From the Charge of the Light Brigade to Scott of the Antarctic and beyond, it seems as if glorious disaster and valiant defeat have been essential aspects of the British national character for the past two centuries. In this fascinating book, historian Stephanie Barczewski argues that Britain’s embrace of heroic failure initially helped to gloss over the moral ambiguities of imperial expansion. Later, it became a strategy for coming to terms with diminishment and loss. Filled with compelling, moving, and often humorous stories from history, Barczewski’s survey offers a fresh way of thinking about the continuing legacy of empire in British culture today.
|Publisher:||Yale University Press|
|Product dimensions:||9.00(w) x 6.40(h) x 1.20(d)|
About the Author
Stephanie Barczewski is professor of history at Clemson University and the author of Titanic: A Night Remembered, among other books. She lives in Greenville, SC.
Table of Contents
Preface and Acknowledgements vi
1 Heroic Failure in Britain prior to 1850 21
2 Sir John Franklin 59
3 The Charge 85
4 David Livingstone 114
5 The 'Last Stand' 131
6 General Gordon 169
7 Captain Scott 193
Archival Sources and Suggestions for Further Reading 255
Illustration Credits 267