Slashing History: <i>The Tudors</i>


in Tudorism

Published by British Academy

Published in print December 2011 | ISBN: 9780197264942
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191754111 | DOI:

Series: Proceedings of the British Academy

Slashing History: The Tudors

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  • Modern History (1700 to 1945)


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This chapter examines the television series The Tudors (2007–2010). It argues that whilst it pays much lip-service to the Tudor dynasty as a real, historical entity, it is very unconcerned with the actuality; indeed, it strives to take the well-known iconography and to reject it. The series demonstrates to a great degree Tudorism, the fetishisation and commodification of a set of cultural norms, tropes, and ideas. The Tudors is Tudorist because it deals directly with the ways in which historical cliché — particularly surrounding Henry VIII — works in the popular imagination. The chapter considers The Tudors from a variety of perspectives to analyze what the show demonstrates about contemporary engagement with the Tudor period, about the evolution of costume drama more generally, and the ways in which popular cultural history might be engaged with, disrupted, and used by viewers and audiences.

Keywords: The Tudors; Tudorism; Henry VIII; cultural history; Tudor period; fetishisation; commodification

Chapter.  7791 words. 

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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