The following study deals with “the whig interpretation of history” in what I conceive to be the accepted meaning of the phrase. At least it covers all that is. [All footnotes are editorial; relevant online materials: Butterfield Papers at the Cambridge University Library; E. Royle, The “Whig” Interpretation of History and its. His most widely known work is still The Whig Interpretation of History. saw the publication of the book Butterfield is most associated with. Less a book than.

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The Life and Thought of Herbert Butterfield | Reviews in History

John Bird rated it really liked it Oct 18, Butterfield’s book is a seminal corrective of the bad habits of two generations of Anglo-American historians in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Less a book than a lengthy essay, The Whig Interpretation of History is a curious affair.

Paperbackpages. These questions remind me personally of a remark from Mary Beard during a lecture on her latest novel SPQR, as she commented that ‘We have nothing to learn from the past’.

Herbert Butterfield

I don’t know how I feel about history. Those who, perhaps in the misguided austerity of youth, wish to drive out that whig interpretation, that particular thesis which controls our abridgment of English history, are sweeping a room which humanly speaking cannot long remain empty. Nathan rated it really liked it Jan 14, Interesting, but majorly repetitive. At the same time, he was given the Seeley Medal. Despite his humble origins, receiving his education at the Trade and Grammar School in Keighleyin he won a scholarship to study at Peterhouse, Cambridgegraduating with a BA infollowed by an MA four years later.

The Whig Interpretation of History

It was honestly eye opening despite being almost a century old, and I highly recommend it to anyone interested in the study of history – it is an incredibly short read, and though the prose is sometimes complicated, it is for the most part very engaging. Retrieved 26 July Its genius is illustrated by the entire series of days. The Whigs felt that this form constitutional monarchy was allied to political liberty allowing the constitutional subjects of the Monarch, who were also subject to Parliamentary laws, many opportunities for a progressive life.


The Whig interpretation of history buttdrfield now a general label applied to various historical interpretations. In the Whig Gutterfield Butterfield had noted with satisfaction that historians had little reflected on the nature of their subject, and interpretztion Man on his Past he reassured readers that his enquiry was not about theory.

The following study deals with “the whig interpretation of history” in what I conceive to be the accepted meaning of the phrase. Butterfield was a fellow at Cambridge from —79 and in the s, he was a fellow of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey. It is right that knowledge of this relationship should be included in a biography, but aside from telling us the fact that Peace Tactics wgig Napoleon was completed seven years before it was published, it does not really tell us anything new about Butterfield the historian.

I began by thinking I would agree completely with him, in the middle thought I disagreed entirely, and by the end decided he is right about many things but whiig sti It is easy to see why this little book is such an histoy text for historians.

Jan 21, Douglas Wilson rated it it was ok Shelves: September Index Preface 1. Historians have an incredible task set forth for them, one that requires them to lo There are few books that I have read that have made huge impact on me, but I think Dr. Gamble’s Philosophy of History. A series of lectures given at the behest of the religious faculty at Cambridge was published in as Christianity and Historya book which went on to sell 30, copies in four years. Use has been made of words like conjuncture and contingency to describe what appear as such to the observer and to the historian.

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But we can radically depart from truthful history, a history that is a reliable, when we interpret it in relation to the present. This page was last edited on 14 Juneat In particular, he attacks a more or less literally whiggish tendency among British historians, who have always written history as the story of liberty and constitutionalism. I think he makes a good point that history should not be a slave to our modern causes; that is, it isn’t there to serve our principles.

Oct 14, Brenton rated it really liked it.

Take another example in the Civil Rights Movement. Also inButterfield won the Prince Consort Prize for a hiwtory on the problem of peace in Europe between and Butterfield thought that individual personalities were more important than great systems of government or economics in historical study.

Relativistic to the core. The progressive historian makes no attempt to get inside the minds of what a person thought and how he lived in order to understand the facts of history.

The Whig Interpretation of History by Herbert Butterfield

Mar 07, Becky Snow rated it it was amazing. Jul 05, Miles Smith rated intterpretation liked it Shelves: Working from an extended examination of the Reformation, Butterfield breaks down how a Whig progressive interpretation of history inherently dilutes historical inquiry into a simple chain of cause and effect flavored with a heady dose of moral indignation. Bell, ,