This paper attempts to look at the practices of interpretation involved in heritage tourism. Instead of focusing on artefacts as images of the past, it investigates the interpretive and communicative work needed to make sense of built heritage. The examples used are a Tudor manor house in the southeast of England, where each year a living history event is staged, and a reenactment society that portrays the events of the British Civil War at historic properties. Participant observation provided the method to examine the activities of interpretation education and the production of a sense of realism and ''authenticity''. The paper argues that heritage is a much more self-reflexive activity than commonly portrayed.
Living history, Realism, Reflexivity, Performance.
Accepted Journal Article
NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Annals of Tourism Research. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Annals of Tourism Research, 23, 2, 1996, 10.1016/0160-7383(95)00070-4.