Re: Uses of history
- From: William Black <blackusenet@xxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Wed, 02 Nov 2011 22:17:57 +0000
On 02/11/11 20:59, Peter Jason wrote:
On Wed, 02 Nov 2011 17:13:36 +0000, William Black
On 02/11/11 16:13, Erilar wrote:Peter Jason<pj@xxxxxxxxxx> wrote:On Tue, 01 Nov 2011 23:32:22 +0000, William BlackWhat facts?
The ones historians use to write books about. Of course these will
have a certain probability of being true and this can be factored in.
Ah, historical "facts" again 8-). Sometimes these "facts" are nothing more
than a claim by one interested(biased) party, quite often based on second-
or third-hand "information" and perpetuated by generations of uncritical
historians. Ian Mortimer, in a book I bought in Kzoo last year, "Medieval
Intrigue", looks closely at one instance of this, the "approved" version of
the death of Edward II , and shows how weak the usual story is, and how
much other evidence there is to disprove it. Every so often this happens
to "historical facts".
As far as I can make out the ONLY evidence for that particular episode
is a confession lodged in a murder trial of the two purported murderers.
And it's a huge 'however'.
There's no record of a verdict or any sentence and at least one of the
men supposed to be on trial was certainly in exile in France at the time
of the trial.
On the other hand it's a really good story...
There are facts in history. Births& deaths of monarchs. Climatic
events, parliamentary rolls, patents, diaries. Plenty of facts.
Except that there are too many gaps.
For example, I went to look at the 'board books' of the Kingston upon Hull municipal government for information about the deliberations leading to the closure of the city gates in 1642 when they denied entrance to the king.
The entry for the day had been left blank.
The city archivist, a professional archivist employed by the city, explained that it would have been left blank with a view to filling it in after everything was all over and they knew who to drop in the muck, probably because they'd have been dead or abroad or gone senile by then.
By the time the smoke cleared, in 1660, all the principles were dead.
However he showed me several other passages that had been added to the board books by different hands to the usual secretary along with oddly shaped white spaces under them and said that this was a common practice.
There ain't no facts...
Not when your primary sources are amenable to forgery and lies by 'interested parties'.
Free men have open minds
If you want loyalty, buy a dog...
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