Colonial ghosts
Mimicry, history, and laughter
in The ghost story, 1840–1920
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This chapter presents a comparative reading of Dickens, Sheridan Le Fanu and Rudyard Kipling. It argues that the representations of mimicry challenge the notions of colonial authority. It shows that Dickens's American Notes uses a ghost in the account of solitary confinement at the Philadelphian state penitentiary to explain the feelings of isolation endured by a prisoner. The ghost stories of Le Fanu and Kipling, on the other hand, uses images of mimicry and laughter that problematise any attempt to give them a coherent colonial perspective.

The ghost story, 1840–1920

A cultural history

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