Download e-book for kindle: Britain’s Imperial Muse: The Classics, Imperialism, and the by C. Hagerman
By C. Hagerman
Britain's Imperial Muse explores the classics' contribution to British imperialism and to the event of empire in India during the lengthy nineteenth century. It unearths the classics position as a foundational resource for confident conceptions of empire and a rhetorical arsenal utilized by commentators to justify conquest and domination, specifically of India.
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Additional resources for Britain’s Imperial Muse: The Classics, Imperialism, and the Indian Empire, 1784–1914
L. 94 Examples abound of boys who apparently took nothing – or the next thing to it – from the classical component of their education. S. 96 This evidence is not as conclusive as it first seems. It says nothing of the standard by which eminent intellectual figures with unquestionable classical bonafides judged success or failure. The accounts of outsiders such as Bristed, which are perhaps most useful to the non-specialist observer, suggest the exceedingly high standards of contemporaries. Nor does this evidence account for the indisputable classical attainments of the critics themselves,97 or indeed of boys with similar educational experiences who displayed a love of classical learning in addition to prodigious classical attainments.
Woodhouselee was in no doubt. ’154 ‘Few persons’, that is, among his intended audience – Britain’s classically educated elite. George Grote had emphasized the very same connection the previous year during an extended review of Mitford’s History of Greece. 156 The publication of a comic work, in which the jokes turned on a relatively sophisticated understanding of Roman history, presupposes a reasonable degree of classical learning in a considerable portion of Britain’s reading public. A. Froude found the extent of such learning almost ridiculous by comparison with ignorance of English history.
On the contrary, it seems that classical education provided students a real opportunity to acquire some knowledge of ancient history and civilization throughout the period, especially if they attended university. This was probably more emphatically the case after the ‘Arnoldian revolution’ than before, but that seems a difference in degree rather than kind. Perhaps the strongest evidence in support of this re-assessment exists outside the contemporary debates on classical education. To my way of thinking contemporary expectations expressed in elite intellectual culture provide an especially good way to assess the general outcomes of classical education.
Britain’s Imperial Muse: The Classics, Imperialism, and the Indian Empire, 1784–1914 by C. Hagerman