Ask Americans when their country became the world’s dominant power and chances are most will point to the hard-fought victory in the Second World War. But as Adam Tooze shows in his latest work, that shift occurred a generation earlier and before American forces had even fired a shot in what was once called the Great War.
In 845, Li Deyu 李德裕 (787–850), arguably the most powerful man of the realm at that time and scion of one of the great aristocratic clans of medieval China, submitted a ‘Stele Inscription for Commemorating the Sagely Deeds in Youzhou, with preface’ (‘Youzhou ji shenggong beiming bing xu’ 幽州紀聖功碑銘并序) to Emperor Li Yan 李炎 (r. 840–46), better known under his temple name Wuzong 武宗.
Arguably, no other institution in the Middle Ages and early modern era was as subject to as many legal disparities and disputes between royal and papal power as that of royal marriage. In fact, a royal marriage was far from a private affair. On the spiritual level, the marriage of a royal couple was to reflect the sanctity of the life union between woman and man at the highest strata.
In this inspiring new study, Rebecca Houze builds on her series of excellent articles, in Journal of Design History, Studies in the Decorative Arts, Centropa and elsewhere, which deal with Austrian and Hungarian applied arts at the turn of the century.
In between small model spitfires and Sherman tank key rings, visitors browsing the shelves of the Imperial War Museum’s gift shop will find their gaze met by the reassuringly familiar smile of a round-faced rag doll, beaming from the side of a tote bag.
Benedict Anderson’s conceptualisation of nations as ‘invented communities’ identified the emergence of modern nationalism through a combination of demotic print culture and the growth of capitalism.
Essay collections are always a mixed bag, and this one is more muddled than most. The warning signs are clear. The volume is part of a series ominously titled ‘Austrian Studies in English’. Six of the 15 essays were papers presented at a 2010 conference of the same name at the University of Vienna.
Sportswear is as much a signifier of American cultural identity as are apple pie and the Super Bowl.
The study of fashion is acknowledged to require a composite methodology. Daniel Roche, in his influential The Culture of Clothing: Dress and Fashion in the ‘ancien régime’ (1) put forward five headings under which dress could be interrogated: the artefact, textiles, pictorial representation, social and economic sources, and philological sources.
Book compilations can be a difficult genre. Comprised of varied essays and authorial voices, it takes a clear and well-defined theme, and a sure editorial hand to maintain focus and quality.