Military history is thought by some to be a valuable field of study to both professional soldiers and civilians. It is indeed one of the most popular fields in the genre of history. And yet many academics tend to look down upon the field as fundamentally unserious and not therefore meriting attention by academic based historians. Historian Jeremy Black, who has written extensively in the field of military history discusses with Charles Coutinho of the Royal Historical Society the question: Is military history worth studying? In a wide-ranging discussion they delve into the various criticisms that can be made about the genre of military history while also stating why the discipline is still valid, worthy of study.
Crawford Gribben interviews Jeremy about his new publication England in the Age of Shakespeare published by Indiana University Press. Listen now.
‘One might almost have walked over the Thames and through every part of it on the boats, which could scarcely pass by each other.’ This description of a regatta in 1775 can be followed by ‘Paddler,’ a newspaper correspondent on 3 July 1880, who seeking relief ‘in the enjoyment of a leisurely paddle on the river in these long twilight evenings’ faces ‘the noisy and immodest proceedings of the evenings’ and their ‘foul and disgusting language which assaults one’s ears and serves to call attention to the immodesty which might otherwise pass unnoticed,’ or by TS Eliot, working for the Colonial and Foreign Department of Lloyd’s Bank, and finding in Thameside London intimations of the prospect of salvation described in The Waste Land (1922):
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Charles Coutinho interviews Jeremy about his recent book A Brief History of Italy for the New Books Network. Listen now.