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History in the Making
In Depth: History in the Making

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In Depth: History in the Making

Mary Queen of Scots
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The Brutus Myth
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Sir Philip Sidney
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The Spanish Armada
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The Gunpowder Plot
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The Great Fire
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The New Antiquarianism
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January 24, 2008–May 17, 2008


Early modern Britain faced a problem: how to reconcile its present with a past visibly at odds with it. Facing the dynastic and religious upheavals caused by the Wars of the Roses, the rise of the Tudors, and the Protestant Reformation, the British tried to account for their present by rethinking and rewriting their history. This exhibit considers the ways in which the early modern British made—and remade—their own history, focusing both on how key events—such as the controversial execution of Mary Queen of Scots or the murderous Gunpowder Plot—were interpreted in the period, and on crucial ideas that helped to shape those interpretations. It also examines some of the period’s most important figures, both real (Charles I) and imaginary (Shakespeare’s Falstaff), and the roles they played in the making of British history.


Exhibition Audio Tour


Further Information

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