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Journal Article

Living Links to History, or, Victorian Veterans in the Twentieth-Century World

Lara Kriegel
Victorian Studies
Vol. 58, No. 2, Papers and Responses from the Thirteenth Annual Conference of the North American Victorian Studies Association (Winter 2016), pp. 289-301
Published by: Indiana University Press
DOI: 10.2979/victorianstudies.58.2.10
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Page Count: 13
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Living Links to History, or, Victorian Veterans in the Twentieth-Century World
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Abstract The Great War of 1914–18 not only transformed the map of the globe. It also changed conceptions of soldiers and practices of remembrance. The shell-shocked veteran came to the fore as the avatar of wartime experience, and trauma came to be understood as wartime's governing affect. Examining the cult of the Crimean War veteran, this essay complicates our understandings of war's legacies. At the fin de siècle, Crimean veterans occupied central roles in public spectacles and monarchical processions. Additionally, they were objects of pastoral care both in London and in the provinces. The cult of the Crimean veteran fused rescue and remembrance; it also married patriotism and philanthropy. As it uncovers the cult of the Crimean veteran, this essay unearths a Victorian genealogy and grammar of remembrance. In the process, it challenges the hegemonic role of the Great War in shaping understandings of martial heroes and wartime experience.

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