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Impostures in Early Modern EnglandRepresentations and Perceptions of Fraudulent Identities$
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Tobias B. Hug

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780719079849

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: July 2012

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719079849.001.0001

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Ethnic impostors

Ethnic impostors

Chapter:
(p.110) Chapter 6 Ethnic impostors
Source:
Impostures in Early Modern England
Author(s):

Tobias B. Hug

Publisher:
Manchester University Press
DOI:10.7228/manchester/9780719079849.003.0007

This chapter investigates ethnic impostors, or people who claimed to be of a different ethnicity. It examines the perception of people who claimed to be of a different ethnicity, and identifies which features of ethnicity played a role in their success. The chapter explores the celebrated case of the pretended Formosan George Psalmanazar and Mary Baker, who passed herself off as Princess Caraboo from Javasu, and suggests that a shift in perception of the far-away ‘other’ was necessary to make ethnic imposture a worthwhile enterprise.

Keywords:   ethnic impostors, ethnicity, George Psalmanazar, Mary Baker, Princess Caraboo, far-away other

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