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Englishness and Empire 1939-1965$
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Wendy Webster

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199226641

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199226641.001.0001

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Elegies for Empire: The Romance of Manliness

Elegies for Empire: The Romance of Manliness

(p.182) 7 Elegies for Empire: The Romance of Manliness
Englishness and Empire 1939-1965


Oxford University Press

This chapter focuses on Churchill's funeral, exploring its significance as a marker not only of the eclipse of a ‘people's war’, but also of the final demise of narratives of a ‘people's empire’. Its story of valour and victory, honouring a great leader as the personification of national greatness, excluded almost any reference to the Commonwealth. Alongside the major theme of the Second World War, it was not Commonwealth, but empire and Britain's imperial past that were invoked. The empire, once consigned to history, was unyoked from the Commonwealth, and reclaimed as part of British heritage.

Keywords:   British culture, British heritage, Churchill, funeral, victory

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