What was it like to live in the past? How did it feel? Ever since the late eighteenth century when new forms of visual entertainment claimed to be able to use technology to replicate or simulate the literal details of nature, scholars, poets and intellectuals have bemoaned the increasing dominance of the realist aesthetic. More recently reenactment has become the most widely consumed form of popular history. The essays in the volume engage with the quest for a definition and an appropriate delimitation of reenactment as well as the philosophical and practical questions revolving around the vexed relationship between realism and affect. Exploring these questions is aided by attention to genre and to that end many of the essays here explore the place of reenactment in pursuits within and beyond the academy - history, literature, music, theatre, dance, the law, film, television, public commemoration and historical tourism.