|The Battle of Agincourt, 1415: one of the 'stopping places' in British history.|
As Damian Le Bas has recently pointed out in his work on atchin tans in Traveller communities, the best journeys are all about ‘the stopping places’. Our love of the past is similarly rooted in particularly memorable events and turning points. These are the stopping places of history: battles and treaties, reforms and coronations. But these moments do not in themselves constitute historical analysis: we also need to understand the details of how the journey unfolded. Writing eighty years ago about the follies of ‘whig history’, Herbert Butterfield was scathing about the English tendency to pick and choose their history; alighting on moments synonymous with freedom, glory and heroism – and ignoring everything else.
|Would you buy a used historical narrative from this man?|