New Studies in European History: Monarchy, Myth, and Material Culture in Germany 1750-1950

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This innovative book illuminates popular attitudes toward political authority and monarchy in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Prussia and twentieth-century Germany. In a fascinating study of how subjects incorporated the material culture of monarchy into their daily lives, Eva Giloi provides insights into German mentalities toward sovereign power. She examines how ordinary people collected and consumed relics and other royal memorabilia, and used these objects to articulate, validate, appropriate, or reject the state's political myths. The book reveals that the social practices that guided the circulation of material culture - under what circumstances it was acceptable to buy and sell the queen's underwear, for instance - expose popular assumptions about the Crown that were often left unspoken. The book sets loyalism in the everyday context of consumerism and commodification, changes in visual culture and technology, and the emergence of mass media and celebrity culture, to uncover a self-possessed, assertive German middle class.