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WILLIAM STUBBS Seventeen lectures on the study of medieval and modern history and kindred subjects


Sir John Froissart's Chronicles of England, France, Spain and the Ajoining Countries from the latter part of the reign of Edward II to the coronation of Henry IV in 12 volumes 

Chronicles of Enguerrand De Monstrelet (Sir John Froissart's Chronicles continuation) in 13 volumes 

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Seventeen lectures on the study of medieval and modern history and kindred subjects
page 58

5a IMPROVED MANUALS. [II. great discoveries are made; the use of the comparative method, long ago applied superficially and partially to History, has now become, owing to its employment in other fields of work, far more valuable and remunerative ; and more especially in regard to early periods with respect to which error and misapprehension are the greatest among fairly educated people, and almost ineradicable from otherwise fairly useful text-books. T o take the simple instance, which will perhaps have occurred to some of you : the proved discovery of the forgery of Ingulfs History of Crowland Abbey was a fact that necessitated the revision of every standard book on early English History. It is more than forty years since that discovery, long ago suspected, was proved beyond the possibility of doubt. Yet to this day the Ingulfine leaven remains in our elementary books, nay, in more than elementary books, in standard works of History, from which it is almost impossible to eliminate it ; it remains as a warning light—a wandering marsh-fire—to caution the reader not to accept too abjectly the conclusions of his authority. Even the recently published list of landowners of England, called somewhat fantastically by the leaders of public opinion the new Domesday, contains in its introduction a quotation from Ingulf, made apparently without any suspicion of falseness. But it is not only the name of the writer, but the more subtle influence of conclusions drawn from his fabrications that are to be guarded against: and these lie at the very basis of our popular histories. For school books it is absolutely necessary that such primary errors should be corrected at once ; for it is impossible, at least at present, to suppose that the reading of original authorities can be to any great extent introduced into the scholastic course as is done in Germany. And this will necessitate constant revision. Another point to be watched is the not unnatural desire of

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