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On Living in an Old Country: The National Past in Contemporary Britain

On Living in an Old Country: The National Past in Contemporary Britain
Author: Patrick Wright
ISBN 13: 9780199541959
ISBN 10: 199541957
Edition: Updated ed
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publication Date: 2009-04-15
Format: Paperback
Pages: 320
List Price: $19.95

The hulk of Henry VIII's flagship is raised from the seabed in an operation that captures the mind of the nation. An elderly lady whose ancient house is scheduled for demolition dismantles it, piece by piece, and moves it across the country. On Living in an Old Country probes such apparently fleeting and disconnected events in order to reveal how history lives on, not just in the specialist knowledge of historians, archaeologists and curators, but as a tangible presence permeating everyday life and shaping our sense of identity. It investigates the rise of "heritage" as expressed in literature, advertising, and political rhetoric as well as in conservation campaigns and urban development schemes, and it explores the relations between the idea of an imperilled national identity and the transformation of British society introduced by Margaret Thatcher. First published in 1985, this updated edition includes an extensive new preface and interview material reflecting on the ongoing debate about the heritage industry which the book helped to kick-start.