Naval Engagements: Patriotism, Cultural Politics, and the Royal Navy 1793-1815

Hardcover | October 19, 2006

byTimothy Jenks

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The construction of an important element in British national identity is explored in Naval Engagements, looking at the ways in which the navy - a major symbol of national community - was given meaning by a range of social groupings. The study is at once a cultural history of nationalidentity, a social history of naval commemoration, and a political history of struggles over patriotism. Examining the place that naval symbols occupied in British wartime political culture, Timothy Jenks argues that these were more relevant to patriotic discourse than the more commonly explored 'apotheosis' of the Hanoverian monarchs. He establishes the centrality of public images of admirals to the'victory culture' and political experience of the day, tracing efforts by groups across the political spectrum to invest these figures with appropriate political capital and contemporary meaning. He engages with arguments concerning popular patriotism and the relative cohesiveness of Britishsociety. Most importantly, the book establishes the centrality of naval symbolism to the political culture of Georgian Britain. At the same time, it reveals the social practices and discourses that consistently interacted to delimit and restrain a variety of projects ostensibly designed to fosterpatriotism and national identity. Patriotism was contested, this study argues, rather than consensual, and British national identity in the period was contingent, an ambivalence crucial to the manner in which naval symbols functioned.

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The construction of an important element in British national identity is explored in Naval Engagements, looking at the ways in which the navy - a major symbol of national community - was given meaning by a range of social groupings. The study is at once a cultural history of nationalidentity, a social history of naval commemoration, a...

Timothy Jenks is Assistant Professor of History, East Carolina University.
Format:HardcoverDimensions:352 pages, 8.5 × 5.43 × 0.98 inPublished:October 19, 2006Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199297711

ISBN - 13:9780199297719

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Table of Contents

Introduction1. The 'Glorious Firsts of June'2. Patriotic Instabilities3. Naval Triumph and the Public Sphere4. Contesting Naval Heroism5. Lord Cochrane in Radical WestminsterConclusionAppendixBibliographyIndex