Napoleon Series Archive 2003

Re: Right Angle
In Response To: Re: Right Angle ()

Caroline,

Partly the self-consciousness lies in a distrust of authority, both that of the author and of the sources which the author is relying on, so that readers want to question for themselves - we are acutely aware of the possibility of 'bias', even if many readers think of it rather too simplistically (for or against when it is often more complicated than that).

And partly there is an element of intellectual fashion here - the success of writers bringing their own search for the evidence into the story has had an influence beyond simple imitations. For a while it looked very new and exciting, although its antecedents actually go back a long way, including works such as The Quest for Corvo and even Boswell's life of Johnson. I suspect that that fashion has actually begun to fade, and that there is a renewed emphasis on looking for an individual story which can be made to illuminate a wider picture and will - if well told - appeal to a wide readership. One can think of dozens of really excellent examples of this in the last few years such as Longitude, the Surgeon of Crowthorne and Rifles. Not all subjects are susceptible to this treatment, but it can work wonderfully well.

Rory

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Bad History
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Better History 101
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Bad History and Relativism
Re: The history book I would like to have written
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Re: Bad History
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Re: Rory Muir's "Salamanca".
Early Christmas
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Limits of Narrative
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Feu de Joie for Rory Muir
Why Write History?
How We Grow
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Right Angle
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Footnoting
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... Left Angle
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Only 'quite intelligent'?
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Audiences
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Follow Ups or Spin Offs
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Reach for your Swords !
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"Full Monty" Footnotes!!
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Long Footnotes
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Fair Points
When I was child, I spoke as a child
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Re: Limits of Narrative
The Pits
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And Good, Durable History
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Good Military History