English Pasts : Essays in History and Culture: Essays in History and Culture

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Oxford University Press, UK, Mar 25, 1999 - 358 pages
This is a collection of essays by a leading historian and critic. Subjects include: the idea of `the national past', the historian as social critic, the claims of Cultural Studies, the nature of academic `research', the function of the literary biography, and the lives and ideas of such figures as Charles Darwin, John Stuart Mill, Anthony Trollope, George Eliot, Bertrand Russell, R. H. Tawney, Isaiah Berlin, Raymond Williams, and Richard Hoggart. Aimed at the non-specialist reader. - ;In this collection of engaging and readable essays, Stefan Collini shows how much can be gained from bringing a rigorous historical perspective to some of the most contentious issues in contemporary culture. Whether he is asking what it means to inhabit and possess a `national past', or reflecting on the role of the historian as social critic, whether he is scrutinizing the claims of Cultural Studies or challenging the assumptions about academic research whether he is pondering the future of literary biography or reassessing some of the leading minds in modern British culture, Collini writes with a rare blend of sympathy, sharpness, and wit. Explicitly addressed to the `non-specialist', these essays attempt to make some of the fruits of detailed scholarly research in various fields available to a wider audience. The book will interest (and delight) readers interested in history, literature, and contemporary cultural debate. -
 

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Contents

Introduction
1
Trevelyan and After
9
From the Pantheon
38
The Historian
85
Clapham Omnibus
103
John Stuart Mill
119
Anthony Trollope and George Eliot
144
Charles Darwin and Bertrand Russell
161
Raymond Williams
210
Research in the Humanities
233
How Not to Do Cultural
252
CamU PLC and SocAnth Ltd
269
John Carey and Noel Annan
289
The Idea of
305
27
327
Index
333

R H Tawney
177
Isaiah Berlin
195

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