1 - The Adventurers
from Part I - Persistence
Published online by Cambridge University Press: 10 February 2022
The Crimean War was not the first time Britons made their ways to the Black Sea peninsula, but it was the decisive occasion to place the land in the national consciousness, giving rise to travel narratives in newspapers, diaries, and letters. These accounts by wartime adventurers provided ways of understanding the Crimea, cosmopolitan and foreign in British eyes, during the conflict and after. Even while showcasing far-away lands, they showed Britons, the English especially, to be reluctant travelers, glad to head homeward at war’s end. After the troops exited the peninsula and across the Victorian age, return narratives cast the Crimea as a place of memory and self-discovery. During the twentieth century, global politics made the peninsula a stage for world wars and for international diplomacy, culminating in the Yalta Conference of 1945. In the postwar era and until the 2014 Russian invasion, the peninsula became a tourist destination, giving Britons a view behind the Iron Curtain and a glimpse of a post-Soviet Age. Across these changes, Crimean War narratives provided frameworks that allowed Britons to understand history, apprehend travel, and assess themselves.
- The Crimean War and its AfterlifeMaking Modern Britain, pp. 21 - 54Publisher: Cambridge University PressPrint publication year: 2022