Item Number: 106192
Title: Empires of the Imagination : Politics, War, and the Arts in the British World, 1750–1850
Author: Hoock, Holger
Price: Not Available
Description: London: Profile Books, 2010. 24cm., hardcover, 544pp., 20 color, 48 b&w illus. Summary: This is a scholarly and accessible history of the multi-faceted relationship between the arts, politics, and war in Britain and the British Empire between the mid-18th and mid-19th centuries. Over the course of the century after 1750, Britain evolved from a substantial international power yet relative artistic backwater into a global superpower and a leading cultural force in Europe. Empires of the Imagination 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. Holger Hoock explores the controversial careers of America’s leading painters during her War of Independence and analyses the unique British military pantheon created at St Paul’s Cathedral at the turn of the nineteenth century. Demonstrating how Britain fought international culture wars over prize antiquities from the Mediterranean and Near East, the book offers a fresh interpretation of the origins of the British Museum’s collections. Detailed studies of Britons and their local assistants who first documented the ancient monuments of India and Java contribute to debates about Orientalism and the production of imperial knowledge. From Athens to Amaravati, British archaeological interventions prompted concerns about plunder and preservation. Drawing on a very broad range of textual sources and material culture, Empires of the Imagination seeks to revise our understanding of the cultural role of the Hanoverian and early Victorian British state. By putting British culture into an international context, it highlights both European similarities and its distinctly British features.
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