Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Spies in ArabiaThe Great War and the Cultural Foundations of Britain's Covert Empire in the Middle East$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Priya Satia

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780195331417

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195331417.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 07 August 2020

Imperial Expiation

Imperial Expiation

(p.165) 5 Imperial Expiation
Spies in Arabia

Priya Satia (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter describes the cultural legacy of the Middle Eastern campaigns. It argues that they offered the hope of some continuity with the past, undercutting the sense of total rupture produced by the Western front. They offered a vision of a glamorous, biblical, Arabian‐Nights theater in which the old, adventurous, mobile sort of warfare still worked. The Kut disaster of the Mesopotamia campaign produced a redemptive vision of empire as a tool of colonial development. This helped package the new Middle East empire as a selfless endeavor in the increasingly anti‐imperialist postwar world. Central in the romantic image of these campaigns were the heroic figures that participated in them, including Lawrence, Gertrude Bell, and others, who acquired positions of enormous political and cultural influence after the war. Their celebrity was a product of an increasingly democratic public sphere fascinated with Arabia and struggling with changing notions of Englishness.

Keywords:   redemption, postwar culture, Lawrence of Arabia, heroism, development, Bloomsbury, postwar literature, radical politics, Englishness

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .