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The British Empire
the sun never sets
“Lost Civilizations and Great White Hunters - Imperialist Adventure Literature” 
27th-Jun-2007 06:06 pm
States' Rights

BY THE IMPERIAL noonday, then, the spectacle of the Empire was flamboyant indeed, coloured as much by Oriental despotism and barbaric gesture as by feudal example from nearer home. If it was modernist in some ways, it was antique in others. It embodied the marvellous energy of steam as well as the immemorial pride of horseflesh. It was queenly, but it was savage. It was partly the consequence of dukes, but partly the beat of jungle drums, and Imperial activists of every kind were recruited willy-nilly into its presentation: bishops beside viceroys, police officers and railwaymen, even sportsmen, foresters, jute merchants, river pilots or colonial accountants - all of whom, by their bearing, their demeanour or their costume, their pose at the wicket, the flutter of their gowns, the gravity of their presence behind the study desk or board-room table, contributed to the Imperial effect.”

Jan Morris, The Spectacle of Empire




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AS THE BRITISH Empire grew to encompass a fourth of the whole world, becoming the great empire upon which the sun never set, the far flung lands under Queen Victoria's dominion inspired writers and poets alike to craft tales of daring adventure in the name of Crown and Country. These stories soon grew to form their own genre of Scientific Romance literature, the precursor to Science Fiction, with its own archetypes and stereotypes: Imperialist Adventure...



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