Heroic imperialists in Africa: The promotion of British and French colonial heroes, 1870-1939

Heroic imperialists in Africa: The promotion of British and French colonial heroes, 1870-1939

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From David Livingstone to Charles de Foucauld, from Pierre Savorgan de Brazza to General Gordon, from the 'Sirdar' Kitchener to Jean-Baptiste Marchand, imperial heroes came to captivate the imagination of their contemporaries. These standard-bearers of the 'civilising mission', armed with Bible or rifle, often both, became widely celebrated in their metropoles, with their exploits splashed across the front pages of the penny press, inspiring generations of biographers, painters and, later, film-makers. Coinciding with the advent of 'New Journalism', they embodied the symbolic implementation of the colonial project and performed a highly mythologised meeting between conquerors and conquered, nurturing imperial pride.

Berny S be explores in comparative perspective the ways in which heroes of the British and French empires in Africa were selected, manufactured and packaged from the height of 'New Imperialism' until the Second World War. He uncovers the media processes and publishing stories behind the legends of a dozen imperial heroes on both sides of the Channel, offering a comprehensive analysis of a phenomenon which was at the heart of popular imperialism.

For all their now-transparent biases and shortcomings, these icons of a bygone age provide us with a fascinating insight into the mechanisms of hero-making in late nineteenth and early twentieth-century Britain and France. They also throw light upon the imperial mind-set, and the story of the interests they served help explain why their epic legends permeate - perhaps even to this day - national identities.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781526103512
Publisher: Manchester University Press
Publication date: 11/01/2015
Series: Studies in Imperialism
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 304
File size: 6 MB

About the Author

Berny S be is Lecturer in Colonial and Postcolonial Studies at the University of Birmingham

Table of Contents


Part I: Contexts

1. The emergence of a new type of hero: British and French contexts

2. Imperial heroes and the market I: the written world

3. Imperial heroes and the market II: the audiovisual world

Part II: Uses

4. Imperial heroes and domestic politics

5. Cross-Channel Entente? The values embodied by imperial heroes

Part III: Case studies

6. The creation of the Marchand legend, 1895-1906

7. George Warrington Steevens, Blackwood Publishers and the making of 'With Kitchener to Khartoum'


Biographical sketches


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