Saturday 31 July 2010

An Apology

On my post for July 22nd about the banned posters advertising the London Dungeon's new exhibition about the reign of Mary Tudor, I discussed the inappropriateness of the posters both as works of art (for young children) and in terms of them grossly distorting and trivialising the reality of Queen Mary's reign.

It has been subtly brought to my attention by a very dear friend that seeking to turn the religious policies of Mary Tudor's government into a commercialised horror show is not only unhelpful in trying to correctly understand Mary's reign, but - far more importantly - it is also hideously disrespectful to her government's 283 victims, all of whom died in agony. I made no mention of these 283 people, who were executed for their religious beliefs in England between 1554 and 1558. I should have.

I agree with my friend that the distance of 500 years does not mean that these people's deaths can now be treated as a grotesque form of a circus and that as a place where terrible cruelty and tragedy occurred, the London Dungeons should instead be seeking to capitalise on that, rather than turn their venue into a macabre fairground attraction.

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