Singing for the Nation, Wednesday 2nd November 2011, 6pm

Dr James Davey, Research Curator (Naval and Maritime History), of the National Maritime Museum will be presenting his paper ‘Singing for the Nation: Balladry, Naval Recruitment, and the Language of Patriotism in Eighteenth Century Britain’.

The ballad was one of the most important vehicles of mass communication during the eighteenth century, geographically ubiquitous, and available to a broad spectrum of the British population. Ballads concerning the navy were a consistent and popular theme, particularly in times of war. In this seminar, James Davey will analyse the nature of these ballads, considering their market and potential political and social roles. Almost without exception, these ballads painted a positive picture of naval service, forwarding patriotic stereotypes alongside more tangible pecuniary benefits. This seminar will consider how ballads contributed to eighteenth century ideas about the navy, about patriotism, and indeed how this form of cultural media influenced the contested subject of naval recruitment.

This seminar will take place in room 075, Queen Anne Court, Old Royal Naval College, University of Greenwich at 6pm. Tea & Coffee will be available from 5.30pm and a glass of wine afterwards. The seminar is free and there is no need to book, everyone is welcome.

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