Empires of the Imagination: Politics, War, and the Arts in the British World, 1750-1850

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2010-08-17
  • Publisher: Consortium Book Sales & Dist
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Between the mid-18th and mid-19th centuries, Britain evolved from a substantial international power yet relative artistic backwater into a global superpower and a leading cultural force in Europe. In this original and wide-ranging book, Hoock illuminates the manifold ways in which the culture of power and the power of culture were interwoven in this period of dramatic change. Britons invested artistic and imaginative effort to come to terms with the loss of the American colonies; to sustain the generation-long fight against Revolutionary and Napoleonic France; and to assert and legitimate their growing empire in India. Demonstrating how Britain fought international culture wars over prize antiquities from the Mediterranean and Near East, the book explores how Britons appropriated ancient cultures from the Mediterranean, the Near East, and India, and casts a fresh eye on iconic objects such as the Rosetta Stone and the Parthenon Marbles.

Table of Contents

Mapsp. x
Prefacep. xvi
Abbreviationsp. xxii
List of Plates and Illustrationsp. xxiv
Introduction: Sinews of Power and Empires of the Imaginationp. 1
Abu Taleb in London, 1800p. 1
Concepts and Argumentsp. 11
Themes: Politicisation, Commemoration, Collectingp. 20
Prelude. London, Autumn 1761: The King Shall Rejoicep. 23
War, Art, and Commemoration (c.1750-1815)
Americap. 39
Nationalising a Site of Memoryp. 40
A Civil and a Global Warp. 45
The Art of Remembering and Forgettingp. 48
Melted Majestyp. 49
Compensatory Triumphalismp. 57
Undaunted Briton or Sentimental Spy?p. 60
Damage Controlp. 67
Private Grief and Pridep. 71
'There will scarcely be a village in England without some American dust in it'p. 75
Conclusionsp. 81
Transatlantic Journeysp. 83
Janus-Faced Patriots: Benjamin West and John Singleton Copleyp. 85
Pragmatic Loyalists? Ralph Earl and Mather Brownp. 97
British Radicals: James Barry and Robert Edge Pinep. 100
'The peaceful muse outweighs political warfare': Charles Willson Pealep. 104
'To his country he gave his sword and his pencil': John Trumbullp. 109
Conclusionsp. 115
Interlude. London, Spring and Summer 1784p. 117
Britain, Europe, Empirep. 131
'Pretensions to Permanency'p. 132
A Temple of British Famep. 132
The Politics of Gloryp. 144
Partisan Immortalityp. 147
Who's Allowed to be a Hero?p. 151
Modern Heroesp. 162
Naked Captainsp. 163
Bodily Sacrificep. 169
Christian Warriorsp. 172
Codes of Masculinityp. 179
'The conquering hero comes - Dead! Dead!'p. 184
Coda: Imperial Sites of Memoryp. 188
Empire, Archaeology, and Collecting (c.1760-c.1850)
The Mediterranean and the Near Eastp. 205
Public-Private Partnershipsp. 207
The Spoils of Warp. 219
'Memorable Trophies of National Glory'p. 219
'Collecting-furor'p. 223
'Friends of Greece'p. 227
Spoliation or Preservation?p. 231
Antique Diplomacyp. 243
Triumph at Xanthusp. 243
The Lion of Ninevehp. 252
The Wonders of the Worldp. 265
Conclusionsp. 269
Indiap. 273
Empire, Culture, Knowledgep. 274
The Outward Appearance of Powerp. 276
Indomania and Orientalismp. 283
Antiquities of Indiap. 288
Learned Officialdom and the Analogy of Sciencep. 294
Picturesque Patriotismp. 300
Closet Archaeologists and Pioneers in the Fieldp. 306
Surveying the Empirep. 315
The Great Mysore Survey of 1799-1809p. 316
The Java Expedition of 1811-16p. 324
Research Managementp. 328
Guiltless or Ruthless Spoliation?p. 330
Outlook: The Responsibilities of Empire (c.1844-1900)p. 342
Capital of Culture (1815-c.1850)
Pomp and Circumstance in Londonp. 353
Victory and Dynastyp. 355
The English Titianp. 359
London Triumphantp. 361
Art for the Nationp. 372
Conclusions: Cultural Politics, State, War, and Empirep. 380
Epilogue: Empires Imagined at the Great Exhibitionp. 386
Notesp. 395
Indexp. 489
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