The Redress of the Past: Historical Pageants in Britain, 1905-2016

Welcome to the online home of The Redress of the Past, a major Arts and Humanities Research Council funded project examining historical pageants in twentieth-century Britain. 

Read more about the project »

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PAGEANTS DATABASE NOW LIVE!

We have now published our pageants database, also accessible via the 'Pageants' tab at the top of the screen. We'd be really interested to hear what you think about the database. Thoughts, comments, suggestions for amendments and corrections all much appreciatedas we will be updating the database for many years to come. Please email us about the database on historicalpageants@kcl.ac.uk. We'd love to hear from you!

Please see the database FAQs for information about how to use and cite the database.

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NEWS! THE DAVID CLARKE COLLECTION

We are delighted to announce that a treasure trove of historical pageants-related material has been donated to King’s College London by Juliet Renny. Juliet’s husband David Clarke was one of the leading pageant-masters of the post-war period, responsible for major productions such those held at Guildford and Carlisle (both 1977), Farnham (1988), and many others. David’s friend Bob Page remembers him as “a creative and dedicated author and inspirational pageant master” whose “enthusiasm gave his cast members and helpers, most whom had little or no acting experience, with a sense of theatre and drama that would live with them for future years.”

The David Clarke Collection includes "books of words" and programmes related to David’s own historical pageants, as well as a fascinating set of scripts and souvenirs related to earlier pageants staged by other exponents of the art of pageantry, such as Louis Napoleon Parker and Frank Lascelles. David himself had a keen interest in history, and indeed wrote a book about historical pageants, drawing on and recounting his own experiences. The typescript of the book has also been donated to King’s as part of the David Clarke Collection, and we hope that someday it may be possible to publish it.

We are extremely grateful to Juliet for this generous gift, which will help ensure that David’s important contribution to historical pageantry is fully appreciated now and in years to come. As Juliet has told us, “I know that David would be so pleased that everyone who was involved, or saw a Pageant, would be able to find and re-live the amazing 'Pageant' experience.  He loved enthusing people towards a combined achievement, getting them to do something different—'a new world'. The excitement overcame all the difficulties—rehearsing when they were exhausted, waiting in the pouring rain and mud, and wearing strange costumes that they did not always like! I am relieved that all his research and creative work will be saved for the future.”

The David Clarke Collection is held at King’s College London, and is free for the public to consult. For inquiries about accessing the collection, which will be made available incrementally from November 2018 onwards, please contact archives@kcl.ac.uk.

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