The Ultimate Spectacle: A Visual History of the Crimean War

The Ultimate Spectacle: A Visual History of the Crimean War

Hardback Documenting the Image

By (author) Ulrich Keller

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  • Publisher: ROUTLEDGE
  • Format: Hardback | 296 pages
  • Dimensions: 226mm x 270mm x 22mm | 1,238g
  • Publication date: 17 January 2002
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 9057005697
  • ISBN 13: 9789057005695
  • Illustrations note: 16 colour, 191 b&w illustrations

Product description

Chloroform, telegraphy, steamships and rifles were distinctly modern features of the Crimean War. Covered by a large corps of reporters, illustrators and cameramen, it also became the first media war in history. For the benefit of the ubiquitous artists and correspondents, both the domestic events were carefully staged, giving the Crimean War an aesthetically alluring, even spectacular character. With their exclusive focus on written sources, historians have consistently overlooked this visual dimension of the Crimean War. Photo-historian Ulrich Keller challenges the traditional literary bias by drawing on a wealth of pictorial materials from scientific diagrams to photographs, press illustration and academic painting. The result is a new and different historical account which emphasizes the careful aesthetic scripting of the war for popular mass consumption at home.

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Review quote

"Thoughtfully conceived, satisfyingly researched...a mapping of the many ways in which the Crimea was produced as a spectacle for Victorian consumption.""-Jennifer Green Lewis of Middlebury College, Vermont

Table of contents

1. "Vauxhall is Far Prettier" Narrative and Visual scenarios 2. "Storm'd at With Shot and Shell" The heyday of lithography and the London shows 3. "Bastard of History, Only Much Truer" The ascendancy of picture reportage 4. "The Valley of the Shadow of Death" The triumph of photography 5. "My Nearest and Dearest" Home-front scenarios 6. "The Usual Plunging Horses" The swan-song of history painting 7. Conclusion