Films recreating or addressing 'the past' - recent or distant, actual or imagined - have been a mainstay of British cinema since the silent era. From Elizabeth to Carry On Up The Khyber, and from the heritage-film debate to issues of authenticity and questions of genre, British Historical Cinema explores the ways in which British films have represented the past on screen, the issues they raise and the debates they have provoked. Discussing films from biopics to literary adaptations, and from depictions of Britain's colonial past to the re-imagining of recent decades in retro films such as Velvet Goldmine, a range of contributors ask whose history is being represented, from whose perspective, and why.
Claire Monk is Lecturer in Media Studies at DeMontfort University. Amy Sargeant is Lecturer in History of Film and Visual Media at Birkbeck College, University of London.