Victorian Popular Fictions 1.2 article 9

Maps, Power, and Affect in Richard Jefferies and Anthony Trollope

 Andrew Hewitt

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In Imaginary Cartographies Daniel Smail states: “All maps, linguistic or graphic, are sites for the expression of power.” Smail follows Foucault, Harley and others in identifying the map as a form of knowledge-as-power that can be used rhetorically to construct narratives of legitimacy and exclusion as well as instrumentally to support the deployment of force. This generalisation is challenged with examples from Richard Jefferies and Anthony Trollope, both of whom created maps as sites for the expression of affect. The map of his home village drawn by Jefferies in his childhood and recollected at the end of his life in the memoir-essay “My Old Village,” and the increasingly complicated linguistic maps of Barsetshire offered in Trollope’s “Chronicles” of that imaginary county, are discussed as examples of affect as surplus, that which “exceeds” our powers of rational and linguistic explanation. Although the traces of affective surplus are typically thought of as marking the body, it is also possible to consider maps in Jefferies and Trollope as sites for the capture of affective surplus, generated as the author prepares to take leave (actual or metaphorical) of the represented place. In other words, some maps are best understood as sites for the expression of love.



Richard Jefferies; Anthony Trollope; Daniel Smail; Barset; maps; power; affect; emotion; belonging.

Date of Acceptance: 23 December 2019

Date of Publication: 31 December 2019

Double Blind Peer Reviewed

Recommended Citation:

Hewitt, Andrew. 2019. “Maps, Power, and Affect in Richard Jefferies and Anthony Trollope.” Victorian Popular Fictions, 1.2: 123-134. ISSN: 2632-4253 (online)  DOI:

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