Current Trends in the Historiography of Great Britain (A brit historiográfia jelen irányzatai) in spring 2015
Lojkó Miklós, Tue 12:00–13:30, Thu 12:00–13:30, R414, R414, host: DES (R338)
5-credit lecture, 60 h/term; strong prereq: BMA-ANGD-A1 A2 A3 A4
description & set texts

Past and Current Trends in British Historiography

Course Syllabus

1. Introduction: What is Historiography and why does it matter?

The ‘Whig’ historical tradition, its classical practitioners: Sullivan, J.R. Green, Macaulay, G.M. Trevelyan; early and late critics: Herbert Butterfield and Lewis B. Namier.

Francis Stoughton Sullivan, Lectures on the Constitution and Laws of England: With a Commentary on Magna Charta, and Illustrations of Many of the English Statutes (2nd Irish ed.), Dublin: William Jones, 1790.

Thomas Babington Macaulay, 1st Baron Macaulay, The History of England from the Accession of James the Second, 5 volumes, London, 1848.

Lewis Namier, The Structure of Politics at the Accession of George III London, 1929

( )

Herbert Butterfield, The Whig Interpretation of History, London: G. Bell and sons, 1931.

2. Gibbon’s magisterial work: The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.

Edward Gibbon, The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, 6 volumes, London, 1776-1789.

Roy Porter, Gibbon Making History, London: George Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1988.

3. Oxbridge and History. The Regius Chairs in Modern History.

William Stubbs, Lord Acton, H.A.L. Fisher, Norman Davies, Lord Acton

William Stubbs, The Constitutional History of England in Its Origin and Development, 3 volumes, London, 1873–78.

Two histories of Europe compared:

Fisher, H.A.L. A History of Europe. Vol. 1: Ancient and Medieval; Vol. 2: Renaissance, Reformation, Reason; Vol. 3: The Liberal Experiment, London, 1935.

Norman Davies, Europe: A History, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1996.

The turns in recent historiography.

Neville John Figgis, Reginald Vere Laurence (eds), Lectures on Modern History by the Late Rt. Hon. John Emerich Edward First Baron Acton, London: Macmillan and Co. Ltd, 1906.

4. Constitutional History: the lawyer’s take

H. A. L. Fisher, F. W. Maitland, Cambridge University Press, 1910.

F.W. Maitland, The Constitutional History of England, Cambridge University Press, 1909 [1st Pub. 1908].

"The Corporation Sole," Law Quarterly Review, Vol. XVI, 1900.

F.W. Maitland, Equity: A course of lectures, Cambridge, 1909.

A.V. Dicey, Introduction to the Study of the Law of the Constitution, London and New York: Macmillan and Co., 1889.

5. The British School of Nationalism Studies: Ernest Gellner, Benedict Anderson and E.J. Hobsbawm

Ernest Gellner, Nations and Nationalism, Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1983.

Benedict Anderson, Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origins and Spread of Nationalism, London: Verso, 1983, 1991.

Eric J. Hobsbawm, Nations and Nationalism since 1780: Programme, myth, reality, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990.

6. A.F. Pollard, L.B. Namier

A.F. Pollard (1869-1948)

A. F. Pollard: the Dictionary of National Biography, the Royal Historical Manuscripts Commission, the Historical Association and the Institute of Historical Research.

A.F. Pollard, Factors in Modern History, London: A. Constable and Co., Ltd., 1907.

—— Henry VIII, Paris, London, New York: Goupil, 1902.

Stephen Alford, “Politics and Political History in the Tudor Century”, The Historical Journal, Vol. 42, No. 2 (Jun., 1999), pp. 535-548.

Thomas, Peter. ‘L. B. Namier, The Structure of Politics at the Accession of George III, [a reappraisal]’, June 1997


7. The School of Slavonic and East European Studies, University of London

The official historian

Robert William Seton Watson, Ronald Burrows, Paul Vinogradov, Tomáš Masaryk, Robert Pynsent, László Péter, Robert Service, Norman Davies, Dennis Deletant, Martyn Rady and Rebecca Haynes

Establishment and growth of SSEES and SOAS since the First World War.

R.W. Seton-Watson, “The Origins of the School of Slavonic and East European Studies”, The Slavonic and East European Review, Vol. 17, No. 50 (Jan., 1939), pp. 360-371

Review Article: Maurice Pearton, “The History of SSEES: The Political Dimension”. Review of Roberts, I.W. History of the School of Slavonic and East European Studies, 1915-1990, [SSEES, University of London, 1990.] The Slavonic and East European Review, Vol. 71, No. 2, April 1993, pp. 287-294.

The SSEES Occasional Papers series.

Official histories by W.K. Hancock, Basil Collier, Sir Charles Webster, Noble Frankland, Sir James Butler, N. H. Gibbs, J.R.M. Gwyer, John Ehrman, Michael Howard, Stephen Roskill

Gibbs, N.H. Grand Strategy, Volume 1, Rearmament Policy, (History of the Second World War, United Kingdom Military Series, edited by J.R.M. Butler), London: HMSO, 1976.

Martin Gilbert (1936-1015), the most famous official historian

Randolph Churchill and Martin Gilbert. Winston S. Churchill, 8 volumes, London: Heinemann, 1966-1988.

Gilbert, Martin. In Search of Churchill, London: HarperCollinsPublishsers, 1994.

8. The documentarists

Harold Temperley, George Peabody Gooch, Ernest Llewellyn Woodward, Rohan d’Olier Butler, John Patrick T Bury, Anne Orde, Keith Hamilton, David Vincent and Donald Cameron Watt.

Temperley, Harold William Vazeille and G.P Gooch eds. British Documents on the Origins of the War, 1898-1914 (11 volumes), London: HMSO, 1926-1938.

Temperley, Harold William Vazeille, Lillian M. Penson eds. A Century of Diplomatic Blue Books, 1814-1914, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1938.

Woodward, Ernest Llewellyn;

Rohan Butler, W.N. Medlicott, W.N. Douglas Dakin, Gillian Bennett, J.P.T Bury, Anne Orde, eds. Documents on British Foreign Policy 1919–1939, First Series, 27 vols, London: HMSO, 1947-1986.

D.C. Watt, How War Came: The Immediate Origins of the Second World War 1938-1939 , London: Heinemann, 1989.

9. The Great Historiography Debate

R. G. Collingwood, E.H. Carr, Geoffrey Elton, Richard Evans, Eric Hobsbawm, Michael Howard, Michael Oakeshott, Keith Jenkins

Collingwood R. G., The Idea of History, Oxford, 1946.

E.H. Carr, What is History?, London: Macmillan, 1961.

Geoffrey Elton, The Practice of History, Sydney: Sydney University Press; London: Methuen, 1967).

William, Penry. “Dr. Elton’s Interpretation of the Age”, Past and Present, No.25 (Jul. 1963), 3-8.

Richard J.Evans, In Defence of History, London: Granta Books, 1997.

10. A.J.P. Taylor, Simon Schama, Niall Ferguson: Media historians?

Burk, Kathleen. The Troublemaker: The life and history of A. J. P. Taylor, New Haven, London : Yale University Press, 2000.

Asa Briggs, The History of Broadcasting in the United Kingdom, 5 volumes, London: Oxford University Press, 1961-1995.

Simon Schama, Rembrandt’s Eyes, Allen Lane, The Penguin Press, London 1999.


Simon Schama, Landscape and Memory, London: Vintage, 1996

Simon Schama, A History of Britain, 3 volumes, London: BBC, 2000.

11. The British International History Group

Michael Dockrill, Zara Steiner, Keith Neilson, Erik Goldstein, Brian McKercher, Gaynor Johnson, Thomas G. Otte, John Charmley, Neville Wylie, Michael Kandiah, Alan Sharp, Anthony Lentin, Michael Jabara Carley, John Fisher ( ) Conferences and symposia.

The lifetime achievement of Zara S Steiner. The new Generation: David Reynolds, David Cannadine (Clare College and beyond), Linda Colley (Lady Cannadine) and the reappraisal of 18th century British history, Jonathan Haslam, Brendon Simms

Gaynor Johnson, The Berlin Embassy of Lord D’Abernon, 1920-1926, Basingstoke : Palgrave Macmillan, 2002.

Keith Neilson and Thomas G. Otte, The Permanent Under-Secretary for Foreign Affairs, 1854-1945, New York, London : Routledge, 2009.

Thomas G. Otte, July Crisis: The World's Descent into War, Summer 1914, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2014.

Zara Steiner, The Lights That Failed: European International History, 1919-1933, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005.

Zara Steiner, The Triumph of the Dark: European International History 1933-1939, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011.

12. History as philosophy: Michael Oakeshott (1901-1990)

Michael Oakeshott, Experience and Its Modes, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1933

Michael Oakeshott, What is History? and other essays, edited by Luke O’Sullivan, Exeter : Imprint Academic, 2004.

requirements & assessment
The bibliography for this course is identical with the works discussed during the lectures. See prevous section. Arrangements will be made for students to have access to set texts that are not available in Hungarian libraries. Certain sections of the following general readers will be uploaded:

Hale, J.R. ed. The Evolution of British Historiography: From Bacon to Namier, London and Melbourne: Macmillan, 1967

Hughes-Warrington, Marnie, ed. Fifty Key Thinkers on History, London and New York: Routledge, 2000.