The cusp of the 1980s and 1990s saw the crystallisation in the United Kingdom of a debate — or, more precisely, a critique — which rapidly came to dominate academic discussion of recent cinematic representations of the past, particularly but not solely in the British context: the critique of so-called ‘heritage films’ or ‘heritage cinema’. This book explores, by empirical means, the scholarly lacuna around the audiences who watch and enjoy heritage films. The book's primary source for this purpose is the Heritage Audience Survey, a questionnaire-based study conducted in the late 1990s to generate an analysis of the demographic characteristics and social identities, film viewing habits, film tastes, and wider attitudes and pleasures of 92 members of the UK film audiences for period films.
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