The Uses of the ‘Anglo-Saxon Past’ between Revolutions, Imperialism and Racism
Keywords:Medieval History, Anglo-Saxon England, Uses of the Past
The past is commonly summoned in political speeches and projects. The medieval past has been used as the cradle of nation-states and ‘the West’. This article will address how the Anglo-Saxon past has been used, from the seventeenth century to contemporary discourse. It will discuss how the view(s) and use(s) of this past have changed significantly over time, to the point that its very name has recently been challenged. The main hypothesis of the article is that despite all the debates about early medieval society in Britain, there is still a great need to highlight the connection between the interpretation of this past and racial discourses. The study of such societies in a new light is crucial for rescuing the Middle Ages from its uses by the far right.