History by Peter Claus and John Marriott

The full name of the book History by Peter Claus and John Marriott is History – An introduction to theory, method and practice. Sounds a bit boring, at least according to my husband. I have to admit I wasn’t sure it will be fun, as the book is aimed at students and historians. I got it from the library and I had it on the shelf for a month or two before starting to read it, as other books took precedence. Well, I should have started it immediately. It was a fun and interesting book to read.

History by Peter Claus and John Marriott

As the name suggests, the subjects mentioned in History by Peter Claus and John Marriott, both Oxford professors, are related to the theory, method, and practice of history.

In the Theory part is discussed about perspectives, philosophies, and histories. In this part of the book I found very interesting how the interpretation of time changed, according to the changes in religion and the rise of industry. History was also influenced by enlightenment and romanticism. The examples in the book make it such a delight to read, including the stories of gold digging ants and Bede’s accounts of miracles. It was fascinating to read how history differed if it was written by a Christian, Jew, or Muslim author.

In the second part, Method, the book continues with political, social, and cultural history. It also mentions feminism, and the lack of the presence of women in history. Surprisingly for me, Philippa Gregory is mentioned, as someone that brought to life the less known history of women through her novels, even though it’s fiction.
I found the chapters about public history and global histories very interesting. Last year I was involved in a bit of volunteering with two projects, that classify as public history. As for global history, I did an online course about it and it was fascinating. We all are connected and we don’t even realize it.
The second part also gives details about literary cultures, anthropology, geography, sociology, and economics.

The last part of the book is about Practice. It talks about sources, archives, and oral history. I was very interested in this part because, as I mentioned earlier, I was involved in two projects with local museums. It’s been helpful to read about these aspects of historical research.

As the book is written with students in mind, at the end of each chapter there is a short summary, there are discussion documents, and a few books are recommended reading. The book is a must for anybody wanting to study history, but it can be a wonderful read for someone that is only interested in history and how is made.

History by Peter Claus and John Marriott

Details about the picture: A Wedgwood vase (est. 1759), alongside Colclough china from the beginning of the 20th century, quite historical pieces, suitable for a history book. The small piece of pottery dates back from the 16th century. It’s something I bought from Jewel Tower in London two years ago, read more about its history on my lifestyle blog.
My rating: 5/5 Stars.
Would I recommend it: Yes
Published by: Pearson Education Limited
Year it was published: 2012
Format: Paperback
Genre(s): Non-Fiction
Pages: 461

About the authors:
Dr Peter Claus is a professor of history at Pembroke College, Oxford University. He studied history as a mature student and has developed teaching strategies aimed for students with non-traditional backgrounds. He is involved in the OxNet project. The OxNet project is designed to attract pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds to universities like Oxford and Cambridge.
John Marriott is a professor of history at Pembroke College, Oxford University. He had done a lot of research on London and Empire, especially about East London and India during the 18th and 19th century. He had published multiple books, including The Culture of Labourism: the East End between the Wars (1991), The Other Empire: Metropolis, India and Progress in the Colonial Imagination (2003). He also edited or co-edited collections of primary materials related to his research, like The Metropolitan Poor: Semi-factual Accounts, 1795-1910 (1999), Unknown London: Early Modernist Visions of the Metropolis, 1815-45 (2000), and Britain in India, 1765-1905 (2006). Other books, including one that I would love to read is Beyond the Tower: a History of East London (2011), and The Ashgate Research Companion to Modern Imperial Histories (2012), co-edited with Professor Philippa Levine.
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