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Queen Boudica and Historical Culture in BritainAn Image of Truth$
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Martha Vandrei

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780198816720

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: July 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198816720.001.0001

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Queen Boudica and the Idea of Historical Culture

(p.1) Introduction
Queen Boudica and Historical Culture in Britain

Martha Vandrei

Oxford University Press

This chapter introduces the reader to the story of Boudica, beginning in the early modern period. It also introduces what is meant by ‘historical culture’, and discusses the manner in which these two themes open up wider questions about the creative processes inherent in reconstructing the past. It discusses the distinction between approaches to the history of history, including memory and public history, as well as the existing scholarly literature about Boudica’s posthumous reputation. It goes on to argue that historical ideas are the product of complex, individualized processes, through which scholars can move beyond an understanding of the past as epiphenomenal to any single present. It establishes the argument, methodology, and audience for the book, noting in particular the way in which historical culture encourages a renewed focus on the importance of ‘truth’ in understanding the past’s relationship to successive presents.

Keywords:   historical culture, historical truth, history of ideas, cultural history, philosophy of history, popular history, public history, literary studies

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