The first History of Parliament was the brainchild of the maverick Labour backbencher Josiah Wedgwood, who invested his scheme with an ideological as well as a scholarly purpose. Described from Wedgwood’s viewpoint, the history of his History appears as a crusade in defence of democracy in the age of the dictators, and his bitter disagreements with the ‘trades union’ of academics. However, this new article demonstrates the role played by historians like A. F. Pollard, J. E. Neale and L. B. Namier in the framing of the scope and method of the History, and the vital importance of personality in determining the course of its development.

See Historical Research Early View