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Should we reimagine our colonial legacy?

The Empire strikes back

By Tristram Hunt   February 2016

"A perfect mix of futility, incompetence and arrogance": Elizabeth Butler's The Remnants of an Army (1872). ©Wikimedia Commons

British Imperial: What the Empire Wasn’t, by Bernard Porter, IB Tauris & Co, £20

Heroic Failure and the British, by Stephanie Barczewski, Yale University Press, £20

By far the most striking work in Tate Britain’s compelling recent exhibition, Artist and Empire: Facing Britain’s Imperial Past, was Elizabeth Butler’s depiction of an exhausted,…

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