ONE OF MY hstory masters always used to qualift the dates he gave with the proviso, ‘Give or take a hundred years’. I’m afraid we took this for ignorance, but I think it was his way of explaining that there was more to the subiect than the recital of dates. Later at Oxford mv d examiners asked me to give the dates of George II17s prime ministers. I thought then, and stdl do, that ths was a pretty fatuous way to evaluate three years of study under historians such as Richard Cobb and Christopher Hd. In other words, I am not a fan of hstory by numbers.
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