Queen Boudica and the Idea of Historical Culture
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.
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