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Trafalgar Square and the Narration of Britishness, 1900-2012

Imagining the Nation

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Shanti Sumartojo

London’s Trafalgar Square is one of the world’s best known public places, and during its relatively short history has seen violent protest, imperial and royal spectacle and wild national celebration. This book draws together scholarship on national identity, cultural geography, and the histories of Britain and London to ask what role the Square has played in narrating British national identity through its many uses. The author focuses on a series of examples to draw out her arguments, ranging from the Suffragettes’ use of the site in the early twentieth century to the Fourth Plinth contemporary art scheme in the early twenty-first. The book explores how different users of the Square have understood national identity, and how the site itself has shaped this narrative through its built elements and history of use. Ultimately, Trafalgar Square and the Narration of Britishness, 1900-2012 uses the Square to explore the processes by which urban public place can help to construct, maintain or transform national identity.

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Archival sources Anti-Apartheid Movement Archive, Bodleian Library of Commonwealth and African Studies, University of Oxford. London School of Economics Archives, Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament Collection. National Archives: CAB/65/50/16, Arrangements for Celebrating the End of Hos- tilities in Europe, 27 April 1945. National Archives: CAB/66/65/19, Celebration of VE-Day, 25 April 1945. National Archives: CAB/65/50/22, Arrangements in Connection with the End of Hostilities in Europe, 7 May 1945. National Archives: CAB/24/58, War Cabinet minutes, 17 July 1918. National Archives: CAB/23/8, War Cabinet minutes, 14 November 1918. National Archives CAB/24/70: War cabinet memorandum from Commissioner of Police Macready, 18 November 1918. National Archives: HO 186/2050, Lighting restrictions, Arrangements for celebrating the cessation of hostilities with Germany, Flood Lighting, 1945. Second Report of the Interdepartmental Conference. National Archives: MEPO 2/1556, Trafalgar Square Meetings: ‘Free Speech Defence Committee’, 1913. National Archives: MEPO 2/7218, Control of meetings in Trafalgar Square: prohibi- tion of any assembly or procession in the vicinity of the Houses of Parliament: Home Of fice and police instructions, 1918–1948. Mass Observation Archive FR 2263 1945. With thanks to the Trustees of the Mass Observation Archive, University of Sussex. House of Commons Hansards House of Lords Hansards London 2012 – www.london2012.com Greater London Authority – www.london.gov.uk British Pathé – www.britishpathe.com 190 Bibliography Newspapers and news websites The following sources are UK titles unless otherwise indicated or evident. The Advocate [Burnie, Tasmania] BBC News Online Daily Express Daily Mail Daily Mirror Daily News Daily Telegraph and Morning Post Evening Standard The Guardian Huf fington Post The Independent...

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