Catalogue

COVID-19: Updates on library services and operations.

An imperial vision : Indian architecture and Britain's raj /
Thomas R. Metcalf.
imprint
Berkeley : University of California Press, c1989.
description
xiv, 302 p., [16] p. of plates : ill. (some col.)
ISBN
0520062353 (alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Berkeley : University of California Press, c1989.
isbn
0520062353 (alk. paper)
catalogue key
136348
 
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
Excerpts
Flap Copy
"Not a catalogue raisonneacute; of colonial buildings but a significant step forward into the new discipline of 'political architecture'--an important advance in widening our perceptions of colonialism as expressed in one of its most enduring forms."--Rosie Llewellyn-Jones, University of London "Metcalf'sAn Imperial Visionis an important and original contribution to an emergent genre of research. It builds upon a growing interest in the cultures of colonialism, and hence will be read not only by South Asian scholars, but by all who are interested in this burgeoning field. This is the work of a distinguished historian, who has the imagination and knowledge to see the social, political and cultural interrelation across time and space, and it sets a standard for all who are interested in the complex relations between Europeans and the rest of the world."--Bernard S. Cohn, University of Chicago
Flap Copy
"Not a catalogue raisonné of colonial buildings but a significant step forward into the new discipline of 'political architecture'--an important advance in widening our perceptions of colonialism as expressed in one of its most enduring forms."--Rosie Llewellyn-Jones, University of London "Metcalf's An Imperial Vision is an important and original contribution to an emergent genre of research. It builds upon a growing interest in the cultures of colonialism, and hence will be read not only by South Asian scholars, but by all who are interested in this burgeoning field. This is the work of a distinguished historian, who has the imagination and knowledge to see the social, political and cultural interrelation across time and space, and it sets a standard for all who are interested in the complex relations between Europeans and the rest of the world."--Bernard S. Cohn, University of Chicago
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Library Journal on 1989-09-01:
Metcalf (history, Univ. of California) analyzes one of the many ways the British defined their power in India after 1857, when they assumed an imperial role in the subcontinent. Buildings, especially official ones, had to reflect and inspire respect for authority. Simple use of Western motifs was inappropriate, but how ``Indian'' could architecture be? Addressing that question, Metcalf shows the influences of contemporary British thought on Indian buildings, including those constructed during the final burst of British building that created New Delhi, an imperial city designed to reflect the Raj forever. A definite first-choice purchase for libraries interested in imperial history or India.-- Donald Clay Johnson, Univ. of Minnesota Lib., Minneapolis (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Appeared in Choice on 1989-10:
Although drawing on much the same archival material as other recent books on British architecture in India, Metcalf (history, University of California, Berkeley), author of Land, Landlords, and the British Raj (CH, Feb '80), is concerned less with architectural history than with the political implications behind the choice of architectural styles for government buildings, whether Classical, Gothic, Renaissance, or Oriental. Most of his chapters detail the discussions at the highest levels that resulted in the creation of a mixed Indo-Saracenic style popular from the 1870s to the 1930s, a "native" style meant to represent Britain's Raj as legitimately Indian. All of the buildings discussed are presented adequately in 17 color plates and 21 small monochrome figures. Recommended not only for students of architecture and art history but also for those interested in late Victorian England and the nature of late 19th-century imperialism. There is a glossary of architectural terms. -M. Morehart, University of British Columbia
Reviews
This item was reviewed in:
Library Journal, September 1989
Choice, October 1989
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Long Description
The magnificent buildings constructed by the British in India, many of which may still be seen by the traveller, did not spring simply from the fancy of the architects or from purely aesthetic or administrative concerns: Rather they embodied a vision the British had of themselves as rulers of India.An Imperial Visionexamines the relationship between culture and power as expressed in the architectural forms the British employed in India. From the great monuments of New Delhi to the most obscure structures in dusty country towns these buildings visibly represented in stone the choices the British made in politics as imperial rulers. The author illustrates how, in the years after the uprising of 1857, the British constructed a vision of themselves not as mere foreign conquerors, but as legitimate, almost indigenous rulers, linked directly to the Mughals and hence to India's own past. In so doing they created the distinctive forms of so-called Indo-Saracenic architecture. For a half a century this building sustained a new ideology of empire. Yet this self-confidence could not endure forever. By the 1920s, despite the massive building projects underway on the plains of Delhi, the knowledge, and the power, that upheld the Raj had alike begun to slip away. An Imperial Vision, by its focus upon the relationships of culture and power that underlay the colonial order, throws light on the distinctive nature of late nineteenth-century imperialism, and more generally, on the way political authority takes shape in monumental architecture.
Main Description
An Imperial Vision examines the relationship between culture and power expressed in the architectural forms the British employed in India. From the great monuments of New Delhi to the most obsure structures in dusty country towns, these buildings visibly represented in stone the choicesthe British made in politics as imperial rulers. Viewed together they enhanced the hold of the empire over the ruler and the ruled alike.
Main Description
The magnificent buildings constructed by the British in India, many of which may still be seen by the traveller, did not spring simply from the fancy of the architects or from purely aesthetic or administrative concerns: Rather they embodied a vision the British had of themselves as rulers of India. An Imperial Vision examines the relationship between culture and power as expressed in the architectural forms the British employed in India. From the great monuments of New Delhi to the most obscure structures in dusty country towns these buildings visibly represented in stone the choices the British made in politics as imperial rulers. The author illustrates how, in the years after the uprising of 1857, the British constructed a vision of themselves not as mere foreign conquerors, but as legitimate, almost indigenous rulers, linked directly to the Mughals and hence to India's own past. In so doing they created the distinctive forms of so-called Indo-Saracenic architecture. For a half a century this building sustained a new ideology of empire. Yet this self-confidence could not endure forever. By the 1920s, despite the massive building projects underway on the plains of Delhi, the knowledge, and the power, that upheld the Raj had alike begun to slip away. An Imperial Vision , by its focus upon the relationships of culture and power that underlay the colonial order, throws light on the distinctive nature of late nineteenth-century imperialism, and more generally, on the way political authority takes shape in monumental architecture.
Table of Contents
Introduction
The Mastery of the Past: The British and India's Historic Architecture
Indo-Saracenic Building Under the Raj
Princes, Palaces, and Saracenic Design
Arts, Crafts, and Empire
The Classical Revival
New Delhi: The Beginning of the End
Conclusion
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

This information is provided by a service that aggregates data from review sources and other sources that are often consulted by libraries, and readers. The University does not edit this information and merely includes it as a convenience for users. It does not warrant that reviews are accurate. As with any review users should approach reviews critically and where deemed necessary should consult multiple review sources. Any concerns or questions about particular reviews should be directed to the reviewer and/or publisher.

  link to old catalogue

Report a problem