Ethnic impostors
in Impostures in early modern England
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This chapter investigates ethnic impostors, or people who claimed to be of a different ethnicity. It examines the perception of people who claimed to be of a different ethnicity, and identifies which features of ethnicity played a role in their success. The chapter explores the celebrated case of the pretended Formosan George Psalmanazar and Mary Baker, who passed herself off as Princess Caraboo from Javasu, and suggests that a shift in perception of the far-away ‘other’ was necessary to make ethnic imposture a worthwhile enterprise.

Impostures in early modern England

Representations and perceptions of fraudulent identities


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