Everyday Heroism: Victorian Constructions of the Heroic Civilian

Everyday Heroism: Victorian Constructions of the Heroic Civilian

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Heroism in the 19th and early 20th centuries is synonymous with military endeavours, imperial adventures and the `great men of history'. There was, however, another prominent and influential strand of the idea which has, until now, been largely overlooked. This book seeks to address this oversight and establish new avenues of study by revealing and examining `everyday' heroism; acts of life-risking bravery, undertaken by otherwise ordinary individuals, largely in the course of their daily lives and within quotidian surroundings.

Adopting an interdisciplinary approach, John Price charts and investigates the growth and development of this important discourse, presenting in-depth case studies of The Albert Medal and the Carnegie Hero Fund alongside a nationwide analysis of heroism monuments and an exploration of radical approaches to the concept. Unlike its military and imperial counterparts, everyday heroism embraced the heroine and this study reflects that with an examination of female heroism.

Discovering why certain individuals or acts were accorded the status of being `heroic' also provides insights into those that recognized them. Heroism is a flexible and malleable constellation of ideas, shaped or constructed along different lines by different people, so if you want to identify the characteristics of a group or society, much can be learnt by studying those it holds up as heroic. Consequently, Everyday Heroism: Victorian Constructions of the Heroic Civilian provides valuable and revealing evidence for a wide range of social and cultural topics including; class, gender, identity, memory, celebrity, and literary and visual culture.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 280 pages
  • 156 x 234 x 14.73mm | 395g
  • Bloomsbury Academic
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 1474247954
  • 9781474247955
  • 1,743,461

Table of contents

Introduction: 'Capable of Splendid Deeds': Heroism and the Heroic in the Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Centuries
1. 'Gallantry in Saving Life': The Albert Medal
2. 'Heroism in Every-day Life': Alternative Approaches to Everyday Heroism
3. 'Erected by Public Subscription': Monuments to Everyday Heroism
4. 'Heroes for Hire': The Carnegie Hero Fund Trust
5. 'Courage for a man is heroism for a girl': The Gendered Nature of Heroism
Appendix One
Appendix Two
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Review quote

Price has undoubtedly posed a challenge to studies that have assumed that military and imperial heroism reigned unchallenged in the later nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. His thorough research has unveiled alternative and changing heroisms that were entirely civilian -- Hugh Cunningham, University of Kent, UK * History: The Journal of the Historical Association * In his examination of everyday heroism, Price builds a convincing case ... There is no doubt that he has made a very significant contribution to the historiography of Victorian and Edwardian culture. -- Ian F.W. Beckett, University of Kent * Social History * "...[T]his is a worthy addition to the growing ranks of studies of heroism. By employing a wider social focus, Price has made a valuable contribution by reminding us that heroism in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries appeared in more than just military and imperial guises. -- Stephanie Barczewski * The Historian *
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About John Price

John Price is a historian and Lecturer in Modern British History. His previous publications include Postman's Park: G. F. Watts's Memorial to Heroic Self Sacrifice (2008).
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