Chapter

Elegies for Empire: The Romance of Manliness

WENDY WEBSTER

in Englishness and Empire 1939-1965

Published in print October 2007 | ISBN: 9780199226641
Published online January 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780191718069 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199226641.003.0007
Elegies for Empire: The Romance of Manliness

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This chapter focuses on Churchill's funeral, exploring its significance as a marker not only of the eclipse of a ‘people's war’, but also of the final demise of narratives of a ‘people's empire’. Its story of valour and victory, honouring a great leader as the personification of national greatness, excluded almost any reference to the Commonwealth. Alongside the major theme of the Second World War, it was not Commonwealth, but empire and Britain's imperial past that were invoked. The empire, once consigned to history, was unyoked from the Commonwealth, and reclaimed as part of British heritage.

Keywords: British culture; British heritage; Churchill; funeral; victory

Chapter.  16919 words. 

Subjects: Social and Cultural History

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