Over many centuries, the British people have looked back on their own history and interpreted it in the context of their own times. This course looks at what the British have thought of their own past, from Tudor times through to the present day.
Reinterpreting the past has served several functions – making sense of the present, providing an image of a lost 'golden age' which needs to be recaptured, and pointing the way forward in troubled times.
Themes on this course will include:
The Tudors and the past.
The Gothic Revival.
Victorian views of the past.
The development of museums and the curation of the past.
Looking back to the English Civil War from the 1700s and 1800s.
The Victorians in retrospect – the changing attitudes towards Victorian society by later generations.
The preservation of the past and 'heritage culture'.
Post-War attitudes, and the clash between modernity and nostalgia.