Representations of the East: Orientalism in Emily Eden’s Travel Writing


  • Amalie Due Svendsen Aarhus University



Orientalism, othering, discourse, travel writing, Colonial India, the colonial Other, ‘The British Way’


The publication of Orientalism by Edward W. Said in 1978 gave rise to a new area of studies examining how representations of the East were influenced by an Orientalist discourse, which functioned to maintain and justify Western hegemony. Emily Eden’s letters from her travels in Colonial India are examples of such representations, as they depict her meeting with and perception of the colonial Other. I argue that Eden’s writing displays Orientalism, as she tends to dissociate herself from the Indians through othering, in order to preserve her national identity. However, Eden’s letters are distinguished from other Orientalist travel writing in the sense that she does not articulate justification of Western superiority. Thus, I argue, that the Orientalist discourse demonstrated in Eden’s letters serves the personal purpose of self-definition rather than the political purpose of justifying colonial rule.


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How to Cite

Svendsen, A. D. (2018). Representations of the East: Orientalism in Emily Eden’s Travel Writing. Leviathan: Interdisciplinary Journal in English, (2), 60–70.