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  • Cited by 2
Cambridge University Press
Online publication date:
February 2022
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Book description

The mid-nineteenth century's Crimean War is frequently dismissed as an embarrassment, an event marred by blunders and an occasion better forgotten. In The Crimean War and its Afterlife Lara Kriegel sets out to rescue the Crimean War from the shadows. Kriegel offers a fresh account of the conflict and its afterlife: revisiting beloved figures like Florence Nightingale and hallowed events like the Charge of the Light Brigade, while also turning attention to newer worthies, including Mary Seacole. In this book a series of six case studies transport us from the mid-Victorian moment to the current day, focusing on the heroes, institutions, and values wrought out of the crucible of the war. Time and again, ordinary Britons looked to the war as a template for social formation and a lodestone for national belonging. With lucid prose and rich illustrations, this book vividly demonstrates the uncanny persistence of a Victorian war in the making of modern Britain.


Winner, 2023 BAVS-Rosemary Mitchell Prize, British Association for Victorian Studies

Winner, 2023 Rosemary Mitchell Prize, British Association for Victorian Studies


'Beautifully written, gripping, and startlingly timely, Lara Kriegel's new work shows us both what is historically distinctive about the Crimean War and what lessons it holds for the wars and people that followed it. Kriegel offers new interpretations of the era's most cherished figures and tropes, but also immerses us in less canonical cultures of war. Deeply researched, uniting the best of cultural and military history, Kriegel's The Crimean War and its Afterlife proves decisively that we cannot leave the Crimean War in the nineteenth century.'

Jordanna Bailkin - University of Washington

'In this richly textured study, Lara Kriegel shows us what the Crimean War has meant for successive generations of Britons, down to the 2016 statue of Mary Seacole in Lambeth. Through a combination of deep archival dives and a remarkable feel for the fabric of the Victorian past, she builds a powerful case for the long reach of the Crimea into the intimate recesses of local and national life across three centuries.'

Antoinette Burton - University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

'A fascinating, humane and deeply researched book, very much a history of the Crimean War for our times. Lara Kriegel peels back the layers of memory beyond the world wars of the twentieth century, to reveal the origins of the British self-image of ‘do and die’.'

Miles Taylor - Humboldt University of Berlin

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