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Queen Boudica and Historical Culture in BritainAn Image of Truth$
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Martha Vandrei

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780198816720

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: July 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198816720.001.0001

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‘They that write to all, must strive to please all’

‘They that write to all, must strive to please all’

Historians, Playwrights, and the Drama of History

Chapter:
(p.51) 2 ‘They that write to all, must strive to please all’
Source:
Queen Boudica and Historical Culture in Britain
Author(s):

Martha Vandrei

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198816720.003.0003

This chapter compares the approaches to Boudica taken in the emerging history market of the late seventeenth century, against the backdrop of the emerging national narrative. It explores the relationship between historical fact, dramatic and poetic fictionalization, and the appeal to wider audiences in the period following the Restoration. It argues that authors who wrote about Boudica were fully aware of the permeable boundaries between historical fact and fictional accounts, and that they consciously exceeded these as a means of appealing to a wider range of readers and viewers. This awareness by early modern writers of the relationship between ‘true’ history and its fictionalized aspects—and the openness with which this was shared with readers—suggests the inherent complexity of historical production. This chapter further argues that the scholarly focus on the relationship between history and the novel has somewhat overshadowed the more enduring links between history and drama.

Keywords:   Thomas Heywood (c.1573–1641), Nathaniel Crouch (c.1640–1725), Charles Hopkins (c.1671–1700), George Powell (c.1668–1714), historical writing, early popular history

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