The Tyranny of the Discrete: A Discussion of the Problems of Local History in England

1st Edition

John D. Marshall

Routledge
Published February 28, 1997
Reference - 162 Pages
ISBN 9781859282908 - CAT# Y283753

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Summary

This book argues that in the work of trained historians, as well as amateurs, English local history is weakened by a pervasive antiquarianism: an obsession with detail as opposed to substance. It examines such antiquarianism and shows it to be educationally damaging and wasteful of resources. The author examines the development of the main concepts in local history, and shows the importance of comparative and regional study, pursued through an ongoing and developing debate. He condemns the use of local history merely as a ’quarry’, and suggests that local residents, societies and followers of family history can be brought together in the study of a new form of people’s history - one which reflects the life experiences of the people concerned, and only then moves back into other, less familiar periods.

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