The Trickster Prince

Matt Houlbrook: mobile historian; beard growing, head shaving; occasional cycling.

A cultural historian’s confusion

In so doing, I reflect on the tensions that pervade The Prince of Tricksters. I approached Lucas as a cultural historian interested in the relationship between self-fashioning and culture, and the ways in which historical subjects might be seen as fractured, multiple, and unstable rather than coherent and unchanging: the trickster fitted my interests and theoretical orientations. While my analysis often revels in the opportunities to play with uncertainty, however, I have become more aware of a pressing archival imperative — a will to know — that has abraded my conceptual frameworks and confused my expectations. I have resisted this move, but frequently found myself asking a very different question: who were you Netley? 

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