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The 'Indian Room' label from Osterley's bell-pull system illustrates the economic and cultural aspects of the relationship between country houses and the British Empire. This book is a study of that relationship, of the ways in which country houses like Osterley served as venues for the expression of personal and national imperial engagement between 1700 and 1930. A rare scholarly analysis of the history of country houses that goes beyond an architectural or biographical study, and recognises their importance as the physical embodiments of imperial wealth and reflectors of imperial cultural influences, is presented. The book assesses the economic and cultural links between country houses and the Empire. In terms of imperial values, country houses expressed both the economic and cultural impact of empire. Carr and Gladstone were only two of the many examples of colonial merchants who turned landed magnates. Nabobs - men who made their fortunes either as employees of the East India Company or as 'free traders' in India - were willing to risk their lives in pursuit of wealth. Like nabobs, planters went to the colonies in search of wealth and were prepared to spend substantial time there in order to accumulate it. Military and naval were among categories of people who purchased landed estates with imperial wealth. The book identifies four discourses of empire - commodities, cosmopolitanism, conquest and collecting - that provided the basic categories in which empire was represented in country-house context.

, posters, food packaging, advertisements, matchboxes and labels. Their power lay in the fact that they were frequently encountered in the quotidian experience of people of every age and of all classes. In a volume devoted to examples of the exhibition of the British Empire, this chapter seeks to achieve a number of things and to develop a niche in the ever-expanding literature relating to

in Exhibiting the empire
Empire, Nation Redux

hermetic separation between empire and nation as well as the unidirectional understanding – from metropole to colony -that had underpinned much British-empire historiography. 4 Yet a more concerted exploration of these insights – and the concomitant expansion of British imperial historiography to take seriously questions of culture – had to await the launching of the Studies in Imperialism series. The tremendous

in Writing imperial histories
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‘Dominion over palm and pine’

can help the young mind to appreciate the value and might of the British Empire … must be for the benefit of posterity’, wrote a flamboyant naval hero, Lord Charles Beresford (1846-1919), in 1908, recommending The Children’s Encyclopaedia . 1 In 1911 Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936) and C. R. L. Fletcher (1857-1934), an opinionated Oxford don, collaborated in A School History of England. Kipling’s contribution was verse, mostly bad, though a reviewer in the Daily Express thought well of it and commented: ‘there

in 'At duty’s call'
Contexts and comparisons

M&H 07_Tonra 01 08/04/2014 07:19 Page 133 7 Placing Irish women within and beyond the British Empire: contexts and comparisons Bronwen Walter Women have been leaving Ireland to settle abroad over many centuries. Although their scattering has been on a global scale, including locations both with substantial numbers and with small pockets, there has been a particular emphasis on the English-speaking world, shadowing the colonial enterprise of the larger neighbour, Britain. This chapter aims to explore different contexts in which settlement has taken place, both

in Women and Irish diaspora identities

escape from Ireland’, continued Shaw, the Irishman ‘will go abroad to risk his life for France, for the Papal States, for secession in America, and even, if no better may be, for England.’ 1 If what Shaw asserts is true, then it might be supposed that the British Empire, with its world-wide opportunities for adventure, would have exercised an irresistible pull on restless young Irishmen. But Shaw

in ‘An Irish Empire’?

‘official mind’ and public opinion in England regarding the true nature of Cape Afrikanerdom became a major task. Shortly after his arrival, Milner implied that the Bond was working behind the scenes against imperial interests. 14 In another letter he openly cast doubt about the loyalty of Cape Afrikaners to the British Empire, describing them as ‘fellow-citizens with the State and

in The South African War reappraised
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Tracing the relationships between country houses and the British Empire can be a funny business. As I was completing the research for this book, I was examining documents in the London Metropolitan Archives, in this instance relating to the sale in 1855 of a property called Victoria House in Wellington Square in Cheltenham, which was a popular place of residence for retired East

in Country houses and the British Empire, 1700–1930
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of the total cost. 4 It therefore seems clear that both that purchase and the rebuilding of Dodington Park can be counted as having been funded by West Indian wealth. This is not a moral judgement, it is simply a fact. Imperial wealth and the acquisition of landed estates The depth and extent of the economic connections between country houses and the British Empire is

in Country houses and the British Empire, 1700–1930

. “What can a handful of boys do against the great British Empire?”’ they shrugged. Others worried that the military training provided by the Fianna would inspire boys to join the British army. Still others found the youth group too extremist in its commitment to Irish nationalism. 2 Despite being faced with such negative attitudes, Na Fianna Éireann soldiered on, preparing boys (and some girls) for their future roles in the struggle for Irish independence. Between its establishment in 1909 and the end of the Irish Civil War in 1923, the

in Na Fianna Éireann and the Irish Revolution, 1909–23