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自分が読んで興味深く感じた英文記事を中心に取り上げる予定です

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英検問題をトリガーに

 
しつこく前回の英検1級の米国南北戦争を取り上げてしまいます。

Britain and the American Civil War

英国が奴隷制を支持する米国南部支援に傾きかけていて、開戦も視野にあったことを意外に捉える方も多かったのではないでしょうか。自分は下記の本が2011年のニューヨークタイムズのベスト10冊に選ばれたのを機に読んでいたので知っていました(と、プチ自慢(苦笑))


A World on Fire: Britain's Crucial Role in the American Civil WarA World on Fire: Britain's Crucial Role in the American Civil War
(2012/06/12)
Amanda Foreman

商品詳細を見る


A WORLD ON FIRE
Britain’s Crucial Role in the American Civil War.
By Amanda Foreman. Random House, $35.
Which side would Great Britain support during the Civil War? Foreman gives us an enormous cast of characters and a wealth of vivid description in her lavish examination of a second battle between North and South, the trans-Atlantic one waged for British hearts and minds.

Amanda Foremanさんの動画をこのリンク先から読めます。英国では知識人も含めてほとんどが南部を支持していたと語っていますね。

おそらくWorld on Fireという本のタイトルは英検の長文にあった“wrap the whole world in flames”という国務長官の言葉からきたのでしょう。

War with Britain became a real possibility in November 1861, when the Union navy intercepted the Trent, a British mail ship, and seized two Southern diplomats headed to England. The seizure was a clear violation of Britain’s neutrality. Britain demanded an apology and insisted the men be released, backing up its position by dispatching troops to the northern border of the United States. Lincoln’s administration responded with fierce rhetoric; Secretary of State William Seward warned that the Union was prepared to “wrap the whole world in flames” if the British acted aggressively. As tensions escalated, hopes rose in the South. Even if Britain did not side with the South, the dispute raised the likelihood of a negotiated end to the war, which would leave the United States divided and the Southern states independent.

そんな1850年から60年までの状況を踏まえて、ロセッティのBelovedという絵画を見るとその時代の空気を読み取れるようです。BBCのドキュメンタリーを見つけました。



ロセッティがどちらの立場だったかは不明のようですが、奴隷の問題を強く意識していたことが伺えます。それはリバプールの美術館の解説にもあります。

Quite early on in the planning of 'The Beloved', Rossetti wrote to the man who commissioned the picture (the Birkenhead banker, George Rae) of his wish to include a little black girl carrying a cup before the Bride. This was later changed to a black boy, when Rossetti spotted on the steps of a London hotel a slave boy travelling with his American master. He came to Rossetti's studio in Chelsea to pose. This was the period of the American Civil War and the questions of slavery and abolition were hot topics in the newspapers. Rossetti's brother William, his sister Christina and other artist friends came out on the abolitionist side but Rossetti's views on the issue are not clear. Was the black boy an attempt to allude obliquely to the slavery question in his picture? (Ford Madox Brown might well have been doing the same in 'The Coat of Many Colours' showing Joseph sold into slavery, painted at roughly the same time for the same patron, George Rae).

この作品は六本木ヒルズの展覧会にも来るようです。時代を超えた美しさがあると同時に、時代の雰囲気を反映させる絵でもあったのですね。
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Yuta

Author:Yuta
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