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Theatres of Memory : Island Stories - Unravelling Britain v. 2 - Raphael Samuel

Theatres of Memory

Island Stories - Unravelling Britain v. 2

Paperback Published: 1st May 1999
ISBN: 9781859841907
Number Of Pages: 384

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A luminous sequel to the highly acclaimed first volume of Theatres of Memory, Island Stories is an engrossing journey of discovery into the multiple meanings of national myths, their anchorage in daily life and their common sense of a people.s destiny. Raphael Samuel reveals the palimpsest of British national histories, offering a searching yet affectionate account of the heroes and villains, legends and foibles, cherished by the .four nations. that inhabit the British Isles. Samuel is interested by the fact that traditions can disappear no less abruptly than they were invented. How is it, he asks, that the Scots have lost interest in a British narrative of which they were once a central protagonist? Why is the celebration of .Britons. thriving today just as its object has become problematic? Island Stories marvelously conveys the mutability of national conceits. Samuel calls as witness a galaxy of authorities.Bede and Gerald of Barri, Macaulay and Stubbs, Shakespeare and Dickens, Lord Reith and Raymond Williams, Margaret Thatcher and Tony Benn.each of whom sought to renew the sense of national identity by means of an acute sense of the past. Island Stories is a luminous study of the way nations use their past to lend meaning to the present and future. This sequel to the widely acclaimed Theatres of Memory is as passionate, unexpected and enjoyable as its predecessor.

Industry Reviews

"The sheer scope and erudition of these pages is stunning... an imaginative tour de force." - Terry Eagleton, Guardian "Provocative, original... a powerful testimony to the unending dialogue between the present and the past that is the essence excitement of history." - David Cannadine, Observer "A stunning collection ... humane, optimistic, multi-textures, ever-meandering but always sparkling ... one of the finest and- paradoxically - most quintessentially English historians of our time." - Ben Pilmot, independent on Sunday "A magnificent and irreplaceable collection" - John Gray, New Statesman "A provocative lens into both the remote and the near British past." - Publishers Weekly "Deeply researched, intelligently argued, lovingly presented, thoroughly excitable and immensely stimulating ... [Samuel is] as comfortable with seventeenth-century sectarians as with Victorian nonconformists, as familiar with the townlands of Ireland as the streets of London." - John Gillis, Left History "A rich fund of subversive ideas." - Daniel Johnson, The Times "One of the most outstanding, original intellectuals of his generation: a passionate, creative and innovative social historian and a man of unique personal qualities and distinction of mind and spirit." - Stuart Hall, New Left Review "Raphael Samuel gave new meaning to the idea of history... He brought to the writing and popularisation of history a seemingly inexhaustible energy and creativity." - Gareth Stedman Jones, Independent "Samuel was born to be an historian. He had the vital quality of living at the same time in the past, the present and the future. Everything interested him, from public health to colonial rebellion and from street lighting to street fighting." - Times

Illustration Acknowledgementsp. vii
Editors' Prefacep. ix
A Biographical Note on the Textp. xv
Nations, States and Empires
Epical History: The Idea of Nationp. 3
Four Nations Historyp. 21
Unravelling Britainp. 41
Empire Stories: The Imperial and the Domesticp. 74
English Journeys
The Tower of Londonp. 101
The Lost Gardens of Heliganp. 125
Country Visiting: A Memoirp. 132
North and Southp. 153
The Voice of Britainp. 172
History, the Nation and the Schools
History's Battle for a New Pastp. 197
Heroes below the Hooves of Historyp. 203
One in the Eye: 1066 And All Thatp. 209
The Return of Historyp. 214
The People with Stars in Their Eyesp. 224
The War of Ghosts
Religion and Politics: The Legacy of R.H. Tawneyp. 233
The SDP and the New Middle Classp. 256
Ancestor Worshipp. 272
The Discovery of Puritanism, 1820-1914: A Preliminary Sketchp. 276
The Tory Party at Prayerp. 323
Mrs Thatcher and Victorian Valuesp. 330
Reading the Runesp. 351
Indexp. 371
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9781859841907
ISBN-10: 1859841902
Series: Theatres of Memory, Volume 2
Audience: Tertiary; University or College
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 384
Published: 1st May 1999
Publisher: Verso Books
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 24.13 x 15.88  x 2.54
Weight (kg): 0.77
Edition Number: 1
Edition Type: New edition