The emergence of a new type of hero
British and French contexts
in Heroic imperialists in Africa
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The national hero is an iconic example, an 'Exemplar Virtutis', who provides guiding principles to society. The Scramble for Africa, one of the most evident expressions of the gigantic land grab that was later termed 'New Imperialism', was one of the defining moments of the end of the nineteenth century. It provided a context propitious to the rise to fame of a new generation of heroes. A unique set of conditions enabled the appearance of imperial heroes in British and French popular culture. The names of imperial heroes penetrated deeply into the fabric of British and French culture throughout the period, as they entered the public space in various forms. Geographical societies, the activities of which increased considerably throughout the nineteenth century, appear as key vectors of the reputations attached to imperial heroes.

Heroic imperialists in Africa

The promotion of British and French colonial heroes, 1870–1939

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