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‘Saved for the nation’: General Wolfe will stay in London

In the palest possible reflection of the fact that it must have taken weeks, at the very least, for news of General Wolfe’s great victory to make its way from the Plains of Abraham all the way back to the grimy magnificence of mid-Georgian London — the stuff of hand-written despatches and soldierly rumour only tardily transformed into those shared-about dog-eared broadsheets, speeches in Parliament, toasts, songs, tableaux, ‘history’ and whatever else Benjamin West might make of it all thereafter — so have I only now discovered, having once again been dragged along by an intelligent three-year old to the National Army Museum, that Schaak’s portrait of General Wolfe, about which I wrote here, has now officially been Saved For the Nation.

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