Madness and Marginality: The Lives of Kenya's White Insane (Studies in Imperialism #102) (Paperback)

Madness and Marginality: The Lives of Kenya's White Insane (Studies in Imperialism #102) By Will Jackson Cover Image
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Kenya Colony, for the British at least, has customarily been imagined as a place of wealthy settler-farmers, expansive panoramas and the adventure of safari. Yet for the majority of Europeans who went there life was very different. Based on over two hundred and fifty psychiatric case files, this book offers an unprecedented new account of the social history of reputedly Britain's most picturesque overseas colony.

While Kenya's romantic reputation has served to perpetuate the idea that Europeans enjoyed untroubled command, this volume illustrates powerful stories of conflict, immiseration, estrangement and despair. Europeans who became impoverished in Kenya or who transgressed the boundary lines separating coloniser from colonised subverted the myth that Europeans enjoyed a natural right to rule. Any deviation from the settler ideal was politically problematic, and Europeans who failed to conform to the collective self-image were absented, from the colony itself in the first instance and latterly from both popular and scholarly historical accounts.

This book brings into view the hardships of Kenya's white insane and makes for an imaginative and intellectual engagement with realms of human history that were previously suppressed by colonial ideologies. By tracing the pathways that led an individual to the hospital gates, it shows the complex interplay between madness and marginality in a society for which deviance was never intended to be managed but comprehensively denied.

About the Author

Will Jackson is Associate Professor of Imperial History at the University of Leeds
Product Details
ISBN: 9781526106551
ISBN-10: 1526106558
Publisher: Manchester University Press
Publication Date: September 1st, 2016
Pages: 224
Language: English
Series: Studies in Imperialism