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An informative account of an Imperial flight by an inexperienced air traveller appeared in the Field in the summer of 1935. An Imperial ticket bought some comfort and security, but not lightning speed. The Imperial Airways Chairman, Sir Eric Geddes, was adamant that speed was a secondary consideration for many Empire travellers. Air services were beginning to choreograph imperialism, especially in places not yet touched by mechanised land transport. In 1932, a disillusioned South African reckoned that Imperial was unlikely to have its passenger contract renewed in Central and Southern Africa. Whimsy percolated an article published in 1939 in the Journal of the Royal African Society about 'the romance' of the air mail to Africa. Like the African airway, the new air route to India was an irresistible subject for writers.

in Cultures and caricatures of British imperial aviation
Passengers, pilots, publicity

Imperial flying was not just about machines, timetables and routes; it was also about ideas, values and practices. This book focuses on the way airborne mobility itself expressed imperialism. Imperial Airways projected an idealised Britain to the Empire, and interpreted and refracted the Empire to Britons. Passengers in commercial aircraft had adventures in the early days of Empire flying, in a mild way, fleeting, organised overnight stops at foreign places. Writing about and publicising imperial flying in the 1920s and 1930s created the first caricatures of Empire aviation. Words and images about long-distance air journeys, aircraft, landing grounds, passengers, crew and landscapes were necessarily selective and partial. Amy Johnson, in a BBC broadcast, said Great Britain was ready to make a decisive bid for world supremacy in the air. Wealthy people were the passengers (acronym 'PAX' in current airline parlance) on scheduled civil aircraft services in the 1930s on routes between England, Africa, India and Australia. The flying crew and ground staff personified the values of their employer and the Empire. Making the public 'airminded' was certainly part of deliberate acculturation in late imperial Britain; Imperial Airways tapped the Empire for publicity. The virtual mobility, presented by the 1930s texts and images, were enjoyed by earthbound readers and viewers. However, the first life of Empire aviation ended in 1939. In the past six decades, Empire aviation has been actively re-imagined and reincarnated as historical subject, hobby, and period artefact and icon.

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, the British film director revealed that he persuaded his boss, Alexander Korda, to send him to Burma to fetch film costumes and props, and make contacts. At the age of eighty-one he recalled his Imperial journey from Southampton to Rangoon in 1937 as one of his happiest travel memories. He exaggerated flying on average 2,000 miles a day (half that is more likely), but he

in Cultures and caricatures of British imperial aviation
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Imperial man travels the Empire

by the British with great difficulties – vicious fighting continued into the early 1870s – and this had seriously disturbed British ideas about colonial order. Trollope’s final imperial journey, to South Africa, also took place at a strategic moment in British relations with South Africa. The Transvaal had recently been annexed, which Trollope supported after considerable doubts

in Gender and imperialism

. 53 Christopher Ondaatje, Woolf in Ceylon: An Imperial Journey in the Shadow of Leonard Woolf 1904–1911 (Toronto, 2005), p. 39. 54 Ann Stoler, ‘Making Empire Respectable: The Politics of Race and Sexual Morality in Twentieth-Century Colonial Cultures

in Scotland, empire and decolonisation in the twentieth century
Popular imperialism in Britain, continuities and discontinuities over two centuries

papers. While it could be said that his Barchester and Palliser series of novels were little influenced by these imperial journeys, there is no doubt that many of his short stories were derived from them, as were aspects of his characterisations. His novel John Caldigate was partly set in the Australian gold fields. Moreover, judging by the scale of the publishers’ advances he received, his travel

in European empires and the people
Trembling rocks in sensation fiction and empire Gothic

described, as I have said, not just as different from England but as closely resembling Egypt, before being invaded by its atmosphere to the extent that it becomes indistinguishable. It is as if the mini-imperial journeys are finally magnified into the real thing: our narrators become immersed absolutely in the alien atmospheres. The Devil’s foot Cornwall’s clifftops are similarly

in Rocks of nation
The British and Sri Vikrama Rajasinha, 1815

). 98 Christopher Ondaatje, Woolf in Ceylon: An Imperial Journey in the Shadow of Leonard Woolf, 1904–1911 (London: HarperCollins, 2005 ), pp. 180–1. 99 ‘The Last King’s Jail Cell’, www.yamu.lk/place/the-last-kings-jail-cell/review-41889 , accessed 25 November 2016

in Banished potentates