Editors: Susan Doran and Thomas S. Freeman
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
Price: £49.50 and £16.99
ISBN: 9781403940704 and 0711
Films are entertainment. Yet when "historical" films get their facts wrong, outrage can follow. We want our films to reflect historical truth; equally importantly, box-office figures show that a "true story" sells. As Tom Freeman points out in his introduction to this excellent collection, when the film U-571 rewrote important events of the Second World War, questions were asked in Parliament. So films are also a form of history and, as such, can perpetuate or challenge political propaganda, racial prejudices and sexual stereotypes. Here, 16 leading historians of Tudor and Stuart Britain consider films from A Man for All Seasons to Carry On Henry, with thought-provoking results. Their discussions anchor each film in its historical context, showing how each reflected, and perhaps reshaped, popular attitudes to the history concerned.
Who is it for? Students of history or film; anyone with an interest in Tudor or Stuart Britain.
Presentation: Seventeen chapters, each with a still from the film under discussion.
Would you recommend it? An important illustration of the workings, advantages and dangers of historical imagination.