Christmas shopping? We've got it covered. Get 10% off all books and free UK p&p. Offer applied at checkout

Empires of the Imagination

Imprint: Profile Books
Subject: History & Classics
Illustrations: 16 pages colour plate section

Empires of the Imagination

Politics, War, and the Arts in the British World, 1750-1850

Holger Hoock

eBook (ePUB/MOBI)?
9781847652232 (9 Jul 2010)

About the book

Between the mid-18th and mid-19th centuries, Britain evolved from a substantial international power yet relative artistic backwater into a global superpower and a leading cultural force in Europe. In this original and wide-ranging book, Hoock illuminates the manifold ways in which the culture of power and the power of culture were interwoven in this period of dramatic change.

Britons invested artistic and imaginative effort to come to terms with the loss of the American colonies; to sustain the generation-long fight against Revolutionary and Napoleonic France; and to assert and legitimate their growing empire in India. Demonstrating how Britain fought international culture wars over prize antiquities from the Mediterranean and Near East, the book explores how Britons appropriated ancient cultures from the Mediterranean, the Near East, and India, and casts a fresh eye on iconic objects such as the Rosetta Stone and the Parthenon Marbles.

About the author

Holger Hoock (b. 1972) is the Carroll J. Amundson Professor of British History at the University of Pittsburgh. His first book, The King's Artists: The Royal Academy of Arts and the Politics of British Culture (OUP, 2003), was runner-up for the 2004 Whitfield Prize in British History.


A bold, provocative and ambitious book ... it presents a wide perspective on an exceptionally significant era for the British world

- Ludmilla Jordanova, Professor of Modern History, King’s College London

An excellent book, brimming with insights and splendid illustrations ... a sumptuous treat indeed

- Dominic Sandbrook, Daily Telegraph


- Simon Schama, Financial Times

Chock full of vivid case studies ... beautifully done

- Dan Jones, Spectator

Beautifully produced, closely argued and deeply researched ... an important, weighty book. It deserves close scrutiny and a warm reception.

- Professor Denis Judd, BBC History Magazine

Additional Information

Imprint: Profile Books
Subject: History & Classics
Illustrations: 16 pages colour plate section