An Ethnography of England in the Year 1685
Being the Celebrated Third Chapter of Thomas Babington Macaulay's History of England
By Robert L. Carneiro and Thomas Babington Macaulay Introduction by Robert L Carneiro
Thomas Babington Macaulay was one of the great English historians of the nineteenth century. He first made his name as an essayist, contributing many articles on a variety of topics to the Edinburgh Review, the leading literary journal of its day. Among the contributions Macaulay made in these essays was setting forth a distinct philosophy of historiography, in which he argued that written history should be more than a catalog of conspicuous events. It should, he held, also portray events in the everyday lives of common people--something most historians of the day felt was "beneath the dignity of history." By insisting that depicting such events was indeed a proper function of the historian, Macaulay showed himself to be not only a historian with an unusually wide vista, but also an anthropologist before his time. When Macaulay came to write his famous five-volume History of England from the Accession of James II, he gave expression to this philosophy by including in this work a long chapter in which many aspects of English society and culture were surveyed as they stood in the year 1685. This groundbreaking chapter, now all but forgotten, deserves to be rescued from oblivion. It is presented here, standing alone, preceded by a long introduction in which Macaulay's life and career are set forth in detail--highlighting his contributions to English history, politics, and letters.
Preface Introduction by Robert L. Carneiro An Ethnography of England in the Year 1685 by Thomas Babington Macaulay Index
Praise from readers . . . "A forceful witness for the defense, Robert Carneiro pushes us to revisit this Victorian giant who exercised such a profound influence on the historical imagination of his own generation and those that followed." -- Richard Aldous, Eugene Meyer Professor of British History and Literature, Bard College "Thomas Babington Macaulay joins the ranks of anthropology's ancestors as Robert Carneiro showcases his ethnography of England in the year 1685. Macaulay established an ethnographic genre of social and cultural history, highlighting questions of evolution and progress that remain salient for contemporary anthropology. Carneiro's framing essay is a masterpiece of contextualization for the history of anthropology." -- Regna Darnell, Distinguished University Professor, University of Western Ontario "Occasionally one finds a nugget. Robert Carneiro has found one in the third chapter of Thomas Babington Macaulay's History of England, the first genuine historical ethnography and the precursor of a whole new genre of historical writing. The result is a fascinating picture of everyday life in English society from top to bottom." -- Stephen K. Sanderson, Visiting Scholar, University of California, Riverside "[The third chapter] is still well worth reading today, as the anthropologist Robert Carneiro suggests in his enthusiastic introduction... not only for its lively style but also for the author's vivid imagination, a quality as necessary to anthropologists as it is to historians." --Peter Burke, Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute (NS), 2016