, 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
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
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.
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
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
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
the effects of humanitarianism in the world, we need to take these broader governmental imperatives and the compromises and limitations which they compel into account. 4 This chapter focuses on what many have regarded as a foundational moment in the history of modern Western humanitarianism: the abolition of slavery within the British Empire. 5 It develops a holistic analysis of the governance of a process celebrated by
The British Empire contributed greatly to the globalising of western buildings, towns and cities across the world. The requirements of security necessitated the construction of forts and barracks everywhere, while the need for mobility and ceremonial led to the use of large numbers of tents. As towns and cities developed, building types required for imperial rule, the operations of colonial economies and the comfort and cultural edification of Europeans appeared everywhere. These included government houses, town halls, courthouses, assembly and parliament buildings, company headquarters, customs houses and hotels. As the white bourgeoisie became a major global class, their representative buildings, such as clubs, libraries, museums, theatres, religious institutions, mission stations and schools, also spread worldwide. Some of these were designed for the dissemination of European culture to indigenous peoples, as well as the proselytisation of Christianity. Imperial rulers, their officials and troops additionally required particular settlements for leisure, recreation and the restoration of health, and these included hill stations in many colonies. The new technologies of the age, such as the telegraph and railways, also generated significant structures, widely dispersed. In addition to the great public and civic buildings, residential accommodation was created for Europeans, servants and workers. The result was a striking built environment which offers many insights into the nature, character and social and economic development of imperial rule, not least in the patterns of racial and class inclusion and exclusion which such buildings represented. It is an environment which remains key to the understanding of the modern world, and one which has survived, often through the modern fascination with ‘heritage’ as well as through its incorporation into new postcolonial arrangements.
In terms of an imperial moment, the plight of Germans in the British Empire at the end of the First World War represented the culmination of a process which had begun with the outbreak of the conflict resulting in an intensification of popular Germanophobia necessary to fight the conflict and persuade millions of people to sign up for armed combat against an imperial enemy. The German communities which had lived as essentially invisible settlers throughout the British Empire, both in the metropole and throughout the globe, suddenly became
On 22 August 2019, a 20-year-old musician called Sheku Kanneh-Mason, an Englishman whose parents originally came from Antigua and Sierra Leone, took to the stage of a packed Royal Albert Hall to perform Edward Elgar's Cello Concerto in E minor, composed in 1919. This piece represented the composer's last undisputed moment of creative genius and importantly signposted the British Empire's exit from the Great War into a post-war world. Kanneh-Mason's performance simultaneously marked the centenary of both the completion of the concerto and the