Fabricating radical traditions

Hessayon, Ariel. 2006. Fabricating radical traditions. In: Mario Caricchio and Giovanni Tarantino, eds. Cromohs Virtual Seminars. Recent historiographical trends of the British Studies (17th–18th Centuries). Florence University Press, 000-000. [Book Section]

Hessayon, A. 'Fabricating radical traditions', Cromohs (2006-07).pdf

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Abstract or Description

It is a commonplace that the past is at the mercy of the present and that in every generation there are those who deliberately distort aspects of it to reflect a vision of their own or another's making. Most historical writing about radicalism and the English Revolution can be considered fabrication - in the sense of both manufacture and invention. There have been several important studies documenting this process, including recent work by Mario Caricchio. I do not wish to argue here that there was a single, continuous English radical tradition, but nor would I like to dismiss the notion entirely. Instead what I want to suggest is that though radicalism lacks a connected history the imagined relationship between radicals of the English Revolution and their predecessors and successors has served as a powerful substitute. So much so, that multifaceted traditions have emerged as part of the discourse. Moreover, vestiges of radicalism recovered in manuscripts and rediscovered in printed texts have sometimes intermingled with perceived radical heritages to produce vibrant radical eruptions. This can be seen by tracing the ways through which radicalism in the English Revolution has been successively appropriated and constructed - and how, subject to competing interpretations, these fabrications have disintegrated leaving only shards of radical traditions.

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30 Sep 2010 11:06

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29 Apr 2020 16:22



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