Between the mid-18th and mid-19th centuries, Britain evolved from a substantial international power and relative artistic backwater into a global superpower and a leading cultural force in Europe. Hoock casts a compelling and fresh eye upon iconic objects such as the Rosetta Stone, the Parthenon Marbles, and Admiral Nelson's monuments. He traces the controversial careers of America's leading painters during her War of Independence and traces the period when the British state fought international culture wars over prize antiquities.
In this original and wide-ranging book, Hoock demonstrates how Britons invested cultural, artistic, and imaginative effort to come to terms with the loss of the American colonies, to sustain the generation-long fight against Revolutionary and Napoleonic France, and to assert a growing Indian empire and claimed appropriation of ancient cultures from the Mediterranean, Near East, and India.
Holger Hoock is the Reader (Associate Professor) in British History and Founding Director of the Eighteenth-Century Worlds Centre at the University of Liverpool. As a Kluge Fellow at the Library of Congress, he currently lives in Washington, D.C.