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About this book

Professor Burke’s new book focuses on three major historical categories: myths, memories and representations.
As with all his work, Professor Burke draws on a large range of literature, discussion, ideas from several disciplines, to offer new syntheses.
Historians often use the term ‘myth' in a purely negative sense, to mean a story which - according to them - is not true. The cultural historian here prefers in these essays to follow the lead of students of literature and anthropology and use the term ‘myth' in a more positive sense. He does so as a story, whether it is true or not, symbolizes the values of the culture in which it is told.
The process of mythologization gives events a symbolic meaning by turning participants into heroes or villains, and periods into golden or dark ages. Memory does something similar, both for individuals and for the communities which engage in commemoration.
‘Representations’ is a more neutral and also a more general term, that includes images of kings and working women as well as stories and the performance of rituals.
Part 1, Myths.

1. The Myth of the Iron Crown.

2. The Myth of 1453: Notes and Reflections'.

3. Foundation Myths and Collective Identities in Early Modern.

4. Myths of Venice.

5. History, Myth and Fiction: Doubts and Debates. 

Part 2, Memories.

1.Co-memorations: performing the past. 

Part 3, Representations

1. Presenting and Re-presenting Charles V.

2. The Reconstruction of Political Rituals in the Age of Louis XIV. 

3. On the Margins of the Public and the Private: Louis XIV at Versailles. 4. Representing Women’s Work in Early Modern Italy.
About the author

​​Peter Burke was, from 1962-79, one of the leading educational innovators in developing the inter-disciplinary School of European Studies at University of Sussex. He then moved to the University of Cambridge, where he now holds the title of Professor Emeritus of Cultural History and Fellow of Emmanuel College. He is celebrated world-wide as a historian both of the early modern era and as a writer and teacher who emphasizes the relevance of social and cultural history to modern issues. He is married to Brazilian historian Maria Lúcia Garcia Pallares-Burke.

His many influential works include:
The Italian Renaissance (1972); Popular Culture in Early Modern Europe (1978); Sociology and History (1980); The Renaissance (1987); The French Historical Revolution: The Annales School 1929-89 (1990); History and Social Theory (1991); The Fabrication of Louis XIV (1992); The Art of Conversation (1993); Varieties of Cultural History (1997); The European Renaissance: Centres and Peripheries (1998); A Social History of Knowledge (2000); Eyewitnessing (2000); New Perspectives on Historical Writing (2001) (editor and contributor); A Social History of the Media: From Gutenberg to the Internet (2002) (with Asa Briggs); What is Cultural History? (2004); Languages and Communities in Early Modern Europe (2004); Cultural Hybridity (2009); and A Social History of Knowledge Volume II: From the Encyclopedie to Wikipedia (2012).


​"It is the merit of the publishers E. E. Root to have devoted a whole series to the authoritative cultural historian Peter Burke." - Professor Michaela Valente, Sezione Notizie Archivio storico italiano

Myths, Memories, and The Representation of Identities

​Peter Burke

ISBN 9781912224821   Paperback  £24.99  Order
ISBN 9781912224838   Hardback   £60.00  Order
ISBN 9781912224845   eBook         £16.50  Order 
224 pp. 211 x 148mm.