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Title: ‘The Twopenny Tube: Art, Music and Empire in Edwardian London’
During the Edwardian era London was the global epicentre of racial capitalism. Such certainties as had characterized the Victorian era ebbed away with the imperial debacle of the Boer War and structural pressures on the British state and empire. At this moment the metropolis, a world city, became a fulcrum of creative activity in art and music. This paper uses the new ‘Twopenny Tube’ train as a metaphor with which to connect a cluster of locales where art, music and empire intersected:
Hammersmith, South Kensington, the Coliseum, the Cave of the Golden Calf and the City of London. Elgar, Smythe, Coleridge-Taylor, Holst and Vaughan Williams are placed in dialogue with artists from John Singer Sargent to the Vorticist Wyndham Lewis.