Abstract and Keywords
Chapter 33 argues that all historical representations are radically adaptive and that the ways in which they are conceived and perceived tell us more about the present than about the past they refer to. As the historian adapts the material into a pre-planned scheme to meet a certain end, every version of history becomes essentially an adaptation. While such a view of history is neither novel nor groundbreaking among historians, it has yet to find acceptance among popular readers and audiences of history. In other words, the discrepancy between how history is conceived and how it is perceived remains intact. A brief case study of the ways in which audiences have perceived The Tudors and Magnificent Century, and how fervently televised adaptations are contested, signals the need to challenge this discrepancy.
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