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How the Duke of Wellington helped to forge the British Empire - revealed at the University of Southampton

Published: 13 November 2003

Professor Miles Taylor will be exploring the imperial dimensions of the Iron Duke's life and times at the University's 15th annual Wellington lecture on 25 November.

His lecture, 'Wellington's World: The Duke of Wellington and the making of the British empire', will examine how the empire helped make Wellington's reputation and how the General in turn shaped the Victorian world. The lecture will describe how the Duke, one of the most instantly recognised cultural icons of his age, came to personify and symbolise the British Empire as it expanded during the early 19th century.

Professor Taylor will also trace the way images and memorials of the Duke circulated in the English-speaking settlements of Upper and Lower Canada, Calcutta and Bombay, Wellington, Sydney and Hobart, Kingston and Cape Town. Professor Taylor will also explore how the Duke's vision of empire survived well into the middle decades of the 19th century despite the rise of free trade liberalism which sought a cheaper and less militaristic concept of empire.

Professor Alan Hamlin, Dean of the Faculty of Law, Arts and Social Sciences said: "Wellington's World promises to be an interesting account of a less well-known aspect of the Duke's life, and another instalment of Professor Taylor's larger project on the domestic impact of the British empire in the 19th and early 20th centuries."

The event at the University's Avenue Campus at 6.00pm on 25 November will also be Miles Taylor's inaugural lecture as Professor of Modern British History. Professor Taylor is also the Director of the Centre for the Study of Britain and its Empire.

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