Chapter

The Pleasures of Tudor Horror: Popular Histories, Modernity and Sensationalism in the Long Nineteenth Century

BILLIE MELMAN

in Tudorism

Published by British Academy

Published in print December 2011 | ISBN: 9780197264942
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191754111 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5871/bacad/9780197264942.003.0003

Series: Proceedings of the British Academy

The Pleasures of Tudor Horror: Popular Histories, Modernity and Sensationalism in the Long Nineteenth Century

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This chapter discusses Tudorism in popular historical culture during the nineteenth century. First, it briefly delineates the apparent streamlining of the Tudor era into a broadly Whig and liberal-radical culture of progress and improvement and the confident interpretation of history. It then focuses on the evolution of popular Tudorism with its emphasis upon, and uses of, horror and its relations to modernity and urbanisation: what Dickens described as the ‘attraction of repulsion’ in horror. It traces developments in representations, meanings, and uses of Tudor horror, mainly by concentrating on the Tower of London, which during the nineteenth century evolved into an embodiment of the history of England, and the site of continuous debate and contest over access to, and ownership of, the Tudors.

Keywords: Tudorism; popular historical culture; Tudor pasts; Whig; Tower of London; modernity; urbanisation; horoor; nineteenth century

Chapter.  9154 words. 

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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