The Cultural Work of Empire
The Seven Year's War and the Imagining of the Shandean State
AUTHOR: Watts, Carol
PUBLISHER: University of Toronto Press
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In this unique study, Carol Watts argues that the Seven Years' War (1756-1763) produced an intense historical consciousness within British cultural life, an awareness made particularly manifest in the sense of belonging to community, family and nation. Furthermore, she discusses global warfare as prompting a radical re-imagining of the state and the subjectivities of those who inhabit it.
The distinctive writing of Laurence Sterne (1713-1768) is used as a conduit through which to examine the transformations of mid-eighteenth century British culture. Watts revisits this tumultuous period wherein the risks of war generated unexpected freedoms and crises in the making of domestic imperial subjects, crises which continued to reverberate in anti-slavery struggles and colonial conflict from America to India. The Cultural Work of Empire concentrates on the period from the 1750s to the 1770s and looks at the works of Johnson, Burke, Scott, Wheatley, Rousseau, Smith, Wollstonecraft, Sterne and others as evidence of the cultural impact of the Seven Years' War on British life.
Incorporating elements of moral philosophy and philanthropy, political tracts, poetry and grammar exercises, and paintings by Kauffman, Hayman, and Wright of Derby, this original study tracks the investments in and resistances to the cultural work of empire.
North American Rights Only. Co-published with University of Edinburgh Press.
PUBLICATION DATE: 7/4/2007
CATEGORY: History, Literary Criticism, Philosophy, Social Science