Sunday, June 11, 2023

Opening paragraphs..................

      History reflects the period in which it is written as much as any other branch of literature.  Although the historian's material is much more rigidly circumscribed than that of the novelist or poet, he, like them, has to bring to the understanding and presentation of his material his own experience of life and the imaginative equipment peculiar to him and to his time. . . .

      . . . When all allowance has been made for exaggeration, hard luck stories, and propaganda, the weight of the evidence still shows that the human suffering caused by the war was appalling.  I feel now, as I did twenty years ago, the one task of the political historian is to show the repercussions of policy on the lives of the governed and to arouse in the reader imaginative sympathy with those multitudes of fellow beings who were victims as well as actors in the events of the past.

-Cicely Veronica Wedgwood, from her Introduction to The Thirty Years War

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