Exhibiting the Empire

Cultures of display and the British Empire

Edited by John McAleer and John M. MacKenzie

Exhibiting the Empire


  • Paperback

Book Information

  • Format: Hardcover
  • ISBN: 978-0-7190-9109-4
  • Pages: 304
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £75.00
  • Published Date: October 2015
  • BIC Category: Colonialism & imperialism, HISTORY / Europe / Great Britain, Humanities / Colonialism & imperialism, History, United Kingdom, Great Britain, European history
  • Series: Studies in Imperialism


Exhibiting the empire considers how a whole range of cultural products - from paintings, prints, photographs, panoramas and 'popular' texts to ephemera, newspapers and the press, theatre and music, exhibitions, institutions and architecture - were used to record, celebrate and question the development of the British Empire. It represents a significant and original contribution to our understanding of the relationship between culture and empire. Written by leading scholars from a range of disciplinary backgrounds, individual chapters bring fresh perspectives to the interpretation of media, material culture and display, and their interaction with history. Taken together, this collection suggests that the history of empire needs to be, in part at least, a history of display and of reception.

This book will be essential reading for scholars and students interested in British history, the history of empire, art history and the history of museums and collecting.


'Exhibiting the Empire is an excellent contribution to the continued debate about the empire's role in Britain. There is a good deal packed into this relatively short volume, which certainly raises a number of new topics and approaches that warrant further attention from scholars of empire, British and otherwise.'
Stephen Hague, Rowan University, H-Net, Humanities and Social Science Reviews Online


John McAleer is Lecturer in History at the University of Southampton

John M. MacKenzie is Emeritus Professor of Imperial History at Lancaster University and holds Honorary Professorships at the Universities of Aberdeen, St Andrews and Stirling, as well as an Honorary Fellowship at Edinburgh University


Introduction: Cultures of display and the British Empire - John M. MacKenzie and John McAleer
1. An elite imperial vision: eighteenth-century British country houses and four-continents imagery - Stephanie Barczewski
2. Exhibiting exploration: Captain Cook, voyages of exploration and the culture of display - John McAleer
3. Satirical peace prints and the cartographic unconscious - Douglas Fordham
4. Sanguinary engagements: exhibiting the naval battles of the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars - Eleanor Hughes
5. Empire under glass: the British Empire and the Crystal Palace, 1851-1911 - Jeffrey Auerbach
6. Ephemera and the British Empire - Ashley Jackson and David Tomkins
7. Exhibiting the empire in print: the press, the publishing world and the promotion of 'Greater Britain' - Berny Sèbe
8. Exhibiting the empire at the Delhi Durbar of 1911: imperial and cultural contexts - John M. MacKenzie
9. Elgar's Pageant of Empire, 1924: an imperial leitmotiv - Nalini Ghuman
10. Representing 'Our Island Sultanate' in London and Zanzibar: cross-currents in educating imperial publics - Sarah Longair

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