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The military in British art, 1815-1914

In an age when engraving and photography were making artistic images available to a much wider public, artists were able to influence public attitudes more powerfully than ever before. This book examines works of art on military themes in relation to ruling-class ideologies about the army, war and the empire. The first part of the book is devoted to a chronological survey of battle painting, integrated with a study of contemporary military and political history. The chapters link the debate over the status and importance of battle painting to contemporary debates over the role of the army and its function at home and abroad. The second part discusses the intersection of ideologies about the army and military art, but is concerned with an examination of genre representations of soldiers. Another important theme which runs through the book is the relation of English to French military art. During the first eighty years of the period under review France was the cynosure of military artists, the school against which British critics measured their own, and the place from which innovations were imported and modified. In every generation after Waterloo battle painters visited France and often trained there. The book shows that military art, or the 'absence' of it, was one of the ways in which nationalist commentators articulated Britain's moral superiority. The final theme which underlies much of the book is the shifts which took place in the perception of heroes and hero-worship.

August 1899–May 1906
Maureen Wright

rights) beneath the rhetoric of legitimate redress of Uitlander franchise grievances.20 The war, she declared, was one waged by a band of ‘thieves and liars’, and it would ‘shake the British Empire to its foundations’.21 Elizabeth’s sympathies allied her to the small but significant minority of activists who adopted a ‘pro-Boer’ stance, and she took issue with colleagues who argued that ‘British moral superiority, like its racial counterpart, justified the imposition of Britishness on others.’22 She espoused a racially inclusive view and viewed the indigenous populace

in Elizabeth Wolstenholme Elmy and the Victorian Feminist Movement
Nationalism, universalism and Europe
John Carter Wood

if both are godless’. 35 Within days of the war’s outbreak, Oldham wrote to the Moot to express the fear that Britons would forget that ‘anti-Christ’ was not only among the Nazis but also ‘in our own hearts’. 36 Vidler came under State scrutiny after a Theology editorial denied British moral superiority. 37 The CNL called the British a sinful people indifferent to their own ‘crying evils’; the ‘devil of self-righteousness’ could not deny, for example, the ‘dictated peace’ that had enabled Hitler’s rise or the widespread corruption in democratic nations. 38

in This is your hour
The politics of Chinese domestic mastery, 1920s–1930s
Claire Lowrie

affairs risked destabilising the colony. 38 Accusations of slavery, however, could not be ignored. Since abolition in 1833, opposition to slavery had afforded the Britishmoral superiority’, and evidence of slavery operating in British colonies called into question the legitimacy of the colonial project. 39 Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post highlighted the connection

in Masters and servants
The values embodied by imperial heroes
Berny Sèbe

aims’, which was ‘to teach British boys how to behave’. 50 Constant references to the pantheon of British imperial heroes allowed Henty to promote his enthusiasm for colonial expansion, his deep belief in British moral superiority and his interpretation of the colonies as lands of opportunities able to bestow prosperity, physical strength and moral rectitude upon their

in Heroic imperialists in Africa