CULTURAL MEMORY

Image of William and Mary from Richard Cox's Hibernia Anglicana (1689).

Leith Davis explores how interactions between print, manuscript and oral texts produced a new understanding of “cultural memory” in early-18th-century Britain. Entitled Mediating Cultural Memory in Britain and Ireland, 1688-1746, her book project focuses on the period between 1688, when William of Orange replaced the Stuart monarch, James II, and 1745, when William, Duke of Cumberland crushed the forces of James’s grandson, Charles Edward, at Culloden.

This crucial era, in which the nation-state of Britain was consolidated and the media environment was changed forever by the expansion of print culture, witnessed the initial inscription of many of the national memories that continue to shape contemporary debates. It also saw the emergence of what we think of now as “cultural memory”.