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Jack Graham

Jack Graham wrote about Doctor Who and Marxism, often at the same time. These days he co-hosts the I Don't Speak German podcast with Daniel Harper.Support Jack on Patreon.

8 Comments

  1. Matt M
    September 24, 2015 @ 10:05 am

    Part of me hopes that part 2 will simply be a tirade against Big Finish’s ‘The Kingmaker’ in an attempt to claw back the nerdly crowd 😉

    Is it that wrong to take an interest in historical figures though? I’m not sure there were many people outright waving flags and shouting “Yes, Richard III was a great guy, wasn’t he?” more saying “this is interesting, and it is good that his body be interred in an appropriate and respectable place”, something archaeology tends to forget when dealing with the remains of the dead.

    And I mean, the list of historical figures who you can genuinely say to be some sort of moral exemplar is very small. And that’s after all the really nasty bits that never got made public or were conveniently forgotten.

    Reply

    • Jack Graham
      September 24, 2015 @ 11:24 am

      Going to take a look at some less shoddy ways to care about Richard III in the next bit.

      Reply

  2. Daibhid C
    September 24, 2015 @ 12:48 pm

    “In my country you can travel, in a relatively brief time, from a place where there are statues of English guys who became statue-material because they killed lots of Scottish people, to a place where there are statues of Scottish guys who became statue-material because they tried to stop the English guys killing those very same Scottish people.”

    Often by killing English people…

    My own opinion is that the reactionary past-worship on this side of Hadrian’s Wall is just as toxic as on your side. It might think it’s celebrating anti-imperialism, but that’s just its own blinkered and romanticised view of history.

    The Jacobite rebellion – to take an example I’m far too familiar with, what with actually living in Culloden – wasn’t so much “We must overthrow the yoke of the UK monarchy” as “Why isn’t it a Scottish yoke?” With a side-order of genuinely believing the Stuarts were on top by divine mandate, and any attempt to interfere with that was against the will of God.

    Reply

    • Jack Graham
      September 24, 2015 @ 1:22 pm

      Oh sure, I agree with all that. I wasn’t saying that that kind of thinking in Scotland or Wales or Ireland is always anti-imperialist, so much as that the historical context is slightly different.

      Reply

  3. Craig L
    September 24, 2015 @ 3:52 pm

    Based on the well-established fact that “history is written by the victors” (apparently it is less well-established who originated that quote), a “Revolution” is a successful “Civil War” and a “Civil War” is a failed “Revolution”, right?

    Reply

  4. Timber-Munki
    September 24, 2015 @ 4:14 pm

    This ‘Benedict Cumberbatch’ hasn’t achieved sine qua non of fame for a UK based actor – early career guest spot in Casualty who’s only function is what horrible fate will befall them.

    Also isn’t everybody a descendent of Richard III now given the amount of generations since then.

    Reply

    • Jarl
      October 29, 2015 @ 9:16 pm

      The magic and wonder of a tiny gene pool.

      As for the comparison between murderous statues in Britain and the US, I’m reminded of the saying that Americans think 100 years is a long time, but Europeans think 100 miles is a long distance. Our statues have the benefit of being far apart, sure, but yours have the benefit of being exceptionally old.

      Reply

  5. Daru
    November 13, 2016 @ 3:15 pm

    “Firstly, it buys totally and uncritically into the notion of History as a list of kings… or, more broadly, of Big Men (still mostly men).”

    I’m currently going through the site and catching stuff I missed, and Jack this is truly superb. Especially as I personally know folk who are in the Richard III Society who are friends of Phillipa, and I totally agree with you. Now I myself have absolutely nothing to do with the society and love my friend dearly (bizarrely my friend identifies as a Marxist), but I just don’t get the love for Richard or the need for the society at all, as I feel as you that if underdogs were really going to be celebrated it would best be done through all those unknowns who were used and stepped on upon the road to power.

    Anyways, thanks for a really inspiring article.

    Reply

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