It may be good fun, but it’s not always good history

“Screenwriters interpret historical events to entertain, but to make up facts shows a lack of responsibility”

“Naturally, there are risks to taking in your history alongside your entertainment. There’s only one take on offer and popular historical depictions very much tend to play to the mores of the time. The dark side of Britain’s colonial past has long been papered over in our popular culture. The boundary between popular history and propaganda can sometimes be fuzzy.

“But to what extent is there ever such a thing as “pure” history, anyway? This is a theme eloquently explored by Mantel in this year’s Reith lectures. Confronting pupils with conflicting source material is one of the first lessons of grownup history: there is no one “true” interpretation of events. Historians may engage in an admirable search for the truth, but no historian can claim to present a neutral account: even if they stick to bone-dry facts corroborated by multiple sources, picking which ones to use is in itself interpretation.”

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/dec/31/it-may-be-good-fun-but-its-not-always-good-history-the-crown

 

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