Draws attention to the similarities between David Cannadine's 'Ornamentalism: How the British Saw Their Empire' (2001) and 'The Victorian Vision,' an exhibition held at the Victoria and Albert Museum in 2001 that presented images of the variegated territories of the empire in which smiling natives happily signal their love of the empire and display local artifacts and objects against a background of the imperial administration of civil servants, military men, and governors with their implied linkage to the imperial monarch herself. These images may be seen as concrete, consumable, and above all benign representations of Cannadine's monocausal account of empire, based on his preoccupation with the ornamental aspects of rank and status. This approach typically excludes fundamental questions regarding the economics of tea and tobacco, indentured labor, and slavery and the struggles for power and the political and cultural contexts of race, class, and religion in which those struggles were fought.
Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Colonialism & Colonial History
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 1 2002


  • GREAT Britain
  • Cannadine, David '(Ornamentalism: How the British Saw Their Empire).'


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