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Nora’s Lieux de Mémoire across an imperial world

past. By losing their empire, it has been quipped, the British were transformed from Romans into Italians in just a matter of years. How this transformation came to pass, however, and how it effected a lasting readjustment of the nation’s identity (if it did), has not yet been fully explored or integrated into national historiography. 2 Until very recently, Stephen Howe has written, ‘imperial and

in Sites of imperial memory
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Empire and law, ‘Firmly united by the circle of the British diadem’

application in colonial sites. In doing so it reveals a destabilized metropole: far from a beacon of light or a consistent, predictable standard-bearer. London, wracked with conflict, encompassed, articulated, and legally ‘processed’ all of the divisions and contested identities of empire. The pronouncements casting the rule of law and equality before the law as stately, universal, and complete obfuscated the

in Britain and its internal others, 1750–1800
Women in the public asylums, 1860s-1900s

. The preceding chapter’s discussion about masculinity signalled a range of themes through which we might examine the meanings of a gendered ‘white identity’ for the majority of the institutional inmates of the two institutions in the colonies examined here. White men who became welfare dependants, or who were unable to fulfil the ambitions for a strong and physical masculinity because they were

in Insanity, identity and empire
Organizing principles, 1900–1919

. Examining the preference for British immigrants, this chapter shows how, as was the case with other ethnic labels, ‘Britishness’ was very much an invented tradition. During the early years of the twentieth century women’s place was often ideally located as a wife, mother or daughter in private domestic space. The IODE was involved in utilizing such maternal identity in the

in Female imperialism and national identity
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Scotland’s son

Europe by pursuing nationalism. In his understanding, Scotland compromised on its distinctive identity, paying the price of Anglicisation and developing ‘grave cultural and psychological problems’ in order to benefit economically from the Union. 80 More recently, scholars have contested this understanding of nineteenth-century Scotland, arguing, as Devine puts it, that ‘it does not follow that because

in Livingstone’s ‘Lives’
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Austerity, abundance and race in post-war visual culture

). Sharing a deep ambivalence over the abundance they depict, Bratby, Hamilton, Hurst and Dearden all employ visual strategies that both contest and contain competing post-war impulses of desire and denial. Their shared visions of abundance offer competing and complementary points of rupture, where the discourses of empire, race, class and nation all meet as images of compelling

in Cultures of decolonisation
South African Indian responses

resistance campaign, the most sustained South African Indian protest against the government since Gandhi’s departure from the country in 1914, and in defiance of the call by the Natal Indian Congress (NIC) to boycott all ceremonies of welcome for the royal family, the apparent enthusiasm for the rituals of king and empire seems somewhat anomalous. Whilst both this incongruity and the ‘contested … nature of

in Royals on tour
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Gender, navy and empire

-reaching personnel reforms improved the reputation of the navy and the status of its men. As a consequence of widespread criticism about Britain’s military performance in the Boer War, national and imperial identities became even more sharply aligned to Britain’s naval heritage. By the Edwardian age, the popular image of the naval man came to symbolise the strength of the navy, the stability of Britain and the health of the

in From Jack Tar to Union Jack
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capacity to disrupt even the most experienced and well-informed passengers’ sense of self, time and space. Beale, an Irish Quaker, and McNeill, a Scotsman, were both first-time outbound emigrants; Lyall was a successful squatter, returning to Scotland for a visit after seventeen years in Victoria. For Beale, the voyage demonstrated the contingent nature of identity and the consequently uncertain basis of

in Imperial spaces
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-Muslim identity politics in the imperial metropole during this period. For the image of the unified, monolithic, Islamic world, so frequently found in contemporary English discourse on the topic, served to reinforce the belief in the unified English nation despite the contested nature of Englishness and the fact that national identity was formed through perceived differences. This chapter’s discussion of the

in The harem, slavery and British imperial culture