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Surviving ImagesCinema, War, and Cultural Memory in the Middle East$
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Kamran Rastegar

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780199390168

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199390168.001.0001

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Colonialism, Memory, Masculinity

Colonialism, Memory, Masculinity

The Four Feathers and the Redemption of Empire

(p.41) 2 Colonialism, Memory, Masculinity
Surviving Images

Kamran Rastegar

Oxford University Press

This chapter focuses upon the British colonial context, beginning with an examination of the British imperial defeat at Khartoum in 1885 at the hands of Sudanese Mahdists, a defeat which the metropole termed a “traumatic” shock. A. E. W. Mason’s classic early Edwardian novel The Four Feathers (1902), offers a paradigmatic textual response to this shock, by conceiving of redemption as being won through the restoration of fraternal-military colonial masculinity. With at least seven film renditions having been produced of the work between 1915 and 2002, The Four Feathers went on to enjoy an extraordinary longevity as a vessel first for colonial propaganda and later for colonial nostalgia. This chapter examines three film adaptations of the novel (from 1929, 1939, and 2002).

Keywords:   British cinema, colonialism, British imperialism, colonial masculinity, Sudan, Khartoum, The Four Feathers

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