Trevelyan, G. M. Illustrated English Social History (4 volume set)

Trevelyan, G. M. Illustrated English Social History (4 volume set)

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Trevelyan, G. M. Illustrated English Social History (4 volume set); Illustrations Selected by Ruth C. Wright. London: Longmans, Green and Co., 1952. [8264]

Four volumes in brick red cloth, spines faded, each 5 3/4 x 8 3/4 inches. Fully illustrated in both b/w and color. Former library set with standard library matter including white labels on the spines and title pages. Good. Hardcover.

"This is the book in which Trevelyan famously said that social history was 'history with the politics left out'. He was much criticised for this, particularly by Marxists, who took the view that the political and the social were inextricably entwined, indeed that the politics was but a pale reflection of social and economic developments; but it is Trevelyan, not Marx, who has stood the test of time. Anyone wanting to know how medieval England differed from the modern version would do well to start with this introduction, which is beautifully and comprehensively illustrated.

"When I first came across Trevelyan, 50 years ago, he was regarded as distinctly old-fashioned; but A.L.Rowse (in 'Historians I have Known') had no doubt that he was 'The Master', the undisputed head of the historical profession in England; and this book, which was largely written before the Second World War, shows that it was Rowse, and not the more soi-disant up to date historians, who were right.

"Besides, Trevelyan was not so old-fashioned as he was made out to be. He was a Whig, not a Tory: his preference for what he considered to be progress, in the form of liberty, capitalism and Protestantim is made clear throughout. The book has a distinct point of view, which includes a large dose of English patriotism. It is none the worse for that." - Stephen Cooper, Amazon Review.