An educational empire of print : Thomas Nelson and ‘localisation’ in the West Indian readers

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)


    Research into colonial print cultures has been gaining pace with educational house histories such as Cambridge University Press (McKitterick, 2004), Oxford University Press (Chatterjee, 2006), Longmans (Briggs, 2008) being written; critics have also started to examine how postcolonial writers themes and issues such as literacy, education and colonial modernities in their work. Yet there is still a gap to be filled between general house histories and their institutional frameworks, and the legacies of those interventions in the work of writers who may have read these metropolitan produced educational textbooks. Reconstructed from the surviving archival papers , this case study on the West Indian Readers is offered in the spirit of attempting to bridge macro and micro histories of educational publishing in two ways: addressing the programme of localization undertaken by the Scots firm of Thomas Nelson and Sons in their textbook production, and exploring the emergence the West Indian Readers as textbooks for the Anglophone Caribbean market. The chapter assesses the series readers’ management and representation of Caribbean history and culture, and the region’s relationship with the outside world. The paper asks, if these textbooks are harbingers of a colonial modernity, just whose (and what kinds of) modernities are represented to these young readers of Empire?
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationWithin and without empire
    Subtitle of host publicationScotland across the (post)colonial borderline
    EditorsTheo van Heijnsbergen, Carla Sassi
    PublisherCambridge Scholars Publishing
    Number of pages15
    ISBN (Print)9781443849227, 1443849227
    Publication statusPublished - 2013


    • Book History
    • Publishing
    • Thomas Nelson
    • Caribbean
    • Educational Textbook Production
    • Postcolonial
    • Caribbean Literature


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