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Making HistoryEdward Augustus Freeman and Victorian Cultural Politics$
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G.A. Bremner and Jonathan Conlin

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780197265871

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197265871.001.0001

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Architecture as Evidence: E. A. Freeman and Harold’s Church

Architecture as Evidence: E. A. Freeman and Harold’s Church

(p.157) 9 Architecture as Evidence: E. A. Freeman and Harold’s Church
Making History

Christine Dade-Robertson

British Academy

E. A. Freeman maintained that he always sought the truth in his historical research. He asserted that ‘personal theories’ and ‘national prejudices’ had no place in the study of history, but did his actions always match the rhetoric? This essay focuses on Freeman’s hero-worship of Harold, the last Anglo Saxon king, and his quest to prove Harold’s link with Waltham Abbey. This quest became a personal obsession which was to embroil him in a controversy which, many have argued, led him to compromise his academic principles and to allow ‘romantic nationalism’ to get in the way of the objective search for truth.

Keywords:   architecture, historiography, hero worship, national identity, restoration, Victorian medievalism

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