Competition in the Parliamentary Pantheon in London
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Thackeray described the London social world of the Napoleonic years, a world unknown to him, with astonishment. While hundred thousands of soldiers fought on the European front, the protagonists of Vanity Fair were concerned with material interests and social advancement. That Thackeray chose to describe a memorial as ‘elaborate’, rather than either moving or beautiful, and inform his readers that St Paul’s Cathedral housed ‘hundreds’ of jingoistic allegories shows how monument- making had become a social practice in early nineteenth-century Britain. With a monument for the same cathedral in which the House of Commons commemorated military and naval heroes, families sought to integrate relatives into the government’s ‘projection of “Britishness”’.2
KeywordsPrime Minister National Monument East India Company British People British Army
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