By Steve Attridge
This ebook offers an account of the refashioning of principles approximately nationwide personality in past due Victorian tradition, with a large connection with literature and pop culture round the time of the Boer battle, and a selected scrutiny of pictures of the soldier. In particular pictures, narratives and motifs, the publication highlights dynamic tensions, among the exterior obstacles of empire and people of civil society, and among type antagonisms and nationwide projections. Many new assets and fabrics are brought to this box of analysis.
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Extra info for Nationalism, Imperialism and Identity in Late Victorian Culture: Civil and Military Worlds
48 ‘Captain Ginjah’, also sung by Bastow, is a similar character, a ladies man who is also an incompetent: A soldier once was I by jingo such admir’d, The army lost a treasure on the day that I retir’d. W. Rickaby’s ‘Major General Worthington’. ‘Ginjah’ and the ‘Major’ have something in common with the effete dandyism of the ‘toff’, as portrayed in songs such as Rickaby’s ‘Silk Hat Tony’ and Vesta Tilley’s ‘Algy’. It is a type which allows satire to The Music Hall 31 undermine an upper class which assumes and has bestowed upon it undeserved status and authority.
These pairings and antitheses collectively create a larger suggestion of patriotic values. Death elevates the soldier into an embodiment of heroic self-sacrifice. Godfrey’s acts were immensely popular, the songs often relying on the use of catch phrases which then gained common currency beyond the music hall. For example, the last line of the following song, which lionizes Britain as an imperial force: Folks say, ‘What will Britain do? Will she rest with her banners furled? No! No! No! ’61 However, one of Godfrey’s most successful acts was a sketch and song entitled ‘On Guard’, which indicts the social neglect of old warriors.
The mood is set, with the film of Buller carrying the emotional weight of the songs and performances. Pageant, the novelty of film and the excitement of seeing Buller himself could provide a vicarious sense of being part of the embarkation for the war. Rather than diminish the status of music-hall songs, sketches and acts, film initially enhanced, until it later usurped them, in that it offered the heightened excitement of a new medium which placed assumed realism alongside overt theatricality.