Fairytale Genetics

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 […]

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Lyric History

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 […]

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  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 […]

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