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

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WILLIAM STUBBS
Seventeen lectures on the study of medieval and modern history and kindred subjects
page 62



56 INCREASED INTEREST IN HISTORY. [III. quarian remains, is another. I am not prepared to say that the last ten years have witnessed the introduction of any entirely new elements in either branch, or that we are not yet a long way off from the state of things which we may wish for, when the publication of a great historical discovery may be welcomed with as much ardour as a new poem or a new book of travels, and when the preservation of public and private memorials will become the care of every family and individual that possesses them, as well as of the nation at large. But we have gone on steadily improving ourselves ; not to speak yet of the important works which have met appreciative readers, I would adduce such points as these : the revival and extension of the work of the learned Societies, especially the Camden and Surtees Societies; the widespread interest taken in the work of the Commission for examining Historical Manuscripts in private hands; and the Parliamentary discussions on the preservation of Historic. Monuments. Each of these three matters may claim an important bearing on the growth of historic culture. In each we ' see those private and personal influences combined and utilised for good purposes, which too often have been wasted upon mere pomps and vanities, or mere archaeological trifling. The expansion and extension of genealogical study is a very remarkable feature of our own times. Men are apparently awaking to the fact that there are other families besides those described in the peerage, that those families have their records, played their part in history, furnished the bone and sinew of national action, and left traces behind them which it behoves their descendants to search out and keep in remembrance. There is nothing in this that need be stigmatised as vain and foolish ; it is a very natural instinct, and it appears to me to be one of the ways in which a general interest in national history may be expected to


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