A paper read at the annual meeting of the American Historical Association, December 28, 1987. Published in the American Historical Review 93, no. 1 (Feb., 1988), pp. 1-30.

History’s Two Bodies

Historians will catch in my title a reworking of The King’s Two Bodies, the title given by Ernst Kantorowicz to his great study in medieval and Renaissance political theology. Kantorowicz’s curiosity had been aroused by Frederic Maitland’s essays on the English “corporation sole”: how intriguing it was that sixteenth-century lawyers had invented a corporation with just one person in it and had talked of the king as having “ a body natural and a body politic together . . . in one person,” the one “subject to all Infirmities that come by Nature or Accident,” the other “utterly void of Infancy, and old Age.” Deepened by Kantorowicz’s exploration of the long Christian past behind this “mystic fiction” and by more recent scholarship on royal funerals and other ceremonial, the concept of the king’s two bodies generates questions about power and about succession. How is the tension maintained between the decisions and acts of the ruler’s natural body and his eternal body politic? How does the natural king envisage political continuity after his death, and how is the transition to his successor realized? How are these processes affected not only by changing historical contexts but by the circumstance of the ruler’s person—if, for instance, the ruler is from a new royal house or the ruler is a queen?1

The categories of the king’s two bodies have been so fruitful for analyzing the responsibilities and potentialities of office that historians have gone on to apply them to non-dynastic cases, such as the Catholic papacy and the American presidency.2 I would like to extend them even further to the case of a scholarly field, our field of history, and democratize them beyond the persons of mere officers to ordinary practitioners. Kantorowicz himself prepared the way for such a leap when he talked about Vergil crowning Dante with the eternal dignity of Humanitas;3 if “Man” can have two bodies, at least, in thought, why can’t History? I want to consider how historians have conceptualized the body of historical knowledge and have placed their own life’s work within it. I want to see how they maintained the rightful tension within their bosoms between the field that endures and their own brief embodiment of its claims, a tension usually expressed in relation to other historians, past, present, and future.4 Several issues can be in play here: property, reputation, riches, politics, sometimes prophecy, sometimes reform. When we debate what the subjects and methods of history should be, we are usually debating at the same time what the shape of the historical community should be and where we stand in it. So let us consider how history’s two bodies were mediated by five historians in different settings, one from the sixteenth century, two from the eighteenth century, and two from the twentieth century.

Outside the area of law, of the Corpus juris civilis and the Corpus juriscanonicus sixteenth-century scholars rarely employed the word “body” to refer to all the existing findings and texts in a given field. The French royal historiographer felt somewhat experimental in 1587 when, after talking of the body politic, he said that he was “reducing” many chronicles and annals into a universal history “as in one body or harmony.” The wider usage of the “body of knowledge” would await the republic of letters of the eighteenth century; in the meanwhile, Renaissance historians who wanted to write about the state of their subject entitled their books, as did Jean Bodin, Method for the Easy Comprehension of History or, as did La Popeliniere, L’Histoire des Histoires.5 History was a “discipline” but not one taught as such in the schools. The books in history’s “treasure house” did not have listeners (“discipuli”) in a classroom or become printed university textbooks but had readers in the wider world.6 History was an “art”—not one of the seven arts that made up the Trivium and Quadrivium, but, like poetry, drama, and song, one of the nine arts to which the Greek world had given a Muse.

These goddesses, after a shadowy existence during the medieval period, burst forth with Apollo at Parnassus in Renaissance dictionaries and images to preside over the high disciplines where intelligence, memory, and inspiration were required. The graceful Muse embodied eternally in her female form the arts that men practiced. They could not be the Muse; she favored them from without and represented their activities and the qualities to which they must aspire. Clio, with her trumpet and laurel, sang of glorious deeds and events of the past and promised renown to the historians themselves. She also had her instruments of work: her books, pen, and tablet. In Hendrik Goltzius’engraving of 1592, Clio looks down at what she has written with a faint smile, perhaps ironic, certainly detached. From this picture, it is only a short step to some Renaissance representations of History as a winged woman writing, her white garb signifying that she bears witness to truth as well as to renown.7

Etienne Pasquier did not represent himself with laurel in the portrait of the author that accompanied the edition of his historical studies in 1607, LesRecherches de la France ; the face that peers out at us is capped by his proper lawyer’s bonnet. Even in his poetic works, he distanced himself from the “fury” of a Tasso and told readers he did not much care how his poems fared in the risky course of immortality. So, too, years before in publishing Book I of his Recherches, he said it was most often the “chance of the moment, like a blind person playing cards” that determined the rewards won by a book, not its actual value.8 Nonetheless, credit was important to Pasquier, if not renown, and credit in connection with just those issues raised by the pioneering features of his Recherches.

For Pasquier, history was in no state to be “reduced to one body or harmony” (as in the royal historiographer’s Bibliotheque historiale) or to be organized into a comprehensive philosophy about climate and ethnic character (as in Bodin’s Method ).9 The historical sources themselves were what needed attention, no longer to be accepted at face value but to be judged by internal and external evidence and understood in terms of the period in which they were produced. As legal humanists were taking apart the laws in the Corpus juris civilis to get at their original meaning, so he would sift the claims of past historians and authors, both those that “by the long passage of time have insinuated themselves among us and are reputed to be true” and those that were challenged on every side. What real evidence was there for the Trojan origin of the Franks or, indeed for the ancient beginnings of any nation? How to assess the differing theories about the origins of fiefs: Roman? Gallic? Frankish? an overlay of different institutions?

Pasquier argued that one had to learn to read known texts for their contradictions and silences and to find new texts close to the events “as guarantees.” On gypsies and on tennis games in the fifteenth century, Pasquier could quote from “an old journal, fallen into my hands, written on paper by a Paris Theologian, who was careful to collect all the things he saw”; on Jeanne d’Arc, he could cite not only copies of her trial in two libraries but the original record itself, with all its seals and signatures, in his possession for four whole years.10 The resulting Recherches were not organized in a single chronological narrative but in Books, each held together by a common theme—political, ecclesiastical, literary, or cultural. Like Montaigne with his Essais , Pasquier kept revising and adding to them after his first edition of 1560, a project continuously in motion over the years.11

How strong did Pasquier make his own claims to truth? Was History incarnate in the disjoint Books of the Recherches ? His tone varied from the absolute certitude with which he condemned the Jesuits and their cabals against the Gallican church (“I [write thus] not for hate vowed against them . . . but for the love I bear my country”) to the balanced weighing of the probabilities for competing interpretations with good “guarantees” behind them. At his most vehement, Pasquier could still stand back and reflect upon himself: for instance, he knew he sounded as if he were praising “our old Gauls” too much, but he did not mind so long as everything he said “conformed to the truth” and shook up accepted views.12

But Pasquier had a grievance against certain historians of his day. It stemmed from his efforts to redefine his relations to authors and sources from the past. He cited and quoted them at length in French translation or in Latin and French both—at length, not by our standards but by those of sixteenth-century readers of history books. Some found this practice lacking in grace: “They said that most of those who have taught us to write history simply distilled from antiquity all they wished to communicate to people, without amusing themselves with such confirmation, which was more in keeping with the shadow of the School Room than with the light of History. Time refines works like gold: what today lacks some credence will tomorrow authorize itself, as has happened with the writings of ancient historians.” Others thought it a wise policy to confirm little-known antiquities by quotations, but was not Pasquier carrying it to “superstitious excess”?13

Pasquier was aware of the costs of quotation. For one, it left the writer vulnerable to challenge by readers: letting them know the sources and the basis of your reasoning gave them room to argue another view. This discomfort the author of the Recherches was willing to put up with. What bothered him was that fellow historians were taking the documents he had laboriously discovered and published in the first two Books of the Recherches—about the origins of parlements and of royal offices, for example—and using them as if they were their own finds. When reproached, they replied that “ancient books belonged to them as much as to me, forgetting . . . that, when gold has been purified from a mine, it is much easier to put to use.” He had no ill-will against those who acknowledged his enterprise, so he wrote to his friend Pierre Pithou, but those who were silent about him had committed “true theft” (“un vray larcin”). To prevent further theft, Pasquier withheld the rest of his Recherches from the printers for decades, allowing only trusted friends to see the growing manuscript. Meanwhile, he told the world his complaint by publishing his letter to Pithou, along with another one exposing the antics of self-styled “authors” who use the printing press to copy, abbreviate, or patch together the work of others and put their own names on the cover.14

And then he changed his mind. In 1596, after thirty years and in a time of new hope that followed the end of the Wars of Religion, Pasquier ordered the printing of a fresh edition of the Recherches , many times its former size, to be followed by an even larger one a decade later. He had rethought his sense of property in his historical findings. An old man of seventy-eight, he informed his readers that people had followed in his footsteps and used his material. To those who “had him done the honor to recognize it came from him, he gave it willingly and wanted it to be thought that it belonged to them, as if it were part of their own estate” (“de leur tréfonds”). As for those who, out of “ungrateful ambition, borrowed from him, even transcribing whole phrases word for word without accounting it,” he pardoned them, for, no matter how much they took, he had much left for his private delight. Besides, “I am writing only for my France, not for myself.” May my gift bring France profit and delight.15

In a century when the joys and risks of printing were more and more apparent, Pasquier decided his independent labor had created a text in which he had property rights; he was willing to let others appropriate his work so long as they gave him credit for it but would rather limit its use than let it go to thieves. Once he had redefined his Recherches as a labor of delight, done for the higher cause of “our France,” he could give it away without too many pangs, even to the ungrateful. Some 160 years later, in 1764, two British historians were politely and formally corresponding about their strong differences over the interpretation of events in seventeenth-century England. By now, David Hume had published the final volumes of his History of England from the Invasion of Julius Caesar to the Revolution in 1688, while Catharine Sawbridge Macaulay had just brought out the first volume of her History of England from the Accession of James I to that of the Brunswick Line and had sent a copy to the Scottish philosopher-historian with her compliments.16 He thanked her for “the agreeable present,” noted with some irony how often he seemed to be at issue in her narration, and remarked, “I flatter myself that we differ less in facts, than in our interpretation and construction of them.” They disagreed, he said, “in some original principles,” and went on to state his in a way that could only confirm Macaulay’s belief in his Tory partiality: all forms of government, from monarchy to democracy, were “equally legal if established by custom and authority” and that meant there were “obligations to obedience and allegiance” toward the lawful monarchies of Elizabeth, James I, and Charles I. Macaulay was indeed a noble defender of liberty, but the seventeenth-century “partizans of that cause … disgraced it by their violence, and also by their cant, hypocrisy and bigotry.”17

Macaulay’s answer, while expressing “all imaginable esteem for so great an ornament to the republic of letters,” spelled out their divergence in a way that must have read to Hume like more “senseless clamour” from the Whigs. “Your position that all governments established by custom and authority carry with them obligations to submission and allegiance does, I am afraid, involve all reformers in unavoidable guilt, since opposition to established error must needs be opposition to authority. . . . I think the arbitrary princes of the Stuart line took an effectual way to secure themselves from female opposers, since cropping off ears close to the head, slitting of noses, and branding of foreheads must needs be as formidable to women as Caesar’s attack on the face was to the Roman petit-maîtres.”18

Hume and Macaulay were to differ in their views about the English revolutions and the crown until the end of their lives, but in several ways their careers as historians resemble each other.19 Neither practiced their historian’s art within the university walls: true, the University of Edinburgh had just instituted its first chair in history as Hume began his student years there in 1723, but when he applied for a professorship twenty years later (in philosophy, not history), he was refused for suspicion of “Heresy,” “Skepticism,” and “Atheism.” As for Macaulay, women were excluded from Oxford and Cambridge, which she dismissed in return as mere “seminaries,” where “the study of history is little cultivated.”20

History was still primarily a literary rather than an academic discipline and one which the flourishing business of printing and the expansion of readers’ markets could make into a profitable venture. Hume’s History of England, after poor sales for the first volume, had enormous and enduring success within a decade: as he phrased it, “the copy-money given me by the booksellers much exceeded any thing formerly known in England; I was become not only independent, but opulent.”21 Macaulay’s History of England did very well from the start, accorded a reception, in the words of one review, “not less flattering to the ambition, than satisfactory to the interest of the writer.” Booksellers vied to publish the volumes that she wrote between 1763 and 1771, and, although the response to later volumes was cooler, in the early years of the revolution her History went into French, just as Hume’s had three decades before.22

Both Hume and Macaulay had been touched by the “frenzy of renown” (to use Leo Braudy’s apt phrase) in a century in which market sales and literary criticism were effacing the historic role of the patron.23 The European Magazine said in 1783 that Macaulay had “experienced more of the extremes of adulation and obloquy than any one of her own sex in the literary world.” Hume lived in the same see-saw climate. For Macaulay, the obloquy was associated perhaps with her radical political tracts but certainly with her second marriage in 1778 to a man twenty-seven years her junior: she was greeted with a charivari of pamphlets and remarks.24 For Hume, the wrath was especially directed against the alleged godlessness of his philosophical writings and was spread over decades; at his very end, zealots were claiming he lied when he reported tranquillity in the face of death.25 The question is how, in the theater of history publication, with its own back and forth between fame, obscurity, and abuse, Hume and Macaulay constructed their relation to Clio.

Hume approached history with skepticism: “The study of history confirms the reasoning of true philosophy.”26 Past events, known with at least middle-level certainty, were needed as evidence for political and moral principles. And what an opportunity history offered for developing critical methods! One could take, for example, the opinion of a Mr. Carte that Perkin Warbeck was a true Plantaganet rather than a royal impostor in the late fifteenth century and refute it by rigorously evaluated testimony.27 Of course, Hume ultimately had to admit that his own prior views influenced his interpretation of the evidence, if only as he changed his mind and altered what he had said in early editions. He had initially prided himself on the impartiality of his History, uninfluenced by “present power, interest, authority, and the cry of popular prejudices,” but, rereading his historical authors, he realized that his criticism of James I and Charles I for levying taxes without consent of Parliament smacked of “Whig Rancour.” He went through his text making, so he said, “above a hundred alterations . . . all of them invariably to the Tory side.” At least he did this while the Whigs were in power, so he could not be accused of seeking patronage or place.28

Macaulay approached history with belief, religious and especially political—indeed, Caroline Robbins has shown her to be an important figure in republican circles in the reign of George III.29 A righteous God had planned a world of ultimate human perfectability through the use of reason. Macaulay took up her pen to defend “the cause of liberty” against those who, out of neglect, party prejudice, or selfish ambition, had falsified the past and insulted the memory of the illustrious resisters of Stuart tyranny.30 The historian served liberty by digesting “voluminous collections” and giving the public a “true and accurate report of their sense.” It was in gathering sources, rather than in a critical assessment of authors, that Macaulay saw her rightful labor: she intended to provide a “just information of facts,” “uncontrovertible argument, founded on fact.” Her footnotes contain references to manuscripts and tracts in the British Museum, to which Hume, reading mostly in the Advocates’ Library in Edinburgh, came late, if at all.31

Although Macaulay did not share Hume’s worry about deciding what a fact was, she did care as he did about being “impartial” and “disinterested,” that is, not yielding to party spirit in interpreting events and characters. Her treatment of Charles I was, she thought, a case in point. She had made convincing and justifiable the reasons of those who put him to death yet had tried “to do justice to that part of his conduct which [she] thought truly great.” And then, echoing a phrase of Hume, she wrote, “I shed many tears whilst I was writing his catastrophe.”32

Skeptic and believer—how did Hume and Macaulay respond to other historians, to rivals, or to those with whom they disagreed? Hume’s reactions were a combination of sarcasm, jealousy, and good sportsmanship—ultimately allowing a relatively unimpeded flow of history books as his friend Adam Smith wanted a relatively unimpeded flow of commodities.33 Hume characterized John Dalrymple’s Memoirs of Great Britain in letters to his publisher as “ranting, bouncing,” full of “Antitheses and Rant and Whiggery”; since the publisher had paid Dalrymple so much for the Memoirs, he would have to pay “the equivalent of a parliamentary Subsidy” to get another history volume from him, Hume.34 As for William Robertson’s History of Scotland, Hume found the work of “uncommon Merit” and helped its author demand a high price from the publisher, to whom he also wrote, “it will be an Amusement to the Reader to compare our Method of treating the same Subject.” He praised the book wherever he went, dealing with his envy when Robertson’s History did much better than his own latest volume by defining him as a friend and protégé and by periodic teasing: I saw a pound of raisins wrapped up by a grocer in “a leaf of your History,” he wrote Robertson, or “Here I sit near the historical summit of Parnassus . . . and you have the impudence to squeeze yourself by me.”35

And what of Hume on Macaulay? He was better prepared than most to have a woman for a serious rival. Had he not said in an early essay that “there is nothing which I would recommend more earnestly to my female readers than the study of history”? Had he not already found the bluestocking Elizabeth Montagu “a lady of great distinction”?36 Thus, when Macaulay sent him her first volume, he could close his letter to her in 1764 “expressing my great esteem of your history” and then could find himself troubled by her success. As one observer wrote: “Nothing ever gave Hume more real Vexation than the Strictures made upon his History in the House of Lords by the great Lord Chatham [William Pitt]. They were indeed carried to an extraordinary length when Mrs. McCauly, as an Historian was preferred to him, and her constitutional Writings, were declared to be the only Antidote to his Poison.”37 Hume published no answer to her writings, for he had long before determined never to answer anyone in print. Instead, he wondered to his publisher about the high sales of her History despite its “Whiggery”; he commented with some satisfaction to Robertson that “the Sanhedrim at Mrs. Macaulay’s condemns you as little less a friend to government and monarchy than myself”; he noted, not long before his death in 1776, that “her Muse now seems to be mute.”38

In fact, Macaulay’s Muse was not silenced—she had recently published two political tracts—and before long, new volumes of her History appeared, in which she again played herself off against Hume.39 Macaulay’s public reactions to him and to other historians with whom she disagreed were efforts at transcendence, that is, efforts to stand above private rivalry and speak only of history’s higher goals. (Indeed, the private was a dangerous arena for her: she knew what happened “when personal invective supplies the place of argument, and the reputation of authors are attacked in order to decry their works.”)40 In a preface published in 1781, with Hume in his grave for several years, she gave her assessment. Hume was a man of “genius and profound sagacity,” who could have stood “at the head of all our historians.” But, either because he feared the enemies he would rouse if he wrote an impartial history or because, as she thought more likely, of the “prejudices he had entertained,” his history, “whilst it serves as an elegant pastime for the hours of leisure or idleness, leaves the reader perfectly ignorant as to characters, motives and often facts.” His work was enjoying “an unrivalled popularity,” with dire consequences for the principles of the revolution and the public cause.41 Yet was this really her final image of Hume? How else did the polite exchange of 1764, memorializing a mutual esteem between her and the philosopher-historian, get published in a 1783 journal if not by her hand?

When it came to their own fame and renown, Hume and Macaulay pictured themselves and their presence in their historical writings rather differently. Hume was very frank about his desire for renown, never felt it was compromised by his simultaneous desire for income from his publications, and relativized both appetites by light self-mockery. He could joke with Robertson about being crowded at Parnassus and insist that the fight between their history books would make less brouhaha than a current boxing match. When beseeched by his publisher to do a final volume for his History (“it is the only thing wanting to fill up the Measure of your Glory as the Great Historian and Philosopher of the Eighteenth Century”), he could decline, “I’m too old, too fat, too lazy, and too rich.”42 Similarly, he resisted for some time his publisher’s urging that the History include his portrait: “a superfluous expense,” he thought, the money better spent on print and paper. When the portrait finally appeared in the 1770 edition—eighteen years after the first volume—it had few traditional symbols of renown but just two books, marked History and Philosophy, and two quills.43

Not long before Hume died, he recorded his sentiments about reputation in a brief autobiographical text— My Own Life —which he wanted appended to all future editions of his works.44 A self-portrait worthy of the author of the Treatise of Human Nature, it presents Hume as seized early on “with a passion for literature,” which shifts to “my love of literary fame, my ruling passion.” But the narrative is mostly made up of disappointments and mortifications: books “deadborn from the press,” fallen, ignored. The first volume of the History “sinks into oblivion” after an initial outcry of indignation. The second does better, but the third is greeted with hostile “clamour,” the reign of Elizabeth being found “particularly obnoxious.” Hume refuses to be discouraged and the story moderates into some success, as he finds he is making money from his books. He ends asking the reader to decide if his vanity is misplaced.45 My Own Life is one of Hume’s most characteristic performances: his posthumous reputation is assured each time a reader picks up an edition (and his publisher added laurel to the portrait), but that edition will always carry with it his ironic tale about the love of Fame.

Catharine Macaulay presented her desire for reputation as undiluted by hope for material gain and as wholly given over to the cause of liberty. Her first volume included verses taken from the Scotsman James Thomson, in which the poet says his Muse must serve the Goddess of Liberty. Should she sell her work (Thomson had written “song,” Macaulay changed it to “WORK”) to Liberty’s foes, may it sink into oblivion.46 When Macaulay’s volume is then given “favorable reception,” she tells readers she is grateful on behalf of the “friends of Liberty.” That she drove a hard bargain with her publishers and lived with some extravagance led one of those radical friends—the eminent Thomas Hollis—to comment privately, “It would be a sad case to write of Liberty . . . at a price.” But Hollis respected her enough to help her plan a frontispiece for her third volume in 1767, associating her renown with republicanism. She is depicted in elegant Roman profile as Libertas, a replica of an ancient Roman coin in honor of the revolutionary Lucius Junius Brutus, and framed by a Roman victor’s wreath of oak leaves. Underneath her portrait is the reverse of the coin, showing Brutus’s own sons being led off to execution because they conspired with the deposed king, Tarquin.47

A dozen years later, another portrait of Macaulay appeared, more daring in its representation of her relation to her subject. The frontispiece to her volume about the eighteenth century, The History of England from the Revolution to the Present Time in a Series of Letters to a Friend, it depicts her standing erect against a classical landscape. Next to her, a stone is engraved with worthy sentiments: “Government a power delegated for the happiness of mankind, conducted by wisdom, justice, and mercy.” Her hand holds her quill; her elbow rests on the five existing volumes of her History of England.48 She is Clio, her own muse; she is Liberty; she is Catharine Macaulay. These elisions, which have important precedents in self-representation by artistic and literary women,49 have a double potentiality. On the one hand, they can obscure the tension between the living historian and the eternal body of history, making her prophetic or indignant rather than self-correcting. On the other, they can internalize that tension in a creative way, reminding the historian of a transcendent task and personal responsibility. Catharine Macaulay practiced sometimes one mode, sometimes the other.

On the stage of eighteenth-century historical production, Hume and Macaulay each helped relieve “the frenzy of renown,” Hume by showing its roots in the passions and laughing at its vicissitudes, Macaulay by insisting it be linked to a high goal beyond the self.

Let us move forward once again 160 years. We are in the familiar landscape of history as a university subject, of history as a profession, of history journals, learned societies, and the rest. We are going to pause in the 1930s, when Marc Bloch was publishing reviews of the work of Eileen Power in the journal he edited with Lucien Febvre, the Annales d’histoire économique et sociale . As always with his reviews, Bloch used them to talk about the general shape of historical endeavor and where it might go. In 1933, a new volume of the Cambridge Medieval History was at issue, along with other recent works of a synthetic nature. Bloch remarked that the Annales , with its stress on comparative history, was not going to complain about “a taste for large horizons,” but he hoped that good national histories, which were essential for comparison, would not be lost sight of along the way. Eileen Power’s chapter, “Peasant Life and Rural Conditions (c. 1100 to c. 1500),” he found “solid and elegantly presented,” but, “constructed rather like a great painting, it perhaps does not do sufficient justice either to the great transformations common to all of the West or to regional contrasts.”50

In 1934, it was the turn of Studies in English Trade in the Fifteenth Century, edited by Power and Michael Postan. Here Bloch had no reservations. He liked the fact that the volume emerged from the collective endeavor of a London seminar and wished that the organization of higher education in France allowed scholars to work in similar groupings. He liked the way the customs accounts had been put to use to give a precise and wholly new picture of the character of the exchange economy. He thought Power’s essay on “The Wool Trade” and Sylvia Thrupp’s on “The Grocers of London” provided a remarkable portrait of the local structure of economic life at the end of the Middle Ages.51

From the other side of the Channel came a similar response to Bloch. Power was on the editorial hoard of the Economic History Review, in whose pages R. H. Tawney marveled at Bloch’s new book, Les Caractères originaux de l’histoire rurale française, at its combination of “mastery of specialist research with the ability . . . to elucidate the significant problems of agrarian history.” By 1936, Bloch was collaborating with the Review, sending over bibliographies on the economic history of France, and, not long after that, Power helped arrange his Cambridge lectures on feudalism and won Bloch’s cooperation for the new Cambridge Economic History of Europe. When the first volume appeared in 1941, Eileen Power was dead, snatched away the year before at fifty-one, but, despite the war, Bloch’s chapter titled “The Rise of Dependent Cultivation and Seigniorial Institutions” had reached her hands in time, as had an essay on English villages by American historian Nellie Neilson. When the second volume came out after the war, Bloch, of course, was also gone, but, as Postan said, “His last letter to the editors, sent through clandestine channels a few months before he was shot by the Gestapo, contained enquiries and suggestions about [the project].”52

It is these two figures, Marc Bloch and Eileen Power, who make up my last pair, to be looked at as they moved through their careers and staked their positions within their discipline. Since both were innovators and reformers, the issue of historical succession is a central one: how did they relate to their teachers, against whom they may have rebelled? whom did they define as co-reformers? what kind of heirs did they expect?

Descendant of an old Jewish family from Alsace and Lorraine, son of a professor of Roman history at Lyon and Paris, Marc Bloch was no newcomer to the university world. He studied at the Ecole Normale Supérieure and heard Charles-Victor Langlois and Charles Seignobos, those eminent figures, lecture on history as a science of documentary criticism and classification of social facts; he studied at Leipzig and heard Karl Bücher talk about the distinctive characteristics of primitive economies.53 After this, it was research in Paris for his thesis, lycée teaching, war service, and then Bloch was given a post at the Faculty of Arts at Strasbourg, where he forged the friendship with Lucien Febvre that was given expression in 1929 in their new journal, the Annales d’histoire économique et sociale. Rejected in his candidacy at the Collège de France—due to anti-Semitism, so Bloch always believed—he was in 1936 named professor of economic history at the Sorbonne, the institution from which his father had retired years before.54

Eileen Power was the first in her family to be part of the university world.55 Her mother died when she was young, her father was cut off from the family much of the time, and she was the responsible oldest of three sisters. Educated at Girton College Cambridge during the years when new stress was being placed on advanced research, she received a first class in her historical examinations in 1910 and went off to Paris for a year at the Sorbonne and the Ecole des Chartes, including study with Charles-Victor Langlols. After two years on a research scholarship at the London School of Economics, she was back at Girton as director of historical studies from 1913 to 1920. Her mentor at Cambridge during those years was George Gordon Coulton of St. John’s College, that energetic gatherer of data about medieval life, religion, and customs, who thought “clearer facts” and the denunciation of error the historian’s main charge. It was for his series, the Cambridge Studies in Medieval Life and Thought, that she prepared her great economic and social monograph, Medieval English Nunneries.56

Her manuscript on the nuns finished, she had an adventure that had as much impact on her thought as Bloch’s experience in World War I had on his, and more impact on her career. She spent a year in 1920–1921 on a traveling fellowship in India, Burma, China, and Java. In India, she had a shock of recognition: here was the medieval society in all its complexity that she had been studying for the past twelve years. In Java, she began to see how a dance or puppet show could compress within it a whole cultural style and how old and new historical forms lived in tension. China, to which her heart was “irrevocably given,” was striking for its imperviousness to economic change (although its farmers, she said, were “the most skilled in the world”) and the rationality of its intellectual life.57

She returned with a deepened sense of what civilizations are and how to describe them, and with a commitment to comparison as a historical tool. She resigned her post at the women’s college, accepted a lectureship at the London School of Economics, an institution with both men and women on its staff and as its students since its beginnings, and became a close collaborator of one of the School’s new readers, R. H. Tawney.58 In the next two decades, as lecturer and then professor of history at the School; as leader with Postan of a celebrated economic history seminar at the Institute of Historical Research in London; as secretary of the new Economic History Society; as author, reviewer, and editor; and as Ford’s lecturer in English history at Oxford (“the only woman so far to hold that position,” Tawney reminded people), Eileen Power was one of the creators of a new kind of social and economic history in England.59

The historical practice that Bloch and Power wished to inspire was in many ways alike, in a few ways different.60 To begin with, they had similar targets to attack: both were critical of a rural history that confined itself to establishing authentic charters and grants, describing the legal relations between lord and serf, and adding a bit of local color, rather than moving on to agriculture, estate management, rural trade, social domination, and peasant communities. Both thought history must be comparative if it was to have any hope for establishing causes, repeatable connections, and modifying conditions. For Bloch, comparison undermined our assumptions about what was “natural,” for Power, about what was socially “habitual.” Both thought the past and the present should be in constant exchange, generating questions for historians and perspectives, if not judgments, on the contemporary world. Both thought history needed strong interdisciplinary connections to offer new source material, or relevant factors (like climate and soil), or modes of interpretation with which historians were not familiar. Power’s links were especially with the economists and sociologists at the London School of Economics; she hoped that in return historians could furnish evidence that, combined with theirs, might lead “to the establishment of laws of social behavior.” Bloch’s interdisciplinary links were informal rather than institutional and stretched beyond hers to matters of language and ritual; since history for him was, rather, “a science of change, of differences,” it suggested possibilities, not laws.61

Here we come to a final contrast in their hopes for renewal. If both wanted to tell the history of social groups, Power’s aims extended to the history of one group that Bloch never considered: the women of different social estates, who had interested her since her first research days at the London School of Economics. Moreover, Power was concerned (as Febvre was to be as well) about a social history that seemed too abstract, vague, and general. Her solution was Medieval People— a book in which the richly documented cast of characters, men and women both, mediate between Max Weber’s ideal types and G. G. Coulton’s everyday peasants.62

With these programs for change, how did Bloch and Power deal with their own teachers and with those who would come after them? To one group of forebears Bloch felt easily akin. His thesis, Roiset serfs, he dedicated to his father: “A mon père, son élève.” Old Gustave Bloch, at seventy-two, was then finishing his last book, a study of the Roman empire. But, in the acknowledgments to Roiset serfs, a second name emerges, Christian Pfister, which, Bloch remarked, “would have been inscribed at the opening of these pages if . . . I had not felt I should dedicate my thesis to another of my masters who has been teaching me for an even longer time.” Pfister was his professor at Paris and then his dean at Strasbourg: “How much I owe to his advice, to his inexhaustible goodness, and to his method and precision.” When Pfister died some years later, Bloch once again placed him in the status of a father—Pfister and Gustave Bloch had taught courses in the same ill-lighted Paris classroom—adding that Pfister was one of those who had the right to have inscribed on his tomb “Veritatem dilexi” (“I loved the truth”), the very phrase that Bloch wished in 1941 might be engraved on his own (“Veritatem dilexit,” “He loved the truth”).63

This doubling of historical collaboration and family ties occurs elsewhere. LesRois thaumaturges of 1923 had no dedication—perhaps Bloch thought a book on the royal touch for scrofula would not make a good gift—but his two prefaces acknowledged, first, the contributions of Lucien Febvre and another Strasbourg colleague, “who will find so much of themselves in these pages,” and, next, the aid of his physician brother and of his late father.64 In many ways, the interdisciplinary team of the Annales appears to be a sodality of French brothers. (The main exception for Bloch was his wife, who served as his secretary, assistant, and reader of all his manuscripts. Even though numerous books by French women were reviewed in the pages of the Annales, only one female historian contributed an essay to it in the seventeen years of its existence.)65 They were not always brothers who agreed: Febvre found Bloch’s Feudal Society too sociologically deterministic; Bloch found Febvre’s Rabelais too preoccupied with the scholarly thesis it was trying to refute rather than attending directly to “the historical reality” of the Renaissance writer. Nonetheless, in 1941, Bloch could write to Febvre about his manuscript on The Historian’s Craft in the language that Montaigne had used about his dear friend La Boétie: “W the many ideas [in this book], I wouldn’t know how to decide in all honesty which come from you, which from me, and which from the two of us.”66

Bloch also expressed gratitude toward forebears whose historical practice he did not follow in all regards, as in his dedication of Feudal Society to Ferdinand Lot,67 but the real test for his relation to elders was in what he had to say about Langlois and Seignobos, that is, those whose systems he had been trying to supplant. His appreciation for Langlois had been courteous but restrained in the acknowledgments for his thesis, and in his obituary for his former teacher in 1929 are already the reservations (somewhat unfair ones, we may note) that Bloch later developed in The Historian’s Craft. That enormous erudition, all those useful studies of royal documents and summaries of medieval tales, and yet an ironic detachment from discovering the great and varied “currents of human life” hidden within them. Numerous implications for social structure and economics in his source materials, yet always a political angle, even when he was talking about the origins of the nobility. Outwardly a rigorous judge of fact, Langlois carried a well of skepticism inside, so Bloch thought; history had become for Langlois “an aesthetic game” of sorting documents, and he had renounced the delicate task of interpreting them.68 In a 1942 letter to Febvre, Bloch put the contrast more simply. Certainly, poor Father Seignobos was no imbecile, or Charles V either. “But how far we are from them! If it were only in our solutions or efforts at solutions, that would be nothing. But it’s even in our problems!”69

In The Historian’s Craft, Bloch found a good way to state that difference. The query with which it opens—“Tell me, Daddy, what is the use of history?”—is identified as a question that Seignobos had found “idle”; Seignobos’ view that “it is useful to ask oneself questions, but very dangerous to answer them” is found lacking in courage before the challenge of discovering what kind of a “human science” history might be. Still, he calls Seignobos his “cher maître,” says how much his education owed to the teaching and scholarship of both him and Langlois, and goes on: “But they not only taught us that the historian’s first duty is to be sincere, they also did not conceal the fact that the very progress of our studies is based on the inevitable opposition (‘la contradiction nécessaire’) between generations of workers. Therefore I shall be keeping faith with their teaching in criticizing them most freely wherever I deem it useful, just as I wish that one day my students will criticize me in their turn.”70

This is the stance—asserting the dialectic of change and his own fallibility—that allowed Bloch to maintain the distinction between history’s two bodies. Thus he could demolish 900 pages of pretentious publication on the Abbey of Saint Denis by archivist Germaine Lebel as careless reporting of a small number of note cards—“and this is how one puts books together!”—partly because he felt he had been frank about the limitations of his own work. He told readers of his Rois thaumaturges that he was publishing it with its omissions rather than keeping it forever in folders and would be grateful if they would send him corrections and additions. His Caractères originaux he presented as a set of hypotheses about French rural history, adding that, “when the time comes for my own work to be superseded by studies of deeper penetration, I shall be well rewarded if confrontation with my false conjectures has made history learn the truth about herself.” Feudal Society brought with it a reminder of “the uncertainty of our state of knowledge”; but, since history was “a science in movement,” he hoped he would whet the appetite of some young researchers.71

Bloch’s actual word here was not “researchers” but “workers,” “travailleurs.” It was a word he preferred, a word used by Febvre and Bloch in the first number of the Annales, a word he used against Friedrich Meinecke in his review in 1939 of Die Entstehung des Historismus. “‘Historicism’ or historians’ work?” Bloch asked, and, while admiring some of Meinecke’s characterizations, he expressed astonishment at a view of historical thought that saw it reaching perfection in Ranke’s day with nothing to come after, and at a presentation of the “spirit” of historical science that did not consider the development of its techniques. It was, of course, as an artisan that Bloch was to present himself in The Historian’s Craft, a carpenter’s journeyman, who knew his tools and had thought about his tasks.72

It is harder to uncover Eileen Power’s self-image as historian, for in print she was reserved about herself and her connections. She seems to have saved her own voice for commenting directly on her wool traders, nuns, and peasants, while her discussions of scholarly method were impersonal. Surely, it is significant that from the first she called herself Eileen Power on her title pages, rather than following the contemporary English practice of using only initials; E. E. Power might have led her to be referred to, as was Dr. S. Thrupp in some of her first reviews, as “he.”73

In regard to her two teachers, Coulton and Langlois, she was less directly critical of them than was Bloch and slyer in letting them know that she had struck off on her own path. Coulton, who was thirty-one years her senior, she teased: “I observe,” she wrote to him in 1922, “that The New Statesman in its Autumn Booklist has entered to be what I presume to be my nuns under the title G. G. Coulton, Studies in Medieval Life and Thought: a view of the comparative importance of mother to obstetrician, which looks like ‘another injustice to women!’” Her later reviews of his work were favorable on the whole, spelling out what he did and did not do, and chiding him lightly for “the bee in his bonnet,” that is, the polemical concerns that sometimes got in the way of his honey. In her inaugural address on social and economic history, she praised his “illuminating studies,” noting that they had different goals from those she was advocating, but “social history is a wide subject.”74 As for Langlois, who must have thought her Medieval People departed too far from the intention of its sources and was too much of a popular “history book,” in 1928 Power dedicated to him her English translation and annotation of a fourteenth-century text, saying that she would “always be grateful for having been his pupil.” But what was the text? Le Ménagier de Paris, the domestic instructions of a Parisian householder to his young wife—a far cry from the sober moral treatises that Langlois had summed up in his collections.75

As for her women teachers, Power did not mention them, and one wonders whether she did not feel as motherless in the university world as she had been in her childhood. The forebears that emerge in her writing are distant ones: Madame Eglentyne, Chaucer’s worldly prioress, whose equivalent she kept finding in her sources, and the learned and independent Christine de Pizan, who often serves as her commentator on the situation of medieval women.76 Close at hand, however, she had sisters, not only the biological sister with whom she wrote a book on children but her friends from Girton, whom she thanked in Medieval English Nunneries and in later books for “faithful criticism.” Medieval People was dedicated to “my colleagues and students at Girton College Cambridge, 1913–1920,” followed by a quotation from Piers Plowman, in which William Langland celebrates the cloister and the school as places for ease of soul, books, “buxomnesse,” and love for those who learn.77

In transferring Langland’s male “hevene on this erthe” to Girton, Power carried within her an idealized past that presumably had a role to play in her transformative life in London. A sustaining role, perhaps, as she knit her solidarities with Tawney and then with Michael Postan, ten years her junior, who started as her research assistant, was later her collaborator, and for the last three years of her life her husband.78 But, more important, the idealized Girton past may have had a relativizing role: it may have helped remind her that, although she could rightly condemn, for instance, A. Birnie’s Economic History of the British Isles for being hopelessly out of date, misleading, full of exploded views about “the manor” and medieval loans, nonetheless, she could never speak as History incarnate. As Bloch’s view of history as changing through generational conflict qualified the absoluteness of his own scientific claims, so Power’s loyalty to different settings for producing history added capaciousness to her vision.79 “Social history is a wide subject”; so is history more generally.

Eileen Power died so unexpectedly that she had little occasion to reflect on her succession. Michael Postan carried on the projects they had shared, and many younger historians in England and abroad mourned her. One was Sylvia Thrupp, who dedicated her Merchant Class of Medieval London to her memory. Thrupp recalls an exchange they had in London. Power said, with perhaps some unease, “You want to follow my example.” Thrupp answered, “We’re moving in the same direction.” What better tribute to a historian than that she could elicit such an independent response?80

Marc Bloch wrote in his last years under the shadows of war, occupation, anti-Semitism, and death. He had his moments when he wondered whether his work would have an issue. Then, in late 1942, we hear that core commitment of the historian that goes beyond credit, beyond renown, and beyond succession. Several months before he joined the Resistance, he wrote a letter to his son Etienne, the one who had once asked him what history was for: “Afternoons I’m working especially on my book (Historian’s Craft seems to me a better title than Apology for History. What do you think?).It’s going very slowly, but at least it’s going, and though I have my usual doubts, it doesn’t seem without interest. When will it ever be finished? When will it ever be able to appear? Really, to work now is to work for the Muse.”81

I am sure that fellow historians have recognized here the feelings and struggles of these forebears: the desire for rightful credit and indignation against thieves, the resentment of rivals and the appetite for renown, the anxiety of influence—both the influence of one’s teachers and the influence over one’s students and successors. To practice as historians, in a discipline committed to finding and making truthful sense of the past, they had to moderate these claims or at least put them to work for a higher cause. And so do we as well. Some of their strategies are deeply embedded in their own time: none of us, in our contemporary frenzy for publication, would seek revenge like Pasquier through withholding our works. But it could help to imagine one’s work as a gift, taken from a plentiful storehouse. Macaulay’s oak wreath and Roman poses are out of fashion, as is her ardent belief in perfectibility, and few of us would dare append the passions of Our Own Lives to every posthumous edition of our works the way Hume did. But laughing at ourselves does help to undermine any pretentions to sovereignty, as does recalling the larger concerns of an international historical community. Power and Bloch offer us overlapping models for critical innovation, a generosity of vision, and an admission of fallibility, Bloch reminding us finally of that bedrock of loneliness when we write only for our inner muse.

I have been thinking how I might give an image to History that would suggest the complexity, commitment, and multiple vision that I believe must be at its heart. For a time, I considered adopting the Angelus Novus, the new angel of Paul Klee’s watercolor, which Walter Benjamin acquired in 1921 and kept with him until he fled from Paris in 1940. You will recall that Benjamin, in one of his last aphorisms, made this the angel of history: “His eyes are staring, his mouth is open, his wings are spread. . . . His face is turned toward the past. Where we perceive a chain of events, he sees one single catastrophe which keeps piling wreckage upon wreckage and hurls it in front of his feet. The angel would like to stay, awaken the dead, and make whole what has been smashed. But a storm is blowing from Paradise. . . . [It] irresistibly propels him into the future to which his back is turned, while the pile of debris before him grows skyward. This storm is what we call progress.”82 What I like about the Angel of History is that, unlike the Muse, an angel has no sex in theology, even though the German language gives it a gender; and Benjamin’s aphorism puts at the core of history an eternal tension—between wholeness and fragmentation—and a multiple vision: ours, the Angel’s, and that of the wind from Paradise. But the New Angel is not quite right; it is too unchanging, too sober. My image of History would have at least two bodies in it, at least two persons talking, arguing, always listening to the other as they gestured at their books; and it would be a film, not a still picture, so that you could see that sometimes they wept, sometimes they were astonished, sometimes they were knowing, and sometimes they laughed with delight.

Natalie Zemon Davis is a historian specializing in social and cultural history of France, as well as other parts of Europe, North America, and the Caribbean. She has taught at Brown University, the University of Toronto, the University of California, Berkeley, and at Princeton University, where she was Henry Charles Lea Professor of History and director of the Shelby Cullom Davis Center for Historical Studies. She has been awarded the Holberg International Memorial Prize and National Humanities Medal, and been named Companion of the Order of Canada.



  1. Frederic William Maitland, Selected Essays, H. D. Hazeltine, G. Lapsley, P. H. Winfield, eds. (Cambridge, 1936), chaps. 1–2. Ernst H. Kantorowicz, The King’s Two Bodies: A Study in Mediaeval Political Theology (Princeton, N.J., 1957); Ralph Giesey, The Royal Funeral Ceremony in Renaissance France (Geneva, 1960); Sarah I Hanley, The Lit de Justice of the Kings of France: Constitutional Ideology in Legend, Ritual, and Discourse (Princeton, N.J., 1983); Richard Jackson, Vive le Roi! A History of the French Coronation from Charles V to Charles X (Chapel Hill, N.C., 1984); Lawrence Bryant, The King and the City in the Parisian Royal Entry Ceremony: Politics, Ritual, and Art in the Renaissance (Geneva, 1986); Marie Axton, The Queen’s Two Bodies: Drama and the Elizabethan Succession (London, 1977); Claire R. Sherman, “The Queen in Charles V’s ‘Coronation Book’: Jeanne de Bourbon and the ‘Ordo ad Reginam Benedicendam,’” Viator , 8 (1977): 255–97. For new bibliography on this topic, see the recently established newsletter, Majestas: Rulership/Souveraineté/Herrschertum. []
  2. Peter Burke, “Sacred Rulers, Royal Priests: Rituals of the Early Modern Popes,” in The Historical Anthropology of Early Modern Italy: Essays on Perception and Communication (Cambridge, 1987), 168–82; Laurie Nussdorfer, “The Vacant See: Ritual and Protest in Early Modern Rome,” Sixteenth Century Journal, 18 (Summer 1987): 173–89. Michael Rogin, “The King’s Two Bodies: Lincoln, Wilson, Nixon, and Presidential Self-Sacrifice,’’ in “Ronald Reagan,” The Movie and Other Episodes in Political Demonology (Berkeley, Calif., 1987), 1–43. []
  3. Kantorowicz, King’s Two Bodies, 491–95. []
  4. Some of these questions have been broached in a splendid essay by Michael Kammen, “Vanitas and the Historian’s Vocation,” Reviews in American History , 10 (1982): 1–27. []
  5. Nicolas Vignier, La Bibliotheque Historiale . . . Contenant la disposition et concordance des temps, des histoires, et des historiographes (Paris, 1587), f. a iii r. Jean Bodin, Methodus ad facilem historiarum cognitionem (Paris, 1566); Lancelot Voisin, sieur de La Popelinière, LHistoire des histoires, avec l’Idée de l’Histoire accomplie (Paris, 1599). On sixteenth-century French historiography, see Julian Franklin, Jean Bodin and the Sixteenth-Century Revolution in the Methodology of Law and History (New York, 1963);George Huppert, The Idea of Perfect History: Historical Erudition and Historical Philosophy in Renaissance France (Urbana, Ill., 1970); Donald R. Kelley, Foundations of Modern Historical Scholarship: Language, Law, and History in the French Renaissance (New York, 1970); and Anthony Grafton, “From De Die Natali to De Emendatione Temporum: The Origins and Setting of Scaliger’s Chronology,” Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes , 48 (1985): 100–43. []
  6. Bodin, Methodus , 4: “historiae thesaurus.” On what was going on in the Renaissance classroom, see Anthony Grafton and Lisa Jardine, From Humanism to the Humanities (London, 1986). []
  7. De Witt T. Starnes and Ernest W. Talbert, Classical Myth and Legend in Renaissance Dictionaries (Chapel Hill, N.C., 1955), 90–99; Elisabeth Schröter, Die Ikonographie des Themas Parnass vor Raffael (Hildesheim, 1977), includes full pictorial evidence and bibliography. On the gender issue in representation of the Muses, see Marina Warner, Monuments and Maidens: The Allegory of the Female Form (London, 1985), chaps. 4, 9 and 233–36. Descriptions of Clio in Ambrosius Calepinus, Lexicon (Lyon, 1538), 368, 1274–75; Robert Estienne, Thesaurus Linguae Latinae Editio Nova, 2 vols. (London, 1734–35), 1: “Clio”; Charles Estienne, Dictionarium Historicum, Geographicum, Poeticum (Geneva, 1660), 712; Vincenzo Cartari, Les Images des Dieux, Antoine du Verdier, trans. (Lyon, 1624), 65–66; Cesare Ripa, Iconologia (Padua, 1611), 368. Hendrik Goltzius, The Complete Engravings and Woodcuts, Walter L. Strauss, ed., 2 vols. (New York, 1977), 2: 542–43. On Clio’s attributes and on History as a woman writing, see Guy de Tervarent, Attributs et symboles dans l’art profane, 1450–1600 (Geneva, 1958–59), 139, 168, 281,387. []
  8. Les Recherches de la France d’Estienne Pasquier, Reveuës et augmentees d’un Livre, et de plusieurs Chapitres par le mesme Autheur(Paris, 1607). The picture had first appeared in the 1586 edition of his Lettres. The posthumous 1621 edition of Les Recherches, published in Paris by Jean Petit-Pas, has a sober portrait of Pasquier, remembered as he looked not long before his death at age eighty-seven. Les Ieus poetiques d’Estienne Pasquier (Paris, 1610), Au lecteur, Tours, 19 January 1592. The quotation is from the 1560 edition of the Recherches, which included Book I only: “estant le hazard du temps, comme l’aveugle és blanques, distributeur des benefices que reçoivent les Livres, et non le plus souvent leur valeur” ( Les Recherches, Book 1, chap. 1). For a similar image of Fame distributing her rewards at random, see the discussion of Chaucer’s House of Fame in Leo Braudy’s excellent book, The Frenzy of Renown: Fame and Its History (New York and Oxford, 1986), 241. []
  9. On Pasquier’s historical methods and contribution, see George Huppert, “Naissance de l’histoire en France: Les Recherches d’Estienne Pasquier,” Annales: Economies, sociétés, civilisations, 23 (1968): 69–105; Kelley, Foundations, chap. 10; and Orest Ranum, Artisans of Glory: Writers and Historical Thought in Seventeenth-Century France (Chapel Hill, N.C., 1980), 75–82. On Pasquier’s life and works, see D. Thickett, Estienne Pasentier (1529–1615): The Versatile Barrister Of Sixteenth-Century France (London and New York, 1979). []
  10. Pasquier, Les Recherches (1607), Book I, chap. 3: 23, chap. 14: 64–66; Book II, chap. 13: 196–204; Book IV, chap. 13: 588–89, chap. 17: 606–08; Book V, chap. 8: 709. []
  11. Pasquier, Les Recherches (1607), Book I, introduction: 3–4. On the different editions of Les Recherches, see D. Thickett, Bibliographie des oeuvres d’Estienne Pasquier (Geneva, 1956), 32–44. []
  12. Pasquier, Les Recherches (1607). Book III, chap. 38: 530; Book II, chap. 13: 198; Book I, chap. 3: 22–23. []
  13. Pasquier, Les Recherches (1607), Book I, introduction: 1. []
  14. Pasquier, Les Recherches (1607), Book I, introduction: 2; Les Lettres d’Estienne Pasquier conseiller et advocat general du Roy en la Chambre des Comptes de Paris (Paris, 1586), Book VIII, letter 1, 226 r –230 v ; Book X, letter 7, 316 r –418 v . There were six re-editions of Books I and II of the Recherches from 1567 to 1594, the years when Pasquier was circulating the additional books only in manuscript (Thickett, Bibliographie , 32, 41). []
  15. Les Recherches de la France, Reveuës et augmentées de quatre Livres (Paris, 1596); Recherches (1607), 2–3. The posthumous edition of 1621, assembled from Pasquier’s library by his sons, included three further Books as well as additions to the early ones. []
  16. David Hume, The History of England, from the Invasion of Julius Caesar to the Revolution in 1688 , 8 vols. (London: Thornas Cadell, 1770); the first complete edition had appeared in 1762 in six volumes, published by Andrew Millar, Cadell’s partner and predecessor. Catharine Macaulay, The History of England from the Accession of James I to that of the Brunswick Line, 8 vols. (London: J. Nourse, et al., 1763–83). George Macaulay, husband of Catharine Sawbridge Macaulay, to David Hume, 22 March 1764, asking if he had received his wife’s book, in John Hill Burton, ed., Letters of Eminent Persons addressed to David Hume (Edinburgh and London, 1849), letter 20, 111–12. []
  17. David Hume to Catharine Macaulay, 29 March 1764, in The European Magazine and London Review, 4 (November 1783): 331, reprinted in Raymond Klibansky and Ernest C. Mossner, eds., New Letters of David Hume (Oxford, 1954), letter 40, 80–82. []
  18. Catharine Macaulay to David Hume, undated [April? 1764], in The European Magazine and London Review , 4 (November 11783): 331–32. []
  19. For the life of David Hume, there is the major biography of Ernest Campbell Mossner, The Life of David Hume, 2d edn. (Oxford, 1980). For the life of Catharine Macaulay, there is Lucy Martin Donnelly, “The Celebrated Mrs. Macaulay,” William and Mary Quarterly, 3d ser., 6 (1949): 173–207. Carla Hay, Bridget Hill, and Barbara Schnorrenberg have research on her underway and publications planned. []
  20. Mossner, Hume, 39, 44–46, 153–62. Macaulay, History of England from the Accession , 1: xiv. []
  21. Mossner, Hume, 311–16. David Hume, The Life of David Hume, Esq. Written by Himself (London: W. Strahan and T. Cadell, 1777), 24–25. []
  22. European Magazine,4 (1783): 332–33; Donnelly, “Celebrated Mrs. Macaulay,” 182. There are both quarto and octavo editions of Macaulay’s History, and she had publishers in Dublin as well as London. Cadell, one of Macaulay’s publishers, also had investment in Hume’s History. Histoire d’Angleterre, depuis l’avènement de Jacques I jusqu’à la révolution, par Catherine [sic] Macaulay Graham, traduite en français et . . . enrichie de notes par Mirabeau, 5 vols. (Paris, 1791–92). []
  23. On this whole process, see Braudy’s important work, The Frenzy of Renown, especially 361–80. []
  24. European Magazine,4 (1783): 334; Donnelly, “Celebrated Mrs. Macaulay,” 187–88. Among her tracts are those mentioned in n. 39 below and Loose Remarks on Certain Positions to be found in Mr. Hobbes’s Philosophical Rudiments of Government and Society, With a Short Sketch of a Democratical Form of Government, in a Letter to Signior Paoli (London, 1767); and Observations on a Pamphlet entitled, Thoughts on the Cause of the Present Discontents (London, 1770). On these pamphlets, see Barbara B. Schnorrenberg, “The Brood Hen of Faction: Mrs. Macaulay and Radical Politics, 1765–1775,” Albion, 11 (1979): 33–45. Pamphlets mocking her were A Bridal Ode on the Marriage of Catherine and Petruchio (London, 1779) and A Remarkable Moving Letter (London, 1779). []
  25. Mossner, Hume , 597–99, 621–22. An example of the attack is [George Horne], A Letter to Adam Smith, LL.D. on the Life, Death, and Philosophy of his Friend David Hume, Esq. By one of the People Called Christians (Oxford, 1777), with further editions published by the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge as late as 1799. []
  26. On Hume as a historian, see Mossner, Hume, 301–11; David Fate Norton, “History and Philosophy in Hume’s Thought,” in David Fate Norton and Richard H. Popkin, eds., David Hume: Philosophical Historian (Indianapolis, 1965), xxxii–1. The latter work includes a bibliography of works on Hume as historian, liii–lv, to which can be added Leo Brandy, Narrative Form in History and Fiction: Hume, Fielding, and Gibbon (Princeton, N.J., 1970); and Richard H. Popkin, “Hume: Philosophical versus Prophetic Historian,” in Kenneth R. Merrill and Robert W. Shahan, eds., David Hume, Many-sided Genius (Norman, Okla., 1976), 83–96. []
  27. Hume, History of England (1770), 3: 479–83. See also Hume’s letter to the Reverend John Douglas, in which he assesses the likelihood that a French subsidv to Charles II could have occurred in 1661–62 (David Hume, The Letters of David Hume, ed. J. Y. T. Grieg, 2 vols. [Oxford, 1932], 2: 226–27). []
  28. Hume to Gilbert Elliot, 12 March 1763, in Klibansky and Mossner, New Letters , 69–71, reprinted in Norton and Popkin, Hume , 406–07. Hume, Life, 18–19, 22–23. For modern assessment of Hume’s History as more impartial than this Tory outburst would imply, see Mossner, Hume , 310–11; and Braudy, Narrative Form , 36–37. []
  29. On Macaulay’s historical work, see Bridget Hill and Christopher Hill, “Catharine Macaulay and the Seventeenth Century,” Welsh History Review , 3 (1967): 173–207; Lynne E. Withey, “Catharine Macaulay and the Uses of History: Ancient Rights, Perfectionism, and Propaganda,” Journal of British Studies (Fall 1976): 59–83; and N. Z. Davis, “Gender and Genre: Women as Historical Writers, 1400–1820,” in Patricia Labalme, ed., Beyond Their Sex: Learned Women of the European Past (New York, 1980), especially 167–72. Further material on her political circle of radical Whigs and her role as pamphleteer can be found in Caroline Robbins, The Eighteenth-Century Commonwealthman (Cambridge, Mass., 1959), 356–77; and Schnorrenberg, “The Brood Hen of Faction.” On the politics of the 1760s, see the important study of John Brewer, Party Ideology and Popular Politics at the Accession of George III (Cambridge, 1976). []
  30. Review of Macaulay’s A Treatise on the Immutability of Moral Truth in The European Magazine and London Review, 4 (July 1783): 37–39; Hume’s skepticism is one of Macaulay’s targets; Macaulay, History of England , 1: vii–xviii, introduction; 6: v–xiv, preface dated January 1781. []
  31. Macaulay, History of England , 1: x, 2; 6: vii. Robbins, Commonwealthman, 15, 267. Macaulay was less sanguine about the public judging “facts” aright when she published her sixth volume than when she published her first: in 1763, she thought that individuals might err in assessing facts but “the public judgment is infallible” (1: x); in 1781, she realized how hard it was for “uncontrovertible argument founded on fact . . . to influence the minds of a nation in favour of a democratic form of government, who from the beginning of time have been under the rule of regal sway” (6: vii). On Hume’s connection with the Advocates’ Library and his consultation of manuscripts in the British Museum, see Mossner, Hume, 249–55, 316, 395, 401. On Hume’s attitude toward “‘research’ scholarship” (“I have inserted no original Papers, and enter’d into no Detail of minute, uninteresting Facts”) and his justification for “rewriting” English history when so many historical “monuments” already existed, see ibid., 316 and Hume’s letter to Horace Walpole in Grieg, Letters , 1: 284–85, letter 152. []
  32. Macaulay, History of England, 6: i, xii–xiii. Hume, Life, 17–19, on the reaction to the first volume of his History : “I was assailed by one cry of reproach . . . Whig and Tory . . . patriot and courtier, united against the man who had presumed to shed a generous tear for the fate of Charles I and the earl of Strafford.” []
  33. Hume’s ideas on free commercial exchange are found in his Political Discourses of 1752 (“Of Commerce”). For his reaction to the publication of The Wealth of Nations, see his letter in 1776 to Adam Smith in Letters, 2: 311, letter 517; and Mossner, Hume, 270–71. []
  34. Hume, History, 2: 529–31. Hume to William Strahan, 11 March and 25 March 1771, in Letters, 2: 238, 242, letters 454–55. When the second volume of Dalrymple’s Memoirs of Great Britain was published in 1773, Hume wrote the publisher “that it gives me great Satisfaction to find that there is not one single Mistake in my History, either great or small, which it gives me occasion to correct.” He has, however, something to correct in Dalrymple’s work (Hume to Strahan, 20 March 1773, in Letters, 2: 278, letter 489). []
  35. Mossner, Hume, 396–98. Hume to Andrew Millar, 6 April 1758 in Letters , 1: 273, letter 145; Hume to William Robertson, March? 1759 and 12 March 1759, in Letters, 1: 300–02, letters 163–64. []
  36. Hume, “Of the Study of History,” published in 1741 in Essays Moral and Political and withdrawn by Hume from editions of the Essays after 1760 as “frivolous”; reprinted in Norton and Popkin, Hume, 35–39. Hume to Rev. Hugh Blair, 6 October 1763, in Letters , 1: 404, letter 217; Mossner, Hume, 395. Hume’s attitude toward Macaulay was surely more respectful of her qualities than that of his friend, the painter Alan Ramsay, who sent Hume early news of Macaulay’s first volume: “Somebody under the name of Mrs. Catharine Maccauley has written a romance, called ‘James the First,’ the secret design of which is to abuse you and me, and all the other people of consequence, whom she calls the creatures of a court, and the tools of tyranny. I am meditating revenge. . . . What if we should bring about a match betwixt this woman (if there be such a woman) and Patriot Wilkes? Were it not a consummation devoutly to be wished ? I think the patriotic invectives, the kicks and the cuffs, that the spirit of liberty would produce de part et d’autre, would not only revenge us, but would give the whole parish more true insight into politics than all your essays put together” (Alan Ramsay to David Hume, 8 November 1763, in Burton, Letters of Eminent Persons, 29–30). []
  37. European Magazine,4 (November 1783): 331, reprinted in New Letters, 82, letter 40. Lord Charlemont’s “Anecdotes of Hume,” reprinted in Mossner, Hume, 310. []
  38. Hume, Life, 15. Hume to Strahan, 25 March 1771; Hume to Robertson, 28 March 1769; Hume to Blair, 13 May 1776, in Letters, 2: 242, letter 455; 199, letter 428; 321, letter 524. In the letter to Blair, Hume went on to report with light sarcasm, the gifts and fortune bestowed on Macaulay by the Reverend Thomas Wilson, “a man zealous for Liberty.” []
  39. Catharine Macaulay, A Modest Plea for the Property of Copyright (London, 1774); An Address to the People of England, Scotland and Ireland, on the Present Important Crisis of Affairs (London, 1775); History of England from the Revolution to the Present Time in a Series of Letters to a Friend (London: E. and C. Dilly, T. Cadell, J. Walter, 1778). Vols. 6 and 7 of The History of England from the Accession of James I appeared in 1781, vol. 8 in 1783. []
  40. Macaulay, History of England from the Accession, 6: xiv. She goes on, in what is surely a reference to the anonymous pamphlets in 1779 ridiculing her for her second marriage, to talk of rising above difficult situations: “In this case, an individual . . . must look down with contempt on the angry crowd, nor suffer their fierce and loud clamours, in any respect, to divert him from pursuing the grand object of his honest ambition.” []
  41. Macaulay, History of England from the Accession, 6: vi. In her next volume, she attacked Hume strongly for his “ridiculous charge of corruption” against Algernon Sidney: Hume’s “partiality on the side of the court in this part of his history is a greater disgrace to his admirable genius and profound sagacity than any other page of his historical writings”; History of England from the Accession, 7: 494. []
  42. Hume to Robertson, March? 1759, in Letters , 1: 300–01, letter 163; Mossner, Hume, 555–56. []
  43. Hume to Millar, 17 May 1762 and 19 October 1767, in Letters , 2: 359, letter 193; 2: 169–70, letter 411. []
  44. Hume to Adam Smith, 3 May 1776, and Hume to Strahan, 8 June 1776, in Letters, 2: 318, letter 522; 2: 323, letter 525. []
  45. My Own Life in The History of England, from the Invasion of Julius Caesar to the Revolution of 1688 (London: T. Cadell, 1792), v–xv. Also reprinted in Mossner, Hume, Appendix A. []
  46. Macaulay, History of England from the Accession, 1: xix. The Works of James Thomson With his Last Corrections and Improvements (London, 1762), 249–50. Macaulay’s Modest Plea for the Property of Copyright (Bath and London, 1774) argues for a decent reward for “literary labours” and the possibility of providing for one’s posterity, but she also defends copyright because it allows writers to be free of dependence and a venal pen. []
  47. Macaulay, History of England from the Accession, 2: Advertissement, 10 Jan 1765. On Thomas Hollis’s comments about and aid to Macaulay, see Donnelly, “Celebrated Mrs. Macaulay,” 182; he was an important republican and defender of liberty in the American colonies (Robbins, Commonwealthman, chaps. 7–8). The portrait, dated 1767, was designed by I. B. Cipriani and engraved by I. Basire for the printing in London, 1767, of the third volume of the History. For the original Roman coin on which the picture of Macaulay is based, see Harry Thurston Peck, ed., Harper’s Dictionary of Classical Literature and Antiquities (New York, 1965), 225. By royalist custom, oak wreaths were worn on 29 May which was the birthday of Charles II; Macaulay in contrast was giving the wreath its Roman meaning (Shakespeare, Coriolanus , 1, iii, 12) and also associating it with the patriotism of the British oak. Her youthful reading had been in the annals of the Greek and Roman republics “that exhibit Liberty in its most exalted state” (History , 1: vii). Since she believed that it was “contrary to the duty of an historian to spare even the memory of a parent, if he was found defective in those patriotic virtues which eminently affect the welfare of society” (6: xiii), she may have found Brutus’s refusal to spare his children understandable. []
  48. Macaulay holds in her hand a paper on which is the name Dr. Wilson of Walbrook, that is, the Reverend Thomas Wilson, absentee rector of St. Stephen’s Church in Walbrook. Patriot and enthusiast for liberty, the elderly Wilson lived in Bath, where he bestowed house and moneys on the widowed Macaulay and her daughter and commissioned a statue of Macaulay with a history book. She defined him as a “friend” rather than as a patron, and it is to him that the historical letters of the 1778 History are addressed. On the literary inventiveness of this epistolary history, see Davis, “Gender and Genre,” 169. On the character of her relationship with Wilson and its termination when Macaulay married her young second husband, see European Magazine, 4 (November 1783): 329–30; and Donnelly, “Celebrated Mrs. Macaulay,” 184–87. []
  49. On this topic, see the article by Mary D. Garrard, “Artemisia Gentileschi’s Self-Portrait as the Allegory of Painting,” Art Bulletin , 62 (March 1980):97–112; and Judith E. Stein, “The Iconography of Sappho, 1775–1875” (Ph.D. dissertation, University of Pennsylvania, 1981), chap. 4. The portrait of Macaulay as Clio and Liberty has a significant place in this tradition. It was followed the next year by Richard Samuel’s painting of The Nine Living Muses of Great Britain , nine artists and literary women in the temple of Apollo; Catharine Macaulay is there as Clio (National Portrait Gallery, Complete Illustrated Catalogue , comp. K. K. Yung [New York, 1980], 668, no. 4905). []
  50. Marc Bloch, “Manuels ou syntheses?” Annales d’histoire économique et sociale , 5 (1933): 67–71. Eileen Power, “Peasant Life and Rural Conditions (c. 1100–c. 1500),” in J. R. Tanner, et al. , eds., The Cambridge Medieval History , 8 vols. (New York and Cambridge, 1924–36), 7: 716–50. []
  51. Marc Bloch, “Etudes sur le commerce anglais au XV e siècle,” Annales d’histoire économique et sociale, 6 (1934): 316–18. Eileen Power and M. M. Postan, eds., Studies in English Trade in the Fifteenth Century (London, 1933). []
  52. R. H. Tawney, review of Marc Bloch, Les Caractères originaux de l’histoire rurale française in Economic History Review, 4 (1932–34): 230–33. Bloch has a bibliography, drawn up with Paul Leuilliot, in Economic History Review, 7 (1936–37). The Cambridge Economic History of Europe, 7 vols. (Cambridge, 1941–78), 1: The Agrarian Life of the Middle Ages, eds. J. H. Clapham and Eileen Power, preface, chaps. 6–7; 2: Trade and Industry in the Middle Ages, eds. M. M. Postan and E. E. Rich, preface. []
  53. It is worth looking at the manuals of Langlois and Seignobos to see what their teaching actually was: Charles-V. Langlois and Charles Seignobos, Introduction aux études historiques (Paris, 1898); and Charles Seignobos, La Méthode historique appliquée aux sciences sociales (Paris, 1901). See also the fine pages of William R. Keylor, Academy and Community: The Foundation of the French Historical Profession (Cambridge, Mass., 1975), chap. 4. Bloch on Karl Bücher in Annales d’histoire éonomique et sociale, 4 (1932): 65–66. []
  54. Biographical material on Marc Bloch can be found in Charles-Edmond Perrin, “L’Oeuvre historique de Marc Bloch,” Revue historique , 199 (1948): 161–88; Carole Fink, “Introduction” in Marc Bloch, Memoirs of War, 1914–15 , Carole Fink, trans. (Ithaca, N.Y., 1980), 15–73; Eugen Weber, “About Marc Bloch,” American Scholar , 51 (Winter 1981–82): 73–82; André Burguière, “Marc Bloch, 1886–1944,” in his edn. of Dictionnaire des sciences historiques (Paris, 1986), 88–91; Etienne Bloch, Marc Bloch: Father, Patriot, and Teacher (Poughkeepsie, N.Y., 1987). Carole Fink has a full-scale biography forthcoming entitled Marc Bloch: Historian, Soldier, Patriot . I am grateful to her for clarifying for me several points about Bloch’s life and attitudes. Bloch’s suspicions that anti-Semitism and Jewish quotas were behind his rejection at the Collège de France are given in 1936 letters to Febvre, excerpted in Annales d’histoire sociale , 7, 1 (1945): 29–30. Weber gives interesting detail on the several factors that played into Bloch’s rejection by the Collège. []
  55. On Eileen Power’s life, one can find information in the obituary by R. H. Tawney in Economic History Review , 10 (1940): 92–94 and in Tawney’s article on her in L. G. Wickham Legg, ed., The Dictionary of National Biography, 1931–1940 (hereafter, DNB, 1931–40 ) (London, 1949), 718–19. I have also learned much from discussions with Dr. Sylvia Thrupp, who knew her from the end of the 1920s until her death. []
  56. On Girton during Power’s day, see Barbara Stephen, Girton College, 1869–1932 (Cambridge, 1933); B. Megson and J. Lindsay, Girton College, 1869–1959: An Informal History (Cambridge, 1961):and M. C. Bradbrook, “That Infidel Place”: A Short History of Girton College, 1869–1969 (London, 1969). 66–67. On George Gordon Coulton, see his Four Score Years: An Autobiography (Cambridge, 1943), especially chaps. 32–34; and Gerald Christianson, “G. G. Coulton: The Medieval Historian as Controversialist,” Catholic Historical Review , 57 (1971): 421–41. His general preface to his series promised yearly errata sheets responding to all queries about “errors of fact” sent in by readers or reviewers; Eileen Power, Medieval English Nunneries, c. 1275–1535 (Cambridge, 1922), v–vi. []
  57. Eileen Power, Report to the Trustees of the Albert Kahn Travelling Fellowships (September 1920 to September 1921). The microfilm of this printed report in the University of Toronto Library (Microfilm no. 426) includes two letters from Power to Coulton: the first, written front Girton College, tells him she has been awarded a Kahn fellowship, thanks him for his “testimonial,” and says she is going “to slave at the nuns” to get them to press before she leaves. []
  58. Lord Beveridge has written a somewhat chatty history of the School during Power’s years there, The London School of Economics and Its Problems, 1919–1937 (London, 1960). Power was not the first Girton graduate to join its faculty: Lilian Tomm Knowles had had a post since 1904. A major collaborative project of Tawney and Power was Tudor Economic Documents , 3 vols. (London, 1924); Power is thanked in the introduction to the first edition (1926) of Tawney’s Religion and the Rise of Capitalism for having read the manuscript. On the importance of their relationship to Tawney, see Ross Terrill, R. H. Tawney and His Times: Socialism as Fellowship (Cambridge, Mass., 1973), 66–67, 69, 82, 107. []
  59. Tawney in the DNB, 1931–40, 718. On the varieties of historical work being done by women in Power’s day, see the excellent article by Bonnie G. Smith, “The Contribution of Women to Modern Historiography in Great Britain, France, and the United States, 1750–1940,” AHR, 89 (1984): 709–32. []
  60. On Bloch’s views on history, see the studies mentioned in note 54 above and also Bryce Lyon, foreward to Marc Bloch, French Rural History: An Essay on Its Basic Characteristics , Janet Sondheimer, trans. (Berkeley, Calif., 1966), ix–xv; Carlo Ginzburg, preface to Marc Bloch, I re taumaturghi (Turin, 1973), xi–xix; and André Burguière, “La Notion de ‘mentalités’chez Marc Bloch et Lucien Febvre: Deux conceptions, deux filiations,” Revue de synthèse , 111–12 (1983): 333–48. Further, on Bloch’s and Febvre’s program for reform, see H. Stuart Hughes, The Obstructed Past: French Social Thought in the Years of Desperation, 1930–1960 (New York, 1966), 21–48. []
  61. Among many places where Bloch and Power talk about the new directions rural history should take, see Marc Bloch, “La Vie rurale: problèmes de jadis et de naguère,” Annales d’histoire économique et sociale, 2 (1930): 96–120; and Eileen Power, “On the Need for a New Edition of Walter of Henley,” Transactions of the Royal Historical Society, 4th ser., 17 (1934): 101–16. Marc Bloch, “Pour une histoire comparée des sociétés européennes,” initially published in the Revue de synthèse historique in 1928 and reprinted in Marc Bloch, Mélanges historiques, 2 vols. (Paris, 1963), 1: 16–40, especially 34; “Pour mieux comprendre l’Europe d’aujourd’hui,” Annales d’histoire économique et sociale, 10 (1938): 62; “Que demander à l’histoire?,” initially published in 1937 and reprinted in Mélanges historiques, 1: 6–8. Eileen Power, “On Medieval History as a Social Study” (Inaugural lecture delivered at the London School of Economics in 1933), Economica, n.s., 1 (1934): 13–29, especially 21. []
  62. Tawney in DNB, 1931–40 , 718; already in 1919, Alice Clark thanked Power for supplying her unpublished information about medieval working women for background to Clark’s Working Life of Women in the Seventeenth Century (London, 1919), preface. Eileen Power, “The Position of Women,” The Legacy of the Middle Ages , C. J. Crump and E. F. Jacob, eds. (Oxford, 1926), 401–33. M. M. Postan has added unpublished lecture material to this last essay for a posthumous book by Power, Medieval Women (Cambridge, 1975). Power’s assessment of the limitations of Weber’s ideal types is in “Medieval History as a Social Study,” 19–20. Eileen Power, Medieval People (Boston and New York, 1924), preface. Interestingly enough, Bloch’s much-appreciated teacher at Leipzig, Karl Bücher, was the author of a short study on medieval women, which Power used: Die Frauenfrage im Mittelalter (Tübingen, 1910). []
  63. Marc Bloch, Rois et serfs: Un Chapitre d’histoire Capétienne (Paris, 1920), dedication and 14. Gustave Bloch, L’Empire romain: Evolution et decadence (Paris, 1922). Marc Bloch, “Christian Pfister: Les Oeuvres,” Revue historique, 172 (1933): 567. “Testament spirituel de Marc Bloch, le 18 mars 1941,” Annales d’histoire sociale, 7, 1 (1945): iv. []
  64. Marc Bloch, Les Rois thaumaturges: Etude sur le caractère surnaturel attribué à la puissance royale particulièrement en France et en Angleterre (Strasbourg and Paris, 1924), v–vii. []
  65. Febvre on the role of “Madame Marc Bloch” (Simone Vidal Bloch) in Marc Bloch, Apologie pour l’histoire ou métier d’historien (hereafter, Métier d’historien) (Paris, 1949), 107; and see also further information in Weber, “Bloch,” 75. Bloch did not acknowledge his wife’s role in his existing publications, but Febvre said that, if he had lived, he would surely have dedicated a future work to her. Thérèse Sclafert, a professor of history at the Ecole des Jeunes Filles at Fontenay-aux-Roses, has an article in the first volume (1929) of the Annales. Bloch speaks with some approval of her thèse d’état, a geographical and economic study of Le Haut-Dauphiné au moyen âge, and other works by her in a review article in Annales d’histoire économique et sociale, 2 (1930): 98–99. Sclafert was still part of the Annales school in 1959, when her Cultures en Haute-Provence: Déboisements et pâturages au moyen âge was published in the SEVPEN series Les Hommes et la Terre. It may be that most of the women historians then publishing books were trained as archivists and were producing precisely that kind of rural history to which Bloch objected. The only other woman writing for the Annales was Lucie Varga, a refugee from Austria, who contributed an ethnographic study of an Austrian valley ( Annales d’histoire économique et sociale, 8 [1936]) and art interesting account of the German support for Nazism (9 [1937]). []
  66. Febvre’s review of Bloch’s La Société féodale in Annales d’histoire sociale , 2 (1940): 39–43; Bloch’s 1943 letter to Febvre about Le Problème de l’incroyance au XVI e siècle: La Religion de Rabelais in Annales d’histoire sociale , 7, 1 (1945): 28–29; Bloch’s appreciation of Febvre in May, 1941, Métier d’historien, vii. On their disagreement, see the interesting article by Burguière, “La Notion de ‘mentalités.’” Bloch planned a characteristic double dedication to Métier d’historien : it was to be dedicated to the memory of his late mother, and the letter to Febvre was to be included “by way of dedication” (“en manière de dédicace”). []
  67. Marc Bloch, La Société féodale, 2 vols. (Paris, 1939): “A Ferdinand Lot, Hommage de respectueuse et reconnaissante affection.” See Bloch’s review of Lot’s three volumes, Les Invasions barbares et le peuplement de l’Europe, in Annales d’histoire économique et sociale, 10 (1938): 61–63. []
  68. Marc Bloch, Rois et serfs, 14; obituary for Charles-Victor Langlois in Annales d’histoire économique et sociale, 1 (1929): 583–84. Bloch was exaggerating his differences from his teacher: Langlois’ Lectures historiques of 1912 includes essays on serfs with material drawn from literary sources. His retelling of medieval stories, though it added no commentary whatsoever, was motivated by the desire to go beyond political and administrative history and find something of “the sentiments of people of the Middle Ages” (Langlois, La Societe française au XIII e siècle d’aprés dix ronwns d’aventure [Paris, 1904], i). Both social and intellectual topics were included by Langlois and Seignobos in their schematic “general classification of historical facts” ( Introduction aux études historiques, 201–03). []
  69. Bloch to Febvre, 17 August 1941 in Annales d’histoire sociale , 7, 1 (1945): 31. “Charles V” was the nickname Langlois’ former students gave Charles-Victor. Bloch also included Durkheim in this distancing—“Durkheim n’était, certes, pas un imbécile”—and took issue with his sociological approach in Métier d’historien. What had once been a fertile influence was now outmoded and too abstract. On Durkheim’s influence on Bloch, see Perrin, “Oeuvre historique,” 184; and Burguière, “Mentalités chez M. Bloch,” 338–39. []
  70. Bloch, Métier d’historien, ix, xv–xvi and 109 n. 1. For the most part, I follow here the translation by Peter Putnam in Marc Bloch, The Historian’s Craft, with introduction by Joseph R. Strayer (New York, 1953), 3, 15–17. Bloch added somewhat disingenuously (3 n. 1) that the Langlois and Seignobos Introduction aux études historiques is “justly famous” and that his book, “arranged upon a different and, in certain of its parts, a much less fully developed plan does not by any means pretend to replace [it].” Interestingly enough, at the very same time that Bloch was beginning his work on The Historian’s Craft, Charles Seignobos, then aged eighty-seven, was writing his old friend Ferdinand Lot about a new book he hoped to do on the “principes de la méthode historique” (letter dated June, 1941). He thought that, for a quarter of a century, no serious reflection had been done on historical method (H. E. Barnes’s book he found mediocre, and he said nothing of Bloch, Febvre, and the Annales). The project he outlined has the same structure and argument as his 1891 book with Langlois (R. Fawtier, “La Dernière lettre de Charles Seignobos à Ferdinand Lot,” Revue historique, 210 [1953]: 1–12). []
  71. Marc Bloch, “Apologie pour le travail utile: A propos de deux livres sur Saint-Denis,” Annales d’histoire économique et sociale, 9 (1937): 80–85. Rois thaumaturges , vi; Les Caractères originaux de l’histoire rurale française (Oslo, 1931), viii, trans. J. Sondheimer, French Rural History , xxii; Société féodale , 1: 8. []
  72. “A nos lecteurs,” Annales d’histoire économique et sociale, 1 (1929): 1; Marc Bloch, “‘Historisme’ ou travail d’Historiens?,” Annales d’histoire sociale , 1 (1939): 429–30; Métier d’historien , xvii. []
  73. Her full name was Eileen Edna le Poer Power. For reviews of Sylvia Thrupp’s contribution to Studies in English Trade in the Fifteenth Century in which Dr. S. Thrupp is thought a man: V. J. Galbraith in Economica, n.s., 1 (1934): 349–50; and M. Bloch in Annales d’histoire économique et sociale , 6 (1934): 317. []
  74. Power to Coulton, 9 October 1922, attached to her Report to the Trustees. She also acknowledged Coulton’s help in the preface to Medieval English Nunneries, but he is not mentioned in later prefaces. Power’s review of vol. 3 of Coulton’s Five Centuries of Religion is in Economic History Review, 8 (1936–37): 87–89; Coulton, Fourscore Years, 265; Power, “On Medieval History as a Social Study,” 17. []
  75. The Goodman of Paris (Le Ménagier de Paris): A Treatise on Moral and Domestic Economy by a Citizen of Paris (c. 1393),trans. with introduction and notes by Eileen Power (London, 1928), dedication to Charles-V. Langlois. Langlois had summed up moral treatises, such as one by Raymond Lull, in La Vie en France au moyen âge d’après quehlues moralistes (Paris, 1908). On Langlois’ negative attitudestoward “history books” and writing for the public rather than publishing “original documents . . . without mixing anything [of the historian] in them,” see Keylor, Academy and Community, 84–86, 178–80. His retelling of thirteenth-century tales, without commentary or interpretation, was aimed at “a lettered public, not medievalists by profession” (Société française , xiii). []
  76. A manuscript image of Madame Eglentyne is on the cover of Medieval English Nunneries, and the book closes with Chaucer’s verses. Power’s chapter on nuns in Medieval People is based on Madame Eglentyne as a type. Christine de Pizan is cited in both these texts but figures centrally as a commentator and source in Power’s essay on “The Position of Women” and in Medieval Women, the posthumous book edited by M. M. Postan. []
  77. Power collaborated with her sister Rhoda Power on a book entitled Boys and Girls of History (Cambridge, 1926). Medieval English Nunneries was dedicated to her Girton friend, M. G. Jones. Jones is thanked again in the preface to Medieval People, as is also Miss H. M. R. Murray of Girton. Jones later aided Michael Postan in editing Power’s Ford lectures for her posthumous book, The Wool Trade in English Medieval History (Oxford, 1941), vii. Mary Glwadys Jones was to publish books on eighteenth-century charity schools (1938) and on the writer-moralist Hannah More (1952). The quotation from Piers Plowman is from Book 10. []
  78. Born in Bessarabia in 1898 and educated at the University of Kiev, Postan had come from the Soviet Union to England after the revolution. He was already a research assistant for Power at the time of Tudor Economic Documents in 1924 (1: viii). He was lecturer in history at University College London from 1927 to 1931, lecturer in economic history at the London School of Economics from 1931 to 1935, and then lecturer and finally professor at Cambridge. He and Power were married in 1937 and had homes in both Cambridge and London. []
  79. See Power’s review of Birnie in Economic History Review, 8 (1937–38): 82–83. Power’s sense of history as capacious was surely enhanced by her travels; she returned to the Far East for a second time in 1929. []
  80. Conversation with Sylvia Thrupp, 4 December 1987. Sylvia Thrupp, The Merchant Class of Medieval London (1300–1500) (Chicago, 1947), vii; paperback edn. (Ann Arbor, Mich., 1962), dedication. Among those scholars who acknowledged Power’s aid during her life were her student Ivy Pinchbeck in Women Workers and the Industrial Revolution, 1750–1850 (London, 1930), preface, and H. S. Bennett, Life on the English Manor, 1150–1400 (Cambridge, 1937), preface. A moving obituary of Power was written by Philippe Wolff, one of the young historians she had helped when he visited England. It appeared in the issue of the Annales primarily devoted to the work of Marc Bloch and said of her work, “Car l’esprit dont témoigne toute sa production est celui même qui nous anime”; Annales d’histoire sociale, 7, 2 (1945): 127–28. []
  81. Marc Bloch to Etienne Bloch, 13 September 1942, in E. Bloch, Marc Bloch, 16. []
  82. Walter Benjamin, “Theses on the Philosophy of History,” in Illuminations, Harry Zohn, trans. (New York, 1969), 257–58. On the interpretation of this text and Benjamin’s historical views, see O. K. Werckmeister, “Walter Benjamin, Paul Klee, and the Angel of History,” Oppositions, 25 (Fall 1982): 103–25; Richard Wolin, Walter Benjamin: An Aesthetic of Redemption (New York, 1982), 48–63; and Michael Jennings, Dialectical Images: Walter Benjamin’s Theory of Literary Criticism (Ithaca, N.Y., 1987), chap. 2. []