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The Great Exhibition, 1851A Sourcebook$
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Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780719099120

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719099120.001.0001

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(p.186) 6 Afterlives
The Great Exhibition, 1851
Jonathon Shears
Manchester University Press

The Exhibition was an immediate commercial success, but it also had a legacy that went way beyond the event itself. The final chapter of this book shows both the short and long-term manifestations of the Exhibition’s impact. It includes material taken from the debates about the appropriate use of the Exhibition’s surplus funds and the future of the Crystal Palace along with an account of the closing ceremony. It provides reports about the rebuilding of the Palace at Sydenham and its destruction by fire in 1936. The long-term material benefits of the Exhibition are represented through the work of the Royal Commission and its scholarships and its lasting impact on the architecture of South Kensington in London. The chapter evaluates the role that the Exhibition has played, and continues to play, in debates about nationalism, imperialism, and the significance of British culture.

Keywords:   Legacy, Closing Ceremony, Fire, Sydenham, Surplus, South Kensington, Scholarships

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