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Heroic Failure and the British - Yale Scholarship Online
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Heroic Failure and the British

Stephanie Barczewski


From the Charge of the Light Brigade to Scott of the Antarctic and beyond, it seems as if glorious disaster and valiant defeat have been essential aspects of the British national character for the past two centuries. This book examines the evolution of British conceptions of heroism from the early nineteenth to the early twentieth centuries, with particular emphasis on the prevalence of heroic failure in British culture. It argues that Britain's embrace of heroic failure initially helped to gloss over the moral ambiguities of imperial expansion. Later, it became a strategy for coming to terms ... More

Keywords: glorious disaster, valiant defeat, British character, heroic failure, imperial expansion, diminishment, loss, British culture, Britain

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2016 Print ISBN-13: 9780300180060
Published to Yale Scholarship Online: September 2016 DOI:10.12987/yale/9780300180060.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Stephanie Barczewski, author
Clemson University