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Changing Images of the Famous over Time Mondays 13.30 2016/17

I want to answer questions like - Why is Richard III so resolutely defended against the accusation that he killed his nephews? Why has US Columbus Day become such a controversial holiday? What has shaped our views of General Haig in WW1? To explain the changes of images of the famous through history to the present day I will study a number of individuals to show how and why that person's image has changed - for example, Oliver and Thomas Cromwell, Catherine the Great of Russia, Haig and Alan Turing. I will centre each session on one particular person to show each of my factors and the way the interaction of various factors results in changing an image. Many factors affect the image of a famous person. These include the finding of new evidence, the opening of archives after a period of time, revelations in memoirs and the death of a long lived individual. Further we have changes in public mores - think of the issue of homosexuality in the 1950s compared to attitudes today or of attitudes to race. Powerful women were habitually denigrated before the 20th century. Fiction or faction in books, films and on TV influences us now. Note that the processes of image making are never completed - whether there is new evidence, re-evaluation in the terms of social mores or just re-interpretation of existing information a famous person's image is always subject to change.

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