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Distributed for University of British Columbia Press

Nothing to Write Home About

British Family Correspondence and the Settler Colonial Everyday in British Columbia

Distributed for University of British Columbia Press

Nothing to Write Home About

British Family Correspondence and the Settler Colonial Everyday in British Columbia

Nothing to Write Home About uncovers the significance of British family correspondence sent between the United Kingdom and British Columbia between 1858 and 1914. Drawing on thousands of letters, Laura Ishiguro offers insights into epistolary topics including familial intimacy and conflict, everyday concerns such as boredom and food, and what correspondents chose not to write. She shows that Britons used the post to navigate family separations and understand British Columbia as an uncontested settler home. These letters and their writers played a critical role in laying the foundations of a powerful settler order that continues to structure the province today.

308 pages


Table of Contents

Introduction

Part 1: Relative Distances

1 “Bind the Empire Together”: The Postal System, Family Letters, and British Columbia

2 “Affection Can Overstep Distance”: The Letter as Trans-Imperial Family

Part 2: The Colonial Commonplace

3 “Absolutely Nothing Going on”: Epistolary Emotion and Unremarkable Colonial Knowledge

4 “A Dreadful Little Glutton”: Settler Food Practices and the Epistolary Everyday

Part 3: Family Faultlines, Fractured Knowledge

5 “Irreparable Loss”: Family Rupture and Reconfiguration in Letters about Death

6 “Say Nothing”: Epistolary Gossip, Silence, and the Strategic Limits of Intimacy

Conclusion

Notes; Bibliography; Index

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