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I Introduction It has long been a complaint, that local history is much wanted. This will appear obvious, if we examine the places we know, with the histories that treat of them. Many an author has become a cripple, by historically travelling through all England, who might have made a tolerable figure, had he staid at home. The subject is too copious for one performance, or even the life of one man. (William Hutton, A History of Birmingham (2nd edn, 1783), xi–xii) Local history is all around us. Our family, our house, our street, our community, all have a

in Writing local history
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British queer history

Introduction: British queer history Brian Lewis In a 2002 article in the Independent, the author and columnist Philip Hensher latched on to a recent government decision about how to refer to gay people in legislation. ‘Homosexuality’ was to be replaced with ‘orientation towards people of the same sex’. Otpotss? ‘I suppose it could catch on, given time.’ But if not that, then what? What do we call ourselves? Homosexual? Too medical, ‘and no one wants to go round with a diagnosis round his neck’. Gay? ‘One puts up with it … dopey as it is, so long as it stays an

in British queer history
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The region and the community

VIII New approaches: the region and the community The developments of the 1950s had various results. First, they produced a vigorous methodological debate about the purpose and function of local history. Under the wing of economic history, local history had flourished, and in the 1960s it was to be just as significantly affected by the rise of social history. Second, through the rapid spread of interest in the subject at all levels, new questions were raised about access to the sources, and the use of the data. In 1957 it was still possible to walk into one of

in Writing local history
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Makers of History161 7 Makers of History Serious historians care for coins and weapons, Not those re-iterations of one self-importance By whom they date them, Knowing that clerks could soon compose a model As manly as any of whom schoolmasters tell Their yawning pupils, With might-be maps of might-have-been campaigns, Showing in colour the obediences Before and after, Quotes from four-letter pep-talks to the troops And polysyllabic reasons to a Senate For breaking treaties. Simple to add how Greatness, incognito, Admired plain-spoken comment on itself By

in Poetry for historians

Introduction 1 In recent decades new geographies of imperial history writing have emerged. The boundaries that used to delimit separate domains of British history, imperial history, area studies and the histories of former colonies have been traversed promiscuously. Accompanying and propelling this reconfiguration of spatial categories has been more explicit attention to the

in Writing imperial histories
The eighteenth and nineteenth centuries

century. The second was the development within antiquarianism of natural historical and archaeological studies. Archaeology, although still within the family of antiquarian study, was emerging as a discipline in its own right, particularly with the founding in 1770 of the journal Archaeologia. Finally, the county history grew in terms of both output and size. What Dugdale and Thoroton had achieved in a single folio volume now multiplied into two, four and as many as twelve to a county. Although quantity was not necessarily paralleled by quality, it would be churlish to

in Writing local history
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methodological engagement with the mental and social dynamics of remembering by practitioners of the emerging discipline of oral history, the drive among cultural and social historians to explore the workings and the interactions of orality and literacy, the interest of cultural and intellectual 2 HISTORY AND MEMORY historians in the representation of the past as a vital feature of political and religious ideologies, the (loosely-speaking) postmodernist emphasis on the mental construction both of reality and of subjectivity, the efforts of modern and contemporary

in History and memory
Open Access (free)
Conversations about the past in Restoration and eighteenth-century England

6 Chapter 4 The spoken word Speaking of history Speaking of history: conversations about the past in Restoration and eighteenth-century England Daniel Woolf F or the past two or three centuries we have become rather used to thinking of history as something found in books. Just as we ourselves are trained to read and criticize documents, and to take these as the basis of all historical knowledge, so we tell our students which books to go off and read, what ‘authorities’ to rely on, which journals to consult, and so on. The advent of the Internet has changed

in The spoken word
English county historical societies since the nineteenth century

2 Local history enthusiasts: English county historical societies since the nineteenth century Alan Kidd Today almost anyone who is seriously interested in the history of his or her local community would soon become aware of the numerous and varied societies, clubs and groups devoted to the study of our communal pasts. These historical societies with their programmes of lectures and activities, their newsletters and journals, constitute a rarely acknowledged dimension of civil society and an understudied element in the national cultures of history.1 This chapter

in People, places and identities
New Zealand is putting her historical house in order’

, with history and tradition earlier assuming little importance as commemorations tended to focus on the past not as a marker of cultural tradition or public remembrance but as a yardstick of progress and change. While 26 January had been observed as Foundation Day or Anniversary Day in Australia since 1791, for example, and the first ‘official’ commemoration of the day was gazetted in 1818, celebrations

in History, heritage, and colonialism