Chapter

The National Maritime Museum’s 2005 Exhibition, ‘Nelson & Napoléon’: Intention and Reception

Margarette Lincoln and Martin Daunton

in History, Commemoration and National Preoccupation

Published by British Academy

Published in print June 2007 | ISBN: 9780197264065
Published online February 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191734496 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5871/bacad/9780197264065.003.0007

Series: British Academy Occasional Papers

The National Maritime Museum’s 2005 Exhibition, ‘Nelson & Napoléon’: Intention and Reception

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This chapter reflects critically on the National Maritime Museum' 2005 blockbuster exhibition ‘Nelson & Napoléon’. It identifies and explains significant gaps between the intentions of Museum Trustees, management, and curators on the one hand, and public reception and responses on the other, with respect both to the composition of the exhibition audience and to ‘meaning making’. It suggests that public responses to the 2005 anniversary indicate that Britain is beginning to take its maritime heritage more seriously, a process that is expected to continue with the complex bicentenary of the abolition of the slave trade in 2007.

Keywords: National Maritime Museum; Napoleon; public reception; meaning making; maritime history

Chapter.  6528 words. 

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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