Testing Times

What happened when a historian took the ‘Life in the UK’ test for British citizenship?

Bodleian Library, Oxford: Duke Humfrey's library with a man studying (detail). Frederick Mackenzie, 1787. Wellcome Collection.

‘Which of the following statements is correct?:
A) Elizabeth I handled Parliament very badly during her reign.
B) Elizabeth I had very good relations with Parliament.’

As a senior lecturer in Early Modern History, who has published on this topic, I honestly have no idea what the answer to this question is, though I suspect a book-length answer. As an immigrant to Britain, however, seeking to demonstrate that I understand what ‘Life in the UK’ is about, I need to know the answer, along with hundreds of others on British history, ‘values’, government and society. These questions, as well as being frequently stupefying, tell us how history is being employed to project and protect a certain view of ‘Britishness’.

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