This book follows a particular thread of investigation and interpretation through the story of history writing in ‘Britain’ since the mid 18th century. The work covers the impact of involvement in empire on historical practice over this period. The purpose of this is to offer a different perspective on existing narratives of history and writing in Britain in its varied scholarly and popular forms by raising questions of imperial influence within those narratives. By positioning imperial themes within an account of ‘British’ history writing, the text thereby offers a postcolonial take on the story of historical practice. The book also aims to contribute to political and cultural histories of the United Kingdom by reframing understandings of the role of history writing and historical texts within those histories.
This book deals with history's relationship to memory. By individual memory, it means a memory that is located in the minds of individuals and through which those individuals have knowledge of things that fall within their personal experience. Memory of this kind is an integral part of the mental functioning of individuals and is closely linked to concepts of personality and selfhood. But, individual or personal memory is also a part of the mental equipment that allows human beings to function in social settings. Its forms are influenced by its social uses, and it makes a contribution to social knowledge and social understanding that can be explored from a social as well as an individual angle. The book explores how individual memory is a resource both for individuals within society and for societies themselves and how it is connected to larger social processes. The exploration of social memory begins as a facet of the discussion of the social dimensions of in individual; it is carried further through the discussion of the workings of memory in social groups. It is then completed by the discussion of the ways in which representations, understandings and senses of the past are produced within the larger society.
This book provides an analytical overview of the vast range of historiography which was produced in western Europe over a thousand-year period between c.400 and c.1500. It focuses on the centrality of certain basic principles of rhetoric to the writing of history, and the relationship between the methodology of non-Christian and Christian historiography. The book first locates the writing of history in the Middle Ages at the confluence of three major historiographical traditions such as the classical, the biblical and the chronographic. Then, it introduces a fourth - rhetoric - and its contents are accordingly determined by the traditional division of rhetoric into its three fundamental categories: demonstrative or epideictic rhetoric; judicial or forensic rhetoric; and deliberative rhetoric. There is variation between each of these categories in terms of both approach and emphasis but all three of these forms of rhetoric still have fundamental elements in common. In particular, all three categories divide the subject-matter of a speech or text into five constituent elements: invention or inventio; arrangement or dispositio; style or elocutio; memory or memoria; and delivery or pronuntiatio. It is the first three of these five elements (inventio, dispositio and elocutio) which form the basis for defining the methodology of medieval historiography as a relationship between verisimilitude and truth. The book is intended to serve as a practical guide to some of the more important methodological principles which informed medieval historiography. It also provides a (necessarily) selective index to some of the more specialised modern commentary and scholarship.