Re-enacting the Past: Essays on the Evolution of Modern English Historiography

1st Edition

Joseph M. Levine

Published July 14, 2004
Reference - 318 Pages
ISBN 9780860789536 - CAT# Y233466
Series: Variorum Collected Studies

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How and why did modern historiography take on its present form? Re-enacting the Past addresses the problem in England by looking at some of the ways that the Renaissance and the Reformation affected writing and thinking about history, and left a legacy to modern historiography. Professor Levine concentrates on how neoclassicism in the early modern period both reflected and shaped the English use and understanding of the past. At the same time he shows how religious controversies were also engendering a deepening recourse to history and a new sophistication about historical evidence. By the end of the 18th century, convictions in an ancient perennial wisdom and in the Bible as literal history had been thoroughly challenged and a truly modern historiography was largely in place. Levine concludes with a set of essays about some contemporary views of history, disputing with Quentin Skinner, Peter Novick and Thomas Kuhn, while extolling the virtues of R.G. Collingwood.

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