel reports.
A particular focus lies on juvenile adventure fiction and on the themes of maritime and colonial adventure which contributed to the propagation of colonialist, imperialist, and more subversive world views. These themes form an understudied part of the history of childhood and youth in Denmark.