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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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1940s 78, 121 1950s 41, 89, 113, 122, 129, 136 1960s 2, 89, 114–115, 124–125, 128, 133, 166 1970s 41, 134–136 1980s 2, 135–137 AAM see Anti-Apartheid Movement Admiral see Beatty; Browne Cunning- ham; Jellicoe; Nelson Admiralty Arch 84, 109, 111 advertising 23, 41, 74, 83 Akbar, Arifa 175 Alderman, Derek 16 Aldermaston march 89, 116, 123, 129, 132 ‘Aldwych for India House’ 30 Alibhai-Brown, Yasmin 150 Alison Lapper Pregnant 169–173 see also Fourth Plinth; Quinn anarchism 39, 134 Anderson, Benedict 6, 14, 107, 186 see also imagined communities Anti-Apartheid Movement (AAM) 114– 116, 121–128, 136–140, 144 establishment (1 April 1960) 124 see also Sharpeville Massacre; South Africa; South Africa House Anti-Apartheid News 127, 137, 140 anti-colonial struggle 124 anti-conscription 71, 72 anti-Jewish 125 anti-war protests 70–72 apartheid 19, 122–128, 137–141, 144 regime 122 system 128 architecture 1, 3, 26, 31, 33, 82 Armistice 47, 50, 75, 76 Armistice Day 75 art installations 20, 146, 148, 167–173, 178, 182 see also artwork; Fourth Plinth Art Union 25 artwork 4, 168, 170, 176, 177, 178, 182 see also Fourth Plinth Ashley, Jackie 156, 157 Asian minority 115, 137, 151, 153, 161, 162 Asquith, Herbert Henry (Home Secre- tary / Liberal Prime Minister) 39, 58, 62 austerity 19, 117, 118 Australia 41, 77, 82, 98, 148 Australia Day 148 Australia House 41, 82 Australian High Commission 41 Baedeker, Karl (Baedeker Guide to London and its Environs 1883) 41 banality 16, 28,...

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