Exploring the historical imagination

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  • Published 20110131
  • ISBN: 9781921656996
  • Extent: 264 pp
  • Paperback (234 x 153mm), eBook

IT HAS BEEN said of George Macaulay Trevelyan that he was gifted with a ‘vivid pictorial sense’.
True enough, but consider for instance an extract from the opening to his biography of Earl Grey, Grey of Fallodon (1937):

Fallodon has no rare and particular beauty. It is merely a piece of unspoilt English countryside – wood, field and running stream. But there is a tang of the north about it; the west wind blows through it straight off the neighbouring moors, and the sea is visible from the garden through a much-loved gap in the trees. The whole region gains dignity from the great presence of the Cheviot and the Ocean. Eastward, beyond two miles of level fields across which [Grey] so often strode, lie the tufted dunes, the reefs of tide-washed rock, and the bays of hard sand; on that lonely shore he would lie, by the hour, watching the oystercatchers, turnstones and dunlin, or the woodcock immigrants landing tired from their voyage.

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