‘History taught in the pageant way’: education and historical performance in twentieth-century Britain

Bartie, A., Fleming, L., Freeman, M., Hulme, T., Hutton, A. and Readman, P. (2019) ‘History taught in the pageant way’: education and historical performance in twentieth-century Britain. History of Education, 48(2), pp. 156-179. (doi: 10.1080/0046760x.2018.1516811)

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Abstract

Historical pageants were important sites of popular engagement with the past in twentieth-century Britain. They took place in many places and sometimes on a large scale, in settings ranging from small villages to industrial cities. They were staged by schools, churches, professional organisations, women’s groups and political parties, among others. This article draws on contemporary studies of heritage and performance to explore the blend of history, myth and fiction that characterised pageants, and the ways in which they both shaped and reflected the self-image of local communities. Pageants were important channels of popular education as well as entertainment and, although they are sometimes seen as backward-looking and conservative spectacles, this article argues that pageants could be an effective means of enlisting the past in the service of the present and future.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Fleming, Dr Linda and Freeman, Dr Mark
Authors: Bartie, A., Fleming, L., Freeman, M., Hulme, T., Hutton, A., and Readman, P.
College/School:College of Arts > School of Humanities > History
College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Economic and Social History
Journal Name:History of Education
Publisher:Taylor and Francis
ISSN:0046-760X
ISSN (Online):1464-5130
Published Online:17 October 2018
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2018 The Authors
First Published:First published in History of Education 48(2): 156-179
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
168647The Redress of the Past: Historical Pageants in Britain 1905-2016 RTJ6002722-1Linda FlemingArts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC)AH/K003887/1S&PS - Economic & Social History