Introduction
in Cultural identities and the aesthetics of Britishness
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This introduction presents an overview of key concepts discussed in the subsequent chapters of this book. The book considers some questions in relation to the ways in which the aesthetics of national identities promoted the idea of nation that encompassed the doctrine of popular freedom and liberty from external constraint. It provides a discrete investigation into these issues with particular reference to the interaction of indigenous cultural identity and empire, and how this impacted on the making of 'Britishness' in all its complexities. The book examines the politics of land-ownership as played out within the arena of the oppositional forces of the Irish Catholics and the Anglo-Irish Protestant ascendancy. It reviews to the construction of a modern British imperial identity as seen in the 1903 durbar exhibition of Indian art. The book presents the discussion of cultural identities and the aesthetics of Britishness in the twentieth century.

Editor: Dana Arnold

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