Historical Hypochondria

I have begun to wonder if historians, or at least history students, don’t suffer from a similar problem to that experienced by medical students. Medical students often start to self-diagnose with various ailments during the course of their studies, especially when confronted with list after list of symptoms. They find themselves ticking off symptoms and…… Continue reading Historical Hypochondria

QuickPost: Citations

I recently finished reading The Anatomy Murders by Lisa Rosner. It’s a very readable look at the early 19th century Edinburgh murderers Burke and Hare, offering a great deal of context both for the Edinburgh they inhabited and the culture of medical anatomy which motivated them. I may write more on it later. What intrigued…… Continue reading QuickPost: Citations

Important Lessons in History

In some ways, being a historian is like being a detective. Yet, where Sherlock Holmes (and his real-life counterparts) could look at many disparate clues and say “this is what must have happened!” This is not how history works. A murderer or robber will probably have one motive, but historical events are the result of…… Continue reading Important Lessons in History

Quote on History

“Human nature is the same in every age if we make allowance for the difference of customs & Education, so that we learn to know ourselves by studying the opinions and passions of others” -William Bradford (paraphrasing Hume) in a letter to James Madison, October [1772], original in the collection of the Historical Society of…… Continue reading Quote on History