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Restaging the Past

Historical Pageants, Culture and Society in Modern Britain

Edited by Angela Bartie, Linda Fleming, Mark Freeman, Alexander Hutton, and Paul Readman

£25.00
- +

ISBN: 9781787354067

Publication: August 17, 2020

Restaging the Past is the first edited collection devoted to the study of historical pageants in Britain, ranging from their Edwardian origins to the present day.

Across Britain in the twentieth century, people succumbed to ‘pageant fever’. Thousands dressed up in historical costumes and performed scenes from the history of the places where they lived, and hundreds of thousands more watched them. These pageants were one of the most significant aspects of popular engagement with the past between the 1900s and the 1970s: they took place in large cities, small towns and tiny villages, and engaged a whole range of different organised groups, including Women’s Institutes, political parties, schools, churches and youth organisations.

Pageants were community events, bringing large numbers of people together in a shared celebration and performance of the past; they also involved many prominent novelists, professional historians and other writers, as well as featuring repeatedly in popular and highbrow literature. Although the pageant tradition has largely died out, it deserves to be acknowledged as a key aspect of community history during a period of great social and political change. Indeed, as this book shows, some traces of ‘pageant fever’ remain in evidence today.

Angela Bartie is Senior Lecturer in Scottish History at the University of Edinburgh. She was a Co-Investigator on the ‘Redress of the Past’ historical pageants project.

Linda Fleming is Research Associate on the ‘History of British Humanism’ project at the University of Glasgow; she was also a Research Associate on the ‘Redress of the Past’ historical pageants project.

Mark Freeman is Reader in Education and Social History at the UCL Institute of Education. He was a Co-Investigator on the ‘Redress of the Past’ historical pageants project.

Alexander Hutton is a Leverhulme Early Career Research Fellow at King’s College London. He was a Research Associate on the ‘Redress of the Past’ historical pageants project.

Paul Readman is Professor of Modern British History at King’s College London. He was Principal Investigator on the ‘Redress of the Past’ historical pageants project.

List of figures and tables

List of contributors

Acknowledgements

1. Introduction

Angela Bartie, Linda Fleming, Mark Freeman, Alexander Hutton and Paul Readman

2. Historical Pageants in Yorkshire before the First World War

Keith Johnston

3. A National Church Tells its Story: The English Church Pageant of 1909

 Arthur Burns

 4. The Pomp of Obliteration: G. K. Chesterton and the Edwardian Pageant Revival

 Michael Shallcross

 5.  Historical Pageants, Citizenship and the Performance of Women’s History before Second-Wave Feminism

 Zoë Thomas

 6. Nobility, Duty and Courage: Propaganda and Inspiration in Interwar Women’s and Girls’ Pageants

  Amy Binns

 7. Historical Pageants, Neo-Romanticism and the City in Interwar Britain

Tom Hulme

 8. ‘A Chorus of Greek Poignancy’: Communism, Class and Pageantry in Interwar South Wales

Daryl Leeworthy

 9. The ‘Quite Ordinary Man’ at the Pageant: History, Community and Local Identity in the 1951 Festival of Britain

Alexander Hutton

 10. ‘The Scots Pageant’: The Arbroath Abbey Pageants 1947–2005

 Linda Fleming

 11. After the Show is Over … Souvenirs and Mementos: The Material Culture of Historical Pageants

Ellie Reid

 12.     ‘The Story of Us’? Kynren and the Uses of the Past

Angela Bartie, Linda Fleming, Mark Freeman, Tom Hulme, Alexander Hutton and Paul Readman

 13.     Afterword

Angela Bartie, Linda Fleming, Mark Freeman, Alexander Hutton and Paul Readman

Index

 

 


Format: Paperback

Size: 234 × 156 mm

344 Pages

29 B&W illustrations

Copyright: © 2020

ISBN: 9781787354067

Publication: August 17, 2020

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