Entries by Penelope J Corfield

MONTHLY BLOG 94, THINKING LONG – STUDYING HISTORY

If citing, please kindly acknowledge copyright © Penelope J. Corfield (2018) History is a subject that deals in ‘thinking long’. The human capacity to think beyond the immediate instant is one of our species’ most defining characteristics. Of course, we live in every passing moment. But we also cast our minds, retrospectively and prospectively, along […]

MONTHLY BLOG 93, HOW TO STUDY HISTORIANS: HISTORIOLOGY, NOT HISTORIOGRAPHY

If citing, please kindly acknowledge copyright © Penelope J. Corfield (2018) Historian at work: Scribble, Scribble, Scribble – with acknowledgement to Shutterstock 557773132 ‘Always scribble, scribble, scribble! Eh, Mr Gibbon?’ This kindly put-down from the Duke of Gloucester to Edward Gibbon in 1781 has become a classic from a lackadaisical onlooker, who had just been […]

MONTHLY BLOG 92, HISTORIANS AT WORK THROUGH TIME

If citing, please kindly acknowledge copyright © Penelope J. Corfield (2018) Historians, who study the past, don’t undertake this exercise from some vantage point outside Time. They, like everyone else, live within an unfolding temporality. That’s very fundamental. Thus it’s axiomatic that historians, like their subjects of study, are all equally Time-bound.1 Nor do historians […]

MONTHLY BLOG 91, PEOPLE SOMETIMES SAY: ‘WE DON’T LEARN FROM THE PAST’ AND WHY THAT STATEMENT IS COMPLETELY ABSURD

If citing, please kindly acknowledge copyright © Penelope J. Corfield (2018) People sometimes say, dogmatically but absurdly: ’We don’t learn from the Past’. Oh really? So what do humans learn from, then? We don’t learn from the Future, which has yet to unfold. We do learn in and from the Present. Yet every moment of […]

MONTHLY BLOG 89, AS THE LANGUAGE OF ‘RACE’ DISAPPEARS, WHERE DOES THAT LEAVE THE ASSAULT UPON RACISM?

If citing, please kindly acknowledge copyright © Penelope J. Corfield (2018)   Hands around the Globe: © WikiClipArt 2018 Many people, including myself, have declared that the language of ‘race’ should become obsolete.1 (Indeed, that is slowly happening). Talk of separate human ‘races’ is misleading terminology, since all humans belong to one species: homo sapiens. […]

MONTHLY BLOG 88, HOW I WRITE AS A HISTORIAN

If citing, please kindly acknowledge copyright © Penelope J. Corfield (2018) Invited by Buff-Coat to comment on how I compose works of history, the answer fell into nine headings, written as reminders to myself: 1 Learn to enjoy writing: writing is a craft skill, which can be improved with regular practice.2 Learn to enjoy it.3 […]

MONTHLY BLOG 87, BURNED BOATS

If citing, please kindly acknowledge copyright © Penelope J. Corfield (2018) Firework-flames @ Clipart flames-clipart.html (2018) What to confess this month, having burned boats last month, about my intention to finish a big never-ending writing project? First message: yes, it’s good to announce THE BOOK END, even if it still remains tantalisingly-nigh-but-not-yet-quite achieved. Burning one’s […]

MONTHLY BLOG 86, COMPLETING A BIG PROJECT

If citing, please kindly acknowledge copyright © Penelope J. Corfield (2018) © Clipart 2018 at https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=book+clipart+silhouette This is a tempting-fate BLOG, dedicated to all, like myself, who are currently in the throes of completing a big writing project. Three days from the end (metaphorically speaking), there comes a great knockout blow. You hear that someone […]

MONTHLY BLOG 85, WORKING WITH WORDS

If citing, please kindly acknowledge copyright © Penelope J. Corfield (2018) A lot of the fun of being a writer comes from the sheer pleasure of working with words. Not only inventing new ones (see BLOG/84, November 2017). But additionally the multifarious challenges of finding the mot juste; of avoiding repetition of favoured words; and […]