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The Race of Time

The Race of Time: Three Lectures on Renaissance Historiography

Herschel Baker
Copyright Date: 1967
Pages: 112
  • Book Info
    The Race of Time
    Book Description:

    Professor Baker recounts and analyses the relations of the English Renaissance historians to other writers of their time and to the historians of later ages.

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-5648-2
    Subjects: History

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. 1-8)
  2. Preface
    (pp. 9-10)
  3. Table of Contents
    (pp. 11-12)
  4. the Truth of history
    (pp. 15-42)

    History, as a form of writing, was esteemed so highly in the English Renaissance that Sir Philip Sidney’s comments on the subject almost take us by surprise. To be sure, he was not so blunt as Doctor Johnson, who deplored the historian’s “shallow stream of thought” and compared his talent for “reflection” to a cat’s when she is about to seize a mouse,¹ but he viewed the subject with urbane contempt, and inAn Apology for Poetryits spokesman is depicted as an object of derision. Pompous and assertive, this man is shown to be a fusty pedant “loden with...

  5. the Use of history
    (pp. 45-70)

    If, as we have seen, one main prop of history as a form of writing was, or was supposed to be, its truth, another was its value as instruction. When John Stow, perhaps the ablest and most indefatigable of Elizabethan chroniclers, came to assess his work of almost forty years he was proudest of its pedagogic function. It was as hard for a reader of history to be “without some colours of wisedome, invitements to vertue, and loathing of naughty facts” he said in retrospect, “as it is for a well favoured man to walke up and downe in the...

  6. the Form of history
    (pp. 73-96)

    Earlier in this series we attempted to survey some of those assumptions felt as facts, as Mr. Whitehead used to say, to which most Renaissance historians subscribed. It now remains to go behind the wellrubbed slogans in order to determine their relation to the style and form of history, to note some transformations in the historian’s own conception of his methods and procedure, and to indicate, perhaps, the slow beginnings of reform.

    If disaffection is essential to reform it would seem that most historians in the later Renaissance were ripe for change and innovation, for they almost unanimously viewed their...

  7. Notes
    (pp. 99-111)
  8. Back Matter
    (pp. 112-113)