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Title: Celebrating British and French imperialism : the making of colonial heroes acting in Africa, 1870-1939
Author: Sèbe, Berny
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2007
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This thesis investigates the ways in which British and French imperial heroes involved in the exploration, conquest or administration of Mrica between 1870 and 1939 were selected, packaged and promoted to the various sections of the public of their respective countries. It seeks to unveil the commercial, political and personal interests that lay behind the imperial hero-making business. This research analyses the hidden mechanisms, as well as the reasons that led to the appearance of a new type of hero in the context of the 'new' T Imperialism and the 'Scramble for Mrica': private connections, political lobbies (especially colonial advocates and nationalists), commercial interests (journalists, writers, biographers, hagiographers, publishers, film-makers) and personal ambition, the combination of which underpinned the creation and success ofheroic reputations. The first part of the thesis investigates the process through which imperial heroes progressively became widely known in their homelands, and how it was facilitated by the technical and social improvements of the Second Industrial Revolution. Drawing upon a wide variety of printed and manuscript sources, it shows the ever-increasing commercial success of imperial heroes throughout the period, analyses how they could serve political ends, and explains the values for which 'they were held up as examples. The second part examines the case studies of two military commanders in times of Anglo-French rivalry in Africa (the Sirdar Kitchener and Major Marchand before, during and after the Fashoda confrontation of 1898), in order to compare the modalities of the development of these legends, and the different backdrops against which they took shape. This thesis is the first to combine quantitative evidence (such as print run figures) and qualitative sources (such as police records) to demonstrate conclusively the prevalence and complexity of the hero-making process brought about by the conquest of Mrica, and to evaluate the reception of these heroic myths among the public.
Supervisor: Darwin, John Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Imperialism--History ; Mass media--Great Britain--History ; Mass media--France--History ; Public opinion--Great Britain--History ; Public opinion--France--History ; Great Britain--Colonies--Africa ; France--Colonies--Africa