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.
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