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The Crimean War bequeathed to Great Britain the Charge of the Light Brigade, a military disaster, and Florence Nightingale, a long-adored heroine. These epitomes of the conflict are not static emblems of Victorian England. They are lodestones for writing the nation’s past, forging its future, and assessing its annals. Other innovations and personages to emerge from the War also continue to exert their hold on ordinary Britons. The War inspired the Victoria Cross, a military award for valor, which holds its allure even today. More recently, Mary Seacole, a Caribbean-born hotelier and healer, has come to the fore as a Crimean heroine. Beyond the names of battles, heroes, and institutions, the Crimean War offered immaterial legacies. It engendered forms of masculinity and models of femininity, as well as practices of burial and structures of feeling. The notion of afterlife allows us to apprehend the longstanding, varied, and elusive effects of this mid-Victorian conflict. The six chapters of this book trace facets of the war and its legacies as they demonstrate the persistence of an overlooked conflict in the making of modern Britain.
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