Thursday, August 10, 2017

What is History?

      In our final history lesson of the year, Old Joe Hunt, who had guided his lethargic pupils through Tudors and Stuarts, Victorians and Edwardians, the Rise of Empire and its Subsequent Decline, invited us to look back over all those centuries and attempt to draw conclusions.
      "We could start, perhaps, with the seemingly simple question, What is History? Any thoughts, Webster?"
      "History is the lies of the victors," I replied, a little too quickly.
      "Yes, I was rather afraid you'd say that.  Well, as long as you remember that it is also the self-delusions of the defeated."
- Julian Barnes, The Sense of an Ending

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