Yet another UK historical institution has to defend talking about history
There is an old meme of a wonky coat hook, its “fists” raised, with the caption “drunk octopus wants to fight” and, increasingly, when I read yet another story in which historical institutions are attacked for talking about history, this is the image that comes to mind. Put ’em up, facts. Let’s take this outside.
After Richard Deverell, the head of Kew Gardens, had to fend off critics accusing him of “preposterous posturing” for acknowledging Kew’s roots in colonialism and changing display boards to give more information on the history of its collections, and after the head of the National Trust, Hilary McGrady, had to defend what she called “telling really interesting stories about our properties”, which includes information about how the slave trade funded the building of some of those properties, now Jane Austen’s House Museum in Hampshire has been forced to issue a statement explaining that its plans to “refresh the displays and decorations” did not amount to “woke madness” or even “revisionism”, of which it had been accused.Continue reading...
Show Full Content