German Historical Institute London:
Bibliography: Research on British History
in the Federal Republic of Germany

 
FRANZ BOSBACH and JOHN R. DAVIS (eds.), Die Weltausstellung von 1851 und ihre Folgen, Prince Albert Studien, 20 (Munich: Saur, 2002), 440 pp. € 78,00

ISBN 3-598-21420-0

Contrary to current popular opinion Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha did not single-handedly organize the first Great Exhibition in London 150 years ago. He was, however, convinced of the great possibilities and the value of exhibitions. For this reason he enthusiastically supported the realisation of the World Exhibition. Prince Albert played a decisive role in getting together politicians, scientists, entrepreneurs and foreign governments and in convincing them of the idea of a Great Exhibition of all nations in London. He helped to unify the forces of tradition - the monarchy and the aristocracy - with contemporary forces - industry, technology, the middle and the lower classes - in the idea of a World Exhibition: science and the arts were to be brought to large parts of the population. The Great Exhibition was conceived as the beginning of a long-term and ambitious strategy. In this context a number of lectures were given which were published in two volumes in 1853.

Volume 20 of the Prince Albert Studies, The Great Exhibition and its Legacy, takes up the underlying idea of those publications and deals with the legacy of the Great Exhibition, particularly with the question in how far it was possible to realise the original intentions. In the twentieth year after its founding, the Prince Albert Society was able to gather distinguished experts from Great Britain, Germany and Overseas for a conference together with the Victorian Society and the Royal Society of Arts.

The 28 essays collected in this book deal with the following subjects: aspects of cultural history, the history of the Royal Society of Arts, the relationship between science and the economy, the political and social context, the German contribution, architecture and the legacy and reception ("1851 - 2001").

Franz Bosbach


 
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