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Grant number: FT-10842-70

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Cynthia F. Behrman
Wittenberg University (Springfield, OH 45504-2199)

Victorian Myths of the Sea: A Study in Nationalism

Study of Victorian myths about England and the sea, myths involving the national self-image, Britain's imperial role, the character of her naval heroes (Drake, Nelson), her seamanship, and her morally invincible navy. Myths are an important social force--initiating, supporting, and reinforcing community action. They need not be "true," they need only be believed to be important. In Victorian England, the Navy, which for an island nation would be a natural defensive arm, also became in the national mind an important symbol for many admirable qualities--bravery, loyalty, strength, compassion and power wisely exercised--qualities assumed to be English by racial inheritance. The Royal Navy served as a training ground for the development of "character." This study is an extension of fellow's dissertation, "The Mythology of British Imperialism, 1880-1914" and will be useful in two cross-disciplinary, cross-cultural courses which she teaches, Understanding History and The Study and Teaching of History.

Project fields:
History, General

Summer Stipends

Research Programs

Total amounts:
$1,500 (approved)
$1,500 (awarded)

Grant period:
6/1/1970 – 8/31/1970