History, commemoration, and national preoccupation : Trafalgar 1805-2005


    • Hoock, Holger


History, commemoration, and national preoccupation : Trafalgar 1805-2005

edited by Holger Hoock

(British Academy occasional paper, 8)

Published for the British Academy by Oxford University Press, 2007

  • : pbk.


History, commemoration, national preoccupation : Trafalgar

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Includes index



This volume explores the commemoration of the Battle of Trafalgar and Admiral Lord Nelson's death over the past two centuries. It includes the extraordinary celebrations of 2005, which saw hundreds of official, commercial, and popular events celebrating and commemorating the bicentenary of Trafalgar and the death of Nelson. Leading historians of Britain and France, reflect critically on the complex notions of remembrance, celebration, honouring, and commemoration. Taking historical snapshots of the commemoration of Nelson at his death, in 1905, and in contemporary Britain, the contributors ask: who drives the commemoration of historical anniversaries and to what ends? Which Nelson, or Nelsons, have had a role in national memory over the past two centuries? And who identifies with Nelson today? Focusing on Britain, but looking also at imperial and French contexts, the papers consider how memoirs, history writing, visual and modern media and museums, and official and unofficial interests, contribute to keeping and shaping memory. As the changing manner of memorializing key moments in national history allows historians to study cultural meanings and interpretations of national identity, the contributors assembled in this volume exhort the wider profession to engage critically with 'public history'. This innovative work in the history of memory and commemoration will be of interest not only to the specialist scholar but also to those with general interests in naval, maritime, cultural and public history.


  • Marking Time
  • 'His dirge our groans - his monument our praise': Official and Popular Commemoration of Nelson in 1805/6
  • Remembering Victory - Commemorating Defeat? The Franco-British Trafalgar Centenary in 1905
  • Nelson the Hero and Horatio the Lover: Projections of the Myth in Canada, the Cinema, and Culture
  • Trafalgar: Back on the Map of British Popular Culture? Assessing the 2005 Bicentenary
  • The National Maritime Museum's 2005 exhibition, Nelson & Napoleon: Intention and Reception
  • The Battle of Austerlitz, Collective Amnesia, and the Non-Commemoration of Napoleon in France

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