From Plunder to Preservation: Britain and the Heritage of Empire, c.1800-1940 (Proceedings of the British Academy 187)

From Plunder to Preservation: Britain and the Heritage of Empire, c.1800-1940 (Proceedings of the British Academy 187)

By: Astrid Swenson (editor), Peter Mandler (editor)Hardback

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Description

What was the effect of the British Empire on the cultures and civilisations of the peoples over whom it ruled? This book takes a novel approach to this important and controversial subject by considering the impact of empire on the idea of 'heritage'. It reveals a dazzling variety of attitudes on the part of the imperialists - from frank 'plunder' of American, Asian, African and Pacific peoples' cultural artefacts and monuments to a growing appreciation of the need for 'preservation' of the world's heritage in the places it originated. But it goes beyond the empire-centred view to consider how far colonised peoples themselves were able to embed indigenous understandings of their heritage in the empire, and how indeed the empire was very often dependent on indigenous knowledge for its own functioning. This book will therefore appeal to those interested in the history of the British Empire in all parts of the world, and also to the burgeoning audience for writing on 'world heritage' - the movement pioneered by UNESCO to move beyond a Eurocentric idea of heritage and to identify cultural value in all of the historical productions of the world's peoples. Its case studies and unusual illustrations range from an extraordinary Anglo-African cathedral in the Sudan to palm leaf manuscripts in Sri Lanka, from Mayan and Indian temples to Shakespeare's Birthplace and Hadrian's Wall. Together they provide a vivid story of how our current understanding of the diverse heritages of world history was forged in the crucible of the British Empire. What was the effect of the British Empire on the cultures and civilizations of the peoples over whom it ruled? This book takes a novel approach to this important and controversial subject by considering the impact of empire on the idea of 'heritage'. It reveals a dazzling variety of attitudes on the part of the imperialists - from frank 'plunder' of American, Asian, African and Pacific peoples' cultural artefacts and monuments to a growing appreciation of the need for 'preservation' of the world's heritage in the places it originated. But it goes beyond the empire-centred view to consider how far colonized peoples themselves were able to embed indigenous understandings of their heritage in the empire, and how indeed the empire was very often dependent on indigenous knowledge for its own functioning. This book will therefore appeal to those interested in the history of the British Empire in all parts of the world, and also to the burgeoning audience for writing on 'world heritage' - the movement pioneered by UNESCO to move beyond a Eurocentric idea of heritage and to identify cultural value in all of the historical productions of the world's peoples. Its case studies and unusual illustrations range from an extraordinary Anglo-African cathedral in the Sudan to palm leaf manuscripts in Sri Lanka, from Mayan and Indian temples to Shakespeare's Birthplace and Hadrian's Wall. Together they provide a vivid story of how our current understanding of the diverse heritages of world history was forged in the crucible of the British Empire.

About Author

Astrid Swenson is a Lecturer in European History at Brunel University London. She received her Ph.D from St. John's College Cambridge and was a Research Fellow at the University of Cambridge in the Cambridge Victorian Studies Group and a Fellow of Darwin College. Her book The Rise of Heritage: Preserving the past in France, Germany and Britain, 1789-1914 is forthcoming with Cambridge University Press. Peter Mandler is Professor of Modern Cultural History at the University of Cambridge and Bailey College Lecturer in History at Gonville and Caius College. His book Return from the natives: How Margaret Mead won the Second World War and lost the Cold War is forthcoming with Yale University Press. From November 2012 he will be President of the Royal Historical Society.

Contents

PART I: INTRODUCTION; PART II: THE CLASSICAL WORLD; PART III: THE BIBLICAL WORLD; PART IV: EMPIRES AND CIVILISATIONS; PART V: THE NEW WORLD

Product Details

  • ISBN13: 9780197265413
  • Format: Hardback
  • Number Of Pages: 400
  • ID: 9780197265413
  • weight: 750
  • ISBN10: 0197265413

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