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How Accurate is the Guidebook Information on Warwick Castle?

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Introduction

Assignment 1: Question 2 How Accurate is the Guidebook Information on Warwick Castle? The Warwick Castle Guidebook is a compilation of staged figures, exaggerated facts and romanticised scenery. Its sole purpose is to sell the castle, so how reliable is the historical information it presents? The Guidebook spans the history of the castle from its build, before 1066, to the present day. However, its purpose isn't to provide the general public or tourists with a history lesson in the castles past. What the masses want from Warwick Castle -and indeed from the guidebook- is entertainment. So, instead of it being full of fact and detail: it is largely made up of photographs, mostly taken at different times of the day and night to dramatise the castles appearance, to give it the magical, romantic image that the typical fairy tale castle usually conjures. The guidebook is produced for maximum sale and profit, the only way to ensure that the Tussauds Company will achieve this is to meet the needs of the majority- what the majority want is a bright colourful memento of their visit to the castle. ...read more.

Middle

Yet it does have some accurate information about the castles past "the first castle to appear on the site was a wooden motte and bailey constructed in 1068 at the command of William the Conqueror', I know this to be true because information on the castles history from many different sources suggests the same thing. After the introduction, we are presented with more of the castles history; this is followed by sections on armoury, weapons and the "king maker" expedition. Details on the castles stately rooms and the Clarence and bear towers, the ramparts, the curtain walls and Guys tower, the gatehouse and barbican and Caesars Tower are also included in short separate sections. These sections include a variety of images and historic background knowledge or information on each of the castles different features. I have cross referenced to check whether some of the information contained within the guidebook is accurate. ...read more.

Conclusion

The guidebook, as I have already mentioned, contains a lot of information about the castles different rooms. The great hall is described in great detail and although the historic information contained within it is accurate, it is somewhat vague. "It is thought that originally in the middle ages, the Great Hall was where the Cedar drawing is now." This comment is not further expanded, nor are we given a further insight into why this "is thought" and not known. Despite comments such as this the section does provide accurate details about the Great halls history. It provides details from when it was constructed in the 14th century, to how it was damaged in a fire during the 18th century to how it was then restored in 1871. The source booklet supports these claims- "a fire badly damaged the great hall in 1768" (Source 6). The Warwick castle guide book is a compilation of fact and opinion, dramatised images and realistic shots. Its overall purpose is however, to provide the masses with a souvenir of their visit, and for this reason it serves its purpose. ...read more.

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