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New book! The Creighton Century

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The Creighton Century marks 100 years of the Creighton Lecture, containing 10 lectures introduced by historians from the University of London. They range from perceptions of the Industrial Revolution (Donald Coleman) to the situation of interwar Japan (Ian Nish) and all offer important insights into the development of history during the twentieth (and twenty-first) century.

Eric Hobsbawm’s consideration of the problems of writing the history of one’s own time is an absorbing account in which he considers whether all history is in fact ‘contemporary history in fancy dress’. And, as a reader with absolutely no background in military history, I was surprised to find myself so easily engaged by Joseph Needham’s account of the Chinese development of gunpowder, and Keith Thomas’s lecture, ‘The perception of the past in early modern England’, was a great excursion into the world of English folklore and popular history.

The book will be of interest not only to historians familiar with the contributors, but also undergraduates studying historiography, addressing as it does themes of writing contemporary history, ‘truth’ in history and the role of myth in constructing historical narratives.

Order the book via the online Bookshop at http://www.history.ac.uk/bookshop/.