This chapter shows how group portrait paintings could recast political events as part of a celebrated national narrative. It focuses on how portraits could function as aides-memoires to political partisanship or identity. Eminent artists such as Sir George Hayter and Benjamin Robert Haydon sought to capitalise on the popular enthusiasm for reform. Contemporary attitudes towards Hayter's and Haydon's paintings were partially influenced by political feeling. When Haydon's commission was first announced, the Whig Morning Chronicle hailed the commemoration of the new charter of liberty for the people. The problems encountered by Haydon and Hayter provided ample warning about the difficulties of monumental political group portraiture, and pictures on that scale were not attempted again. However, the genre was adaptable, and in the 1840s two of the most important middle-class pressure groups, the British and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society (BFASS) and the Anti-Corn Law League, commissioned smaller group portraits.
In this chapter, the author, through a family history, speaks of how forced exile persists through generations. He narrates the series of events that took place after he left England and moved to United States, including the catastrophic failures of nuclear reactors. The discussion largely focuses on the incidence of cancers caused by exposure to radioactivity in England, and the impact it had on Anglo-American relations. The author also showcases the differences between English and American cultures.
In this chapter, the author discusses the cultural life in Rochester, New York, in the 1920s. The city of the 1920s is often referred to as 'Mr Eastman's town'. Economically, the first three decades of the twentieth century had been described as Rochester's golden age, and the centrality of Eastman-Kodak to the city's prosperity had important cultural consequences. The establishment by George Eastman of the Eastman School of Music and the Eastman Theatre in 1922 was the single most important event marking the 'end of provincialism'. The 'Rochester Renaissance' owed a lot to Eastman's wealth and philanthropy .
In this chapter, the author explains the internment of aliens in Britain during the Second World War. The 'internment of aliens' is a peculiar and rather hysterical measure taken by the British government after Dunkirk. The author describes his father as an alien. He is alien to Britain and to English culture. He came to Britain from Germany in February 1938, was a class C 'enemy alien' (recognised as a genuine refugee, and officially designated a 'friendly' enemy alien). The classifications were made by wartime tribunals set up in Britain in 1939.