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The Culture of History: English Uses of the Past 1800-1953 Hardcover – 1 Aug 2006


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It is impossible to do justice to the many insightful arguments offered in this deeply researched book...an outstanding contribution to the study of modern historical culture. the challenges it poses to existing orthodoxies, and the avenues and reflections it opens, make this work relevent not just to scholars of Victorian and early twentieth-century England but to anyone studying historical consciousness. (Astrid Swenson, Journal of Contemporary History, Vol 44 No 22)

[A] well researched study. (Journal of the Historical Association)

The culture of history...is a lively and richly illustrated guide... (Michael Ledger-Lomas Historical Journal)

brilliant new book (Leslie Howsam, Canadian Journal of History)

...she has blazed a trail that others will undoubtedly follow (Simon Morgan, Institute of Historical Research)

A kaleidoscopic inquiry into the popular imagination of history that succeeds triumphantly in presenting the strange and partially-obscured mentalities of non-elite people in the past. Dealing principally with the ways in which the French Revolution and the Tudor monarchy have been presented and consumed in modern English culture, Melman's unusually broad survey of periods and sources brings out the populist, gothic, and grotesque elements of "historical consciousness" in a wholly original way, and helps to disturb some of our more comforting myths about English people's consciousness of their own history. Ambitious, sophisticated, and swashbuckling. (Peter Mandler, University of Cambridge)

The Culture of History is an engaging, original, and provocative study of popular history that combines a broad historical sweep with persuasive detail drawn from an unusual complex of sourcesIt is exciting, well written , and a major revisionist work. (Reba Soffer, California State University)

... astonishingly wide-ranging ... an outstanding contribution to our understanding of modern historical culture. (Rosemary Mitchell, Journal of Victorian Culture)

...a powerful, imaginative, and exciting interdisciplinary book. (Rohan McWilliam, American Historical Review)

Her text and the meticulously constructed bibliography are replete with generous references to the writings of John Burrow, Stefan Collini, Stephen Bann and other historians whose interpretations she wishes to extend rather than replace. This is a book that should be read in conjunction with their work. (History)

'tremendous breadth and analytical power ... a stunning contribution to historical scholarship on how the English past was understood.' (Sonya O. Rose, Victorian Studies)

About the Author

Billie Melman was educated in Tel Aviv and London. She is Professor of Modern History at Tel Aviv University. She has written extensively on British popular culture, British orientalism and the culture of colonialism, on history and memory, and on gender.

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