Heritage and England

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Nehir Glean

Heritage and England: The Importance of Film & TV Drama Representing True England and Britain – Highlighting The English Regency Past

Nehir Glean Year 3, BA Digital Film Production (Fast-Track)

INTRODUCTION

It is undeniable that more often than not, audiences of cinema and television will associate and connect the past connotations of Regency England with Jane Austen and her famous literary novels. Jane Austen for a long time has been highly commended for her vivid portrayals of characters set against the backdrop of English countryside. For centuries, her books have been read and reread by millions of people across the world. Many adaptations of her novels have been produced for cinema and for TV dramas as her works have been regarded as depicting a close and possibly, accurate portrayal of Regency England. “The Regency Period of Jane Austen’s time provided a picture of England that differed greatly from that of today” [Warren, 2014 Online]. Many writers such as Renee Warren seem to have effectively connected this particular era with Jane Austen and her novels. However, “remembering the past and writing about it are no longer innocent activities as they once might have been considered” [Burke 1997].

The aim of my dissertation is to explore Heritage cinema and film and it continues to be portrayed in a singular and narrow perspective of the country as a whole. I will look into many eras of the English past, but most of the noted comments will be made and assessed upon early 19th century England and its existance within the realm of the Jane Austen world. The 1800s was a time of turmoil for England. The Napoleonic Wars dominated the early years of this century. The Anglo-American War (which is typically encapsulated with the Napoleonic period) brought the end of what the English once knew as the British Empire – or so the world believed. Nowadays, historians refer to it as the ‘Second Wave of the British Empire,’ which swept in and changed the dynamics of the British political power system within its colonies. The trade of slavery had not been abolished yet and therefore, most of the Caribbean islands and African colonies still consisted of plantations and the owners of ‘property’, i.e. African and other native slaves. The method of mercantilism became the popular policy and this propelled Britain into the dominant and pioneering force that modern day Britons is reaping the benefits of today.

The expansion of the Empire, which led to Britain becoming its most powerful during the 1800s, was rarely looked upon nowadays. Britain reigned over the world as the tiny island that conquered all. The question is – why is this not explored within the world of Jane Austen cinema and television drama? It is clear that Austen was aware of slavery and the Empire, as demonstrated in Mansfield Park (1814).

Edward Said made a critical reading of Mansfield Park his book, Culture and Imperialism (1994), in which he found that the author condoned the imperialist attitude felt within the country at the time. “Jane Austen sees the  legitimacy of Sir Thomas Bertram’s overseas properties as a natural extension of the calm, the order, the beauties of Mansfield Park, one central estate validating the economically supportive role of the peripheral other” [Said, 79]. Indeed, Said’s critical reading of Mansfield Park has led to many others deciphering his interpretations within a newly formed deconstructive analysis of Austen’s works. For instance, David Bartine and Eileen Maguire look into Edward Said’s work in their journal, Contrapuntal Critical Readings of Jane Austen’s “Mansfield Park”: Resolving Edward Said’s Paradox. In the journal, the authors expand upon the concept of imperialist acceptance within Mansfield Park.

“It is a harmony that flows from contemporary British cultural acceptations or what Said refers to as a morality which does not resist the conditions of empire…The harmony lies in the abstract belief that the order and comfort of the imperial metropolis depends upon the disciplined control of its colonies. Said finds this relationship of dependence and the morality undergirding it to run throughout the novel. He writes, “The pattern established at the outset of the novel clearly continues…right up to the last sentence {and in that pattern) Austen affirms and repeats the geographical process of expansion involving trade, production and consumption that predates, underlies and guarantees the morality” (Said, Culture, 92-93). Thus Said insists that for Austen in Mansfield Park there is no escaping the dominant culture’s acceptance of imperialism. Said finds Austen not only to be embracing imperialism but to be validating imperial structures of hierarchy as they are manifest within the society and paternalistic family relationships of Mansfield Park.” [Bartine and Maguire, 32]. Arguably, with these authors, an exploration is already discussed in the academic sense regarding Jane Austen’s admittance of knowing about slavery and the empire through her novel. The constructive arguments are  made in the academic world, but there is still continuation of denial within the Jane Austen films and TV adaptations. In addition, the Regency era as a whole seems to be dictated by the Austen world. Rarely, do dramas explore Regency period in the greater sense, nor do they explore the country as a whole. For instance, Northern England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are omitted entirely from Regency cinema and television. The dramas are typically constricted to the southern regions in places such as Surrey, Hampshire and most usually, Bath.

Upon writing my dissertation, I shall be exploring some of these cases and why there is apparent absence of realistic representation of the country. I am going to explore and discuss why Britain is still unable to discuss the British Empire and why it still wishes to depict times like the Regency era, as safe, tame and innocent. As my generation gets older and the country will look to expect the next generation to follow, a sense of amnesia has fallen over our country’s history. My generation has become less intrinsic to learn about the imperial past and therefore, pride is lost in the nation’s development and mark that was once made upon the world. I will explore racial relevance within this nostalgic period of history and why it is important to showcase race within such a period like Regency. The country has been guided for many years to believe that ethnic diversity had not arrived until the ‘Windrush’ of the 1950s/1960s. However, I wish to contest this well manipulated conception, especially within cinema and TV that portrays Britain in such a manner. It is arguably harmful that the young Britons presently are raised ignorant of ethnic diversity contribution to the building of this nation. Britain is one of the most conquered and invaded countries since the history of humankind. Therefore, diversity seeps within the blood of every native of the country. Why does film and TV continually choose not to such this, specifically within Regency is something I wish to explore.

Similarly, regionalism is extremely important. It is clear that for many years Received Pronunciation or southern regions speak is the preferred representation of Britain to the outside international audience. However, it is not showcasing the actual nation and thus, isolates many people from what should include them in the grand depiction of Britishness or Englishness. It is very uncommon for Regency films and TV to explore northern regions or the rest of the UK. This is mostly due to the fact that Jane Austen rarely set her stories in such places. Off course when it comes to the author’s adapted works, one cannot argue about the setting of these films/TV. However, does film and TV need to be confined so much to southern regions and manners within the costume dramas genre as a whole? Surely, a better representation is not the responsibility of the novelist, but the filmmaker and TV writers who decides where these portrayals of English history will take place.

I will also be discussing gender roles and representation within Austen’s Regency England. Obviously, the representations of women can be found prominently in these film and TV adaptations. However, concern rises in why a typical view of women is consistently shown in these past eras. In the typical world of an Austen novel, the female protagonists are most preoccupied with marriage and finding the right man. Although this may have been the world of Austen whilst living in Regency England, it cannot be interpreted as the fact and basis of women’s roles entirely in this era. Women during the Regency period would find independence through marriage, but some found it without marrying. Women dueled with pistols and swords, some challenged men in duels. Women in the nineteenth century had rights over their property. During this period, laws allowed divorces to be attained and women could now contest to be granted custody of their children (prior to this, men would always gain the rights). To the modern eye, these changes seem miniscule but for a Regency woman, this would no doubt be a different and vastly changed world to their female ancestors. I want to explore why filmmakers and TV writers encourage a rather interesting view that a ‘simpler’ time for women was somehow better. There is an increased sense of nostalgia associated with Regency England. The green pastures of countryside, women in bonnets and the proprieties and manners of English gentlemen all contribute to a rather manipulated form of what we as modern audiences believe England to have lost.

These were times when women did not have as many opportunities and yet Austen’s Regency England is attested as a comfortable and peaceful provincial world. When we think of our technological and social advancements, surely on looking back, we would see that these times were indeed much harder for women and that women had to be much tougher to live in such a world compared to today. What does this indicate to younger  audiences of England past? Are we suggesting that these bygone eras celebrating England in a nostalgic manner was better for society because women had less involvement? That class did not seem to be an issue of the public’s consciousness? That ethnic diversity simply did not exist in England at that time?

The lack of varied diversity within this picturesque portray of an England once gone, is either due to the ignorance of filmmakers and TV creators’ knowledge of English history or it is something more devious and therefore I argue, more dangerous. Is the lack of proper ethnic diversity and class difference within the backdrop of eras such as Regency, a deliberate attempt to remodel audience’s interpretation of England?

A time when no such difference existed would arguably restructure people’s depiction of England past, and perhaps lead to possible resentment of the England of today? For these concerns mentioned above, I believe to open a dialogue in order to better understand why previous generations continue to promote a lack of genuine representation of England.

The (English) Heritage film and TV drama has always been the natural setting for the privileged, the entitled and the genre embodies the cultural understanding regarding the notions of Englishness. Often within this genre, England is portrayed as a vast landscape filled with private property owners that embody the cultural values and concerns of the upper middle class and upper classes. “In reproducing these trappings of class privilege, the heritage film and TV drama helps to transform the heritage of the upper classes into the national heritage, the ‘national story’.” [Higson 1993] Upon looking at Regency set costume dramas it does seem to be that a private interest has becomes naturalised into general public interest. The sense of Englishness and the pride that a nation feels towards Englishness is class specific (upper echelon), ethnocentric (Caucasian), regionally biased (southern England) and rural (countryside). Filmmakers have become complacent with representing this particular of England in the same fashion. The exploration of rural southern England and the visual imagery depicts the country almost like a peaceful picturesque postcard. As previously stated, the English heritage genre, particularly concerning Regency films and TV; has transformed private interest into the public’s interest. The conservation and protection of the stately rural home of an aristocrat has become the national concern for the wider public. Heritage foundations have sought to protect and preserve these settings and now homes of former wealthy aristocrats have become attractions for tourists to visit. “In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, England seemed to be transformed by various kinds of improvements in gardening and the ornamentation of the landscape. Many people saw these changes as reflections of highly controversial moral, social and economic issues. To clear a wood or plant one, to build a folly or a cottage, to design in the formal style or the picturesque, to choose to employ one improver or another – these were all interpreted as decisions that expressed a political orientation.” [Everett 1983] Similarly, in two interviews I conducted, I spoke with a trust member whose career relies upon preserving the grand estate. Janet Cook expressed her opinion that shares the majority of the public. She related the relevance and importance of maintaining these private interests like estates and property because she argued that this belonged to the history of the country. She wished to encourage the public to visit such sites and thus, continue the cycle of protecting the private interest and exonerating it as the ‘national story’. Promoting the private interest was also a supported argument from Duncan Wise, although his interest coincided with land rather than estate. Preserving private landscapes that uphold the English green pasture idellyic setting was very important to him as a member of Northumberland National Park. Large countryside estates and green pastures are part of England’s history, but it is not the absolute. The problem still resides within Heritage film and TV dramas that perpetuate the wealthy as the entire history of England. Country life in Regency films/TV is seen to reach back into classical happier times. Indeed Raymond Williams (The Country and the City, 2011) speaks of the stark contrast between country and the industrial. “Urban life is depicted is something new, something disruptive and alien to the nation. But, when we moved back in time and consistently direct ourselves to an earlier and happier rural England, we could find no place, no period, in which we could seriously rest.” [Williams 2011] The drawn distinction between country and urban life is quite fundamentally profound. As costume dramas showcase the difference between north and south, in some respect, Regency England does not include most of the country, but rather remains fixated upon the idyllic southern countryside as the depiction of ‘true’ England. It seems to be that the northern regions are explored in the past when it is in direct relation to the industrialisation of the country (North and South 2009, The Mill 2013, The Paradise 2012). Martin Wiener (English Culture and the Decline of the Industrial Spirit, 1850-1980, 2004) argues this point. “The English ‘nation story’ has become ill at ease with the urban (city), so much so that it is denied its legitimacy by the adoption of an Englishness that has excluded industrialisation.” [Weiner 1981] In following Weiner’s argument, if a substantial part of English history is removed from films set in eras like Regency, then ultimately, it is a conscious decision made by the film/TV industry to exclude northern and midland regions from the national identity of England. This segregation will create a less harmonious and unified country when it comes to media representation. Effectively, British film and TV costume dramas are promoting an ideal that is not truly representative of the country as a whole. Donald Horne (God is an Englishman 1969) expresses a discussion regarding an ideological struggle for a definition of the nation. His argument is that there is a struggle between two metaphoric evocations of England: the Northern and the Southern. “In the Northern Metaphor Britain is pragmatic, empirical calculating, Puritan, bourgeoisie, enterprising, adventurous, scientific, serious and believes in struggle … In the Southern Metaphor Britain is romantic, illogical, muddled, divinely lucky, Anglican, aristocratic, traditional, frivolous, and believes in order and tradition…”[Horne, 1969: 22] Horne argues that it was the southern metaphor that ultimately won the ideological battle and thus, it is the southern metaphor, in which audiences are shown the past England, today. Looking upon Jane Austen’s novels and the adaptations made, it is possible to see that the Southern Metaphor Britain is in obvious effect. From Pride & Prejudice (Andrew Davis, 1995 and Joe Wright, 2005) to Sense & Sensibility (Ang Lee, 1995), these films remain fixed upon the south and the ideal of gentleness purely existing in those regions. Often the northern regions are restricted to the Victorian period (the emergence of increased industrialisation), but rarely is the north seen as the bright, sunny countryside setting, like in the Regency era. The English heritage text represents the north and southern regions as two entirely separate countries: the north is industrial, urban, rain weather filled, cold, congested with illiterate people. The south is countryside, large estates, green pastures of grass and hills, rural, sunny warm and filled with literary classics. Even studying the visual imagery in terms of cinematography in these films, one cannot help but see the stark contrast in lighting the regions. The north is shown blue and cold; the south is warm and orange. These stereotypes per say, can lead to animosity felt as essentially, the country is divided and the northern regions are made to feel alien and excluded from to the national identity story of England. The Jane Austen films and TV adaptations help aid this belief of separation and exclusion. The historical story of Regency England has been rewritten and construed for audiences to believe that the era was a happy and simple classical time. However, Regency is encompassed within the Georgian period, a noted time when civil disobedience and the callings for revolution had begun. Revolutionary ideas were introduced and the country was already battling several wars as well as dealing with the conflicts of Ireland. To simply reestablish this period as a peaceful nostalgia is to eradicate a large piece of the English history jigsaw. Conversely, some authors such as Claire Monk and Amy Sargeant have observed that, “British period film have been burdened and constrained by widespread and strongly held belief that the central duty of films set in the past is to document historical fact – or at least the material world of the period depicted – as faithfully as known sources permit.” [Monk 2002; Sargeant 2002] Although this may be a view that many share and support, it still does not underlying explain why there is such a removed aspect of working classes and ethnicity in general. For such points to be made an abundance of heritage films depicting different manners of lives led in Britain would need to be shown in order for an argument to be sufficient. British period film often has not been burdened nor constrained by the belief of the past. Rather, it is deceptively shown an ideological belief of what the past could have looked like. Yet, true Britain and true England has barely been explored within film and TV drama. In the case of working class families, it was the 1960s social realist movement that paved a demand for more social inclusion. Nowadays, the ‘kitchen sink’ films and TV can be added to the costume drama category. Although, it would be argued by people such as Higgins, that it is not necessarily under the same bracket as Heritage drama. It seems that the working class portrayal as well as ethnic diversity has yet to be given footing in the Heritage category. It is rare that audiences will watch the life of a working class family in Regency England (compared to the 1960s), even less for a drama to showcase the life of black people during Tudor England (much more likely to see them in the 1960s-1980s). The discussion of showcasing diversity further back than the 1910s is still a young discussion for film critics. But the decision to remove the diversity from these further back eras ensures a conservative method of making certain social groups feel that they have no heritage belonging to England. In any case, Monk has suggested in regards to the previous quote that the above view is one that many critics reject, “in some cases vehemently” [Monk].

Racial Identity: The Saccharine of Empire and its Race Relations
As every nation needs to remember it also needs to forget. The role of forgetting in the construction of national identities is very important. This is no exception to the construction of Britain’s (and England’s) national identity story. The essence of creating a nation is not only for its members to share things in common, but they must also forget certain things regarding the nation’s history. The majority of heritage films and TV dramas that depict England’s history take place against the backdrop of the continual building and expansion of the ‘global imperial project’: The British Empire. The reign of the British Empire spread over many centuries and although it is difficult to pinpoint the actual dates it was constructed and ended, the early forms of trading posts and plantations in Ireland began as early as 1497. The British Empire officially ended after Hong Kong was transferred over to China in 1997. This Empire reigned for five hundred years and yet, there is virtually no reference to this in the majority of the heritage films and TV dramas made. Through film and TV dramas, history and politics has been stripped away and sanitised for the audiences. The media has artfully performed the act of forgetting the most essential part of England’s history and all of its imperial associations that are attached to it, specifically with race. “Sadly, what British children of all cultural backgrounds were not made aware of – in schools, by the media, or by popular film – was that there had been a black presence in Britain since at least the mid-sixteenth century.” [Bourne 2002] Ethnic diversity is virtually non-existent and does not inhabit the visual and narrative landscape of English/British film and TV drama. Similarly to other costume dramas set in different periods, Regency film and TV seems to insist on the purity and distinctiveness of an invented and fabricated culturally constructed Englishness. Higson (2003) argues that this could be perceived as: “…a deliberate avoidance of a particular type of cross-culturally intertexuality that is such a strong feature of contemporary aesthetics … Such films seem to articulate a version of the national heritage that contributes to a core English identity…” [Higson 2003] Similarly Stuart Hall (Policing the Crisis: Mugging, the State and Law and Order, 1978) argues that ethnicity as a form of culturally constructed Englishness and the particularly closed exclusive nature and regressive form of English national identity is one of the core characteristics of British racism today. In contrast to ethnicity, heritage films and TV dramas seem more progressive in the approach to gender. In Regency set dramas for instance, many stories focus on strong and complex female protagonists. However the conservative reputation in relation to heritage dramas still display women as predominantly in search of securing a husband and thus, the female characters seem unable to exist in the created worlds on their own (this will be looked at and developed further in Part Four of the dissertation). Yet, the focus on these women centred stories and their love lives are still fixed upon the Caucasian people within the nation. Britishness maybe now regarded as being multi-ethnic, multi-racial and multicultural, but Englishness still remains implicitly Caucasian-centric. It could be argued that removing and isolating ethnic diversity in such a large gap of English history is a method that filmmakers and programme makers take to ensure that a visually perfect style of portrayal of the English world becomes self-enclosed. History effectively in itself has become more about spectacle to be seen by the audience. Andrew Higson argues in Waving the Flag: Constructing a National Cinema in Britain (1997) that films have taken on a sense of timelessness rather than historicity in relation to our national past. In essence, films and TV set back in the nation’s past has been purged of all political tension and there is no way to prove this is directly the decision of the audience. “The films and TV dramas suffer from a ‘Disneyization’.” [Bryman 2004] Alan Bryman explains that disneyization effectively removes anything negative and all facts are watered down with the intent of making the subject more pleasant and easily grasped. For instance, it would be hard for many people within the nation to think of England’s Regency period, without thinking about a Jane Austinised version of England where Bath acts as a capital city. This is an example of Disneyization of Regency England as it depicts a country with no poor people. This is arguably why the British Empire is not explored. Even though any story that is set back five hundred years in time would be set during the time of empire, this is not often intently informed to the audience watching the drama. There is sense of deliberate exclusion of this particular part of England’s history in any media representation. But removing such a large part of the nation’s past and creating a disneyization to replace it, eradicates remembrance and acceptance that Britain would not be the economic leading power of today without empire and slavery. England had strong ties with so many countries due to empire and by simply ignoring that in film and TV dramas, it has removed people’s understanding of why England is so multicultural nowadays. Once knowledge of past is taken from the nation’s people, they cannot understand their society of today. Thus, some more conservative public members clamour to the heritage dramas that depict an England that had no such issue of race and class structures. But this, in essence, is a lie. For how could England have the empire and not been dealing with race relations, even within the country itself, for five hundred years? How did England govern over different ethnicities and nationalities and not ever deal with racial differences? This could not have simply been avoided. Ironically, the same landowners and aristocratic families depicted in heritage films would have been the same people in reality who dealt with such issues regarding empire. The upper classes and aristocracy were effectively in charge of Britain’s future as a major economical, social and political leader of the world. Thus, they would have been knowledgeable about Britain’s foreign affairs. However, in the context of heritage film, these upper class people seem to fathom no such ideals. In heritage films and TV dramas, the existence of empire is mute and completely eradicated from the portrayed history. The main issue that still resides with such portrayals of Englishness is that heritage films and TV dramas suggest they have an undisputed origin and are faithful to an original, reliable and accurate representation of the nation. This is achieved by presenting narratives about the ‘national story’ in an impression of a continuous historical, unbroken line of linear time progression (Elizabethan, Georgian, Regency, Victorian, Edwardian, World War I & II, to present day). This is typically undisputed, however, the ‘national story’ is constantly haunted by what/who is erased balanced with being threatened by what/who demands representation. “In order to create a required community’s history and destiny a nation requires a usable past. For a nation to continue to have a believable future it has to rely on a suitable vision of its past…”[Mitzal 2003: 17] This could be argued to mean that history and its depiction in film and TV is used as an ideological instrument to reassure the public that the past is knowable, stable and inevitable. As memory and history are important elements within an individual and nation’s identity, it is plausible to see why the media would wish to control how identity is seen and represented.

Searching for Mr. Darcy: Women’s Roles in Heritage Dramas & Their Singular Pursuit for Marriage and Love.

Many popular heritage films and TV dramas focus on strong and complex female characters and it seems to be more so in heritage than any other popular film genre. Surprisingly, even though the manner of heritage films and TV dramas have tended to be conservative, some have explored gay men and lesbians in ways that remain relevant and deeply moving to their contemporary audiences (Maurice, Fingersmith, Tipping the Velvet, Another Country). It has been fairly evident that Britain cinema’s representations of the past have provoked polarised views. Whether it is the lack of working class or ethnic diversity, some have championed that the heritage genre has engaged better with female representation. For instance, Monk writes, “There is now no shortage of literature on the flamboyant, sensual but historically highly ‘inauthentic’ Gainsborough melodramas, and their particular appeal to the working-class female audiences who devoured them in preference to Second World War realism or the middle-class restraint of Brief Encounter.” [Monk 2002] The considered filmmaker and TV creator giants have continuously looked down at these ‘inauthentic’ Gainsborough melodramas. But it strikes an interesting discussion as to why they are looked down upon. Within this Gainsborough pictures, there were flamboyant and highly sensual pieces of work, which would have been slightly controversial for its time. In addition, a Gainsborough story was always embedded with sensationalised storylines that created gossip circles for the viewers. But amongst its over-the-top nature, these films explored female centric storylines, in which the main protagonist was often a tough woman who did not compromise herself to meet the demands of society (often society in these stories were male-led). (Films such as The Wicked Lady 1945, The Man in Grey 1943, Against All Flags 1952, At Sword’s Point 1952 and The Swordsman of Siena 1962, challenged the conventions of women’s roles and making the female leads daring and unapologetic for doing so. It is particularly interesting that many of these films were costume dramas as well, including some set back during Regency/Georgian period. These types of films with daring women were hugely popular during the Second World War as mentioned. The strong dynamics between the male and female characters in which the woman could still be free to do as she pleases was no doubt refreshing to see, particularly as roles for women within society and changed drastically during WWII. These films were made decades ago and although women’s role in society has progressed significantly, it does not seem that their presence on the big or TV screen has also progressed. In some cases, heritage genres have effectively regressed women’s powers to simply pursing one goal: marriage. Especially within the films made recently depicting women in Regency England (Emma 1996, Mansfield Park 1999, Pride & Prejudice 1995, Northanger Abbey 2007). These films have primarily centralized and revolved the story around a young woman’s ambition to get married in between a grand ball and drinking tea. Although, this is off course one side to a woman that should shown in the context of film and TV, women have many goals and simply confining them to one is to restrict and narrow how women are perceived during those past eras by a modern day audience.

Conclusion

It is difficult to make judgements against British cinema’s representation of the nation’s past and the ‘national story.’ Although, some arguments made by Monk and Lovell regarding that heritage films and TV dramas should not be regarded as historical accuracy can be founded; unfortunately, it has become the way audiences interrupt such things about their national identity. The concern that some people may have is that regardless of challenging authenticity, representations of diversity through class, gender and race is still not evident and prominent enough arguably. It could be suggested that England has systemically found the appropriate method to remove aspects of history that link different social groups to the nation and this has been done so through film and television – a very powerful and manipulative medium. From an outsider’s perspective, England can be perceived as tolerant to difference, but it has shown to have difficulty in representing the difference within the media. Often, points are made that Britain does not have a similarly large and vastly ranged demographics base like other countries, such as the USA. Therefore, poor diverse representation has usually been supported by arguments that suggest not enough audiences will attend such a film. “Combined with other factors such as the conditions of UK film production and the smallness of the black British audience compared to the African-American market, these tendencies have contributed to the lack of any British equivalent to US mainstream black historical films such as Amistad (Steven Spielberg, USA, 1997).” [Bourne 2002] But this can no longer be the sole explanation for lack of proper representation. England has had mixed cultures and people since the dawn of its inhabitants. Tribes have conquered and been conquered in the land of 30 Britain for over 750 000 years. It is not unusual for industry people to suggest that many films are not made due to financial concerns such as, a studio or production company’s concern that low revenue will be made from such a film. However, it can be argued that revenue may not always be the highest priority at times for studio companies, regardless of the typical rhetoric. It has been a long-standing debate for some that the British cinema and TV productions have not decently represented the entire general public. As immigration increases and inter-racial relationships resulting in mixed race children climbs higher in Britain’s demographics, it seems hard to argue that there would not be an audience ready to view such stories now. There could be some justification in suggesting that perhaps the sole intent of studios and production companies is not to simply turn over revenue annually. Is it too far fetched to suggest that there is certain political motivations in-hand? If so, then who would stand to gain from such an idea? Ultimately, it would be conservative right-wing hegemonic groups and individuals. Preservation and reimagining English past through the heritage genre is very important and should be very important to everyone living in the country. Those who control how England is shown in film and television have ensured a particular narrow perception remains fixed. It is done so to subtlety enforce that non-white ethnic groups is still a new chapter in England’s long history (i.e. groups of non-white people do not exist within England’s realm prior the 1910s). Working class families and thus, their struggle for better quality of living are reduced to certain decades of England’s past rather than remaining consistently a major problem (i.e. Victorian and 1980s miner strikes, rarely shown in Regency/Georgian or Tudor England). Women continually remain in sub-servitude roles in heritage drama, where the main fixation is focused upon marriage and falling in love with the right man. But throughout the many eras England has 31 experienced, there were female doctors in the Bronze Age, sword/pistol duellists in Regency and female gangsters in the 1920s. Certain women fought against such ideals forced upon them, as did working class people and ethnic minorities. England has always been a battlefield in the literal and literary sense but audiences are continually provided a tame, saccharine version of the England’s story. It is a ‘disneyization’ of England and the many struggles it has endured. With all the developments and changes, I conclude with my final thoughts in regards to this dissertation and the chapters that were explored within it. England is possibly experiencing a “Third British Empire.” Only in this circumstance, direct racial discrimination like slavery and the slave trade is no longer present. Colonialisation in the literally sense is no longer valid. However, the “Third British Empire” may be something much more new and promising for the nation. A new ‘national story’ could be in the developing works, in which the third wave finally cultivates all ethnicities and nationalities once under the imperialism of the British, but now free to enter into the nation and be welcomed as patrons of a New Britain. A Britain that encompasses and welcomes all under its banner and flag of open tolerance and true acceptance of being regarded as English. Those, whose ancestors help contribute and save “Mother Britain” countless times in World Wars and economical struggles should be regarded as truly English as they are no less of the name then those who claim it now because of skin colour. The willingness to accept the working class, female population and ethnic diversities as major contributors to England’s history and thus, its present day leadership within the world, will very soon be a commonplace attitude within the younger generations growing up in England. The population is becoming much more diverse and mixed race children are 32 projected to be the largest ethnic group (outside of Caucasian) in the country, surpassing British Asian and British Black (projected by 2050). Just like any situation that is thrust upon, people always adapt to it and this newly mixed nation will be adapted into a sense of normalness for the general people. Whether this will also be accepted into film and TV dramas, especially within the heritage genre – only time will tell.