So by now you’ve seen the story doing the rounds online about how fairytales are much older than researchers thought, as proved by ‘phylogenetic analyses’. Us humanities scholars should be darn grateful we have those scientists to save us from our misconceptions! Or not. This isn’t the first time that folklorists have found their […]Read more "Fairytale Genetics"
I recently wrote a short piece for the Beastly Histories blog run by my colleague Andy Flack. It’s a taster of some of the material on werewolves in the book I am writing, and you can read it here.Read more "How to recognise a werewolf in the nineteenth century"
Can history be non-narrative? There is a straightforward answer to this: no, it can’t. Telling a true story about the past is all that I aspire to as a historian. Even better if that narrative is an intervention in debates about the past (historiography). One person’s life, even someone from among the humblest classes, can have […]Read more "Lyric History"
Reading digitised newspapers last week I found a fraud case from 1884, when a man from Pouance was convicted of extorting money from rural men and women for magical cures. It’s not an unusual case: there were hundreds of similar ones reported in the national press, and there must have been many more that went […]Read more "Resolution"