“On My Head I Placed a Crown of Most Exquisite Make”: Shipwreck, Maroonage, and the Colonial Aesthetic Power in “The Female American”


  • Sonia Di Loreto




American studies, The Female American, shipwreck, colonial era, biraciality


Drawing from the long history in scholarly research about shipwreck narratives and the colonial times, this article offers some reflections on the different types of shipwreck stories, in order to then focus on the novel The Female American, anonymously published in 1767. As a truly transatlantic text, The Female American is in conversation with both The Tempest (1611) and Robinson Crusoe (1719), and as a shipwreck narrative it provides a remarkable model of settler colonialism and extractivist accumulation based equally on aesthetic pleasure and on the symbolic and exchange value of colonial artifacts.


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