Check out this historian’s take on popular research as a medievalist!
Having spent a few days in the National Archives, my eyes stinging and sinuses burning after handling 13th century documents, I feel something needs to be said:
TV LIES TO YOU.
The first thing TV tells you is that being a historian gives you media coverage. Not only that, but it suggests that the life of a historian is one of interesting locations and fairly effortless document perusing, and – of course – that white gloves are usually involved.
I think that’s why, when I tell people that I’m doing a PhD in medieval history, there are usually one of three reactions. Sometimes I get all three, in this order:
- “Oooh you could be on TV soon then!”
Well – not really.
Apart from Robert Bartlett’s brilliant mini-series on The Normans, and a great programme on Domesday, there’s not really an awful lot of medieval coverage unless it’s…
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