Chapter

Remembering Victory—Commemorating Defeat? The Franco-British Trafalgar Centenary in 1905

Bertrand Taithe

in History, Commemoration and National Preoccupation

Published by British Academy

Published in print June 2007 | ISBN: 9780197264065
Published online February 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191734496 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5871/bacad/9780197264065.003.0004

Series: British Academy Occasional Papers

Remembering Victory—Commemorating Defeat? The Franco-British Trafalgar Centenary in 1905

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This chapter explores the centenary of Trafalgar in 1905, not only from the British but especially from a French perspective. That year marked the shift from memory and narrative iteration at first hand to commemoration. It analyses history and memory both from the perspective of 1905 — in the contexts of the recent Entente Cordiale with Britain and the dismantling of the Napoleonic religious consensus — as well as of the subsequent historiography of that period. It explores the paradox of French participation in remembering defeat and concludes that — while going against the general thrust of French commemoration of 1805 — French celebrations in 1905 fitted with a pattern of memorializing past conflicts.

Keywords: Battle of Trafalgar; Entente Cordiale; defeat; France; commemoration; historiography

Chapter.  6839 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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