Oral historians

Harrison, Brian (22 of 25).  Oral History of Oral History

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  • Recording date

    2012-01-24, 2012-02-24, 2012-03-27, 2012-04-24, 2012-05-18, 2012-06-27

  • Interviewees

    Harrison, Brian, 1937- (speaker, male)

  • Interviewers

    Wilkinson, Robert (speaker, male)

  • Abstract

    Part 22: Relationships with publishers. Went to Faber first in 1968 for his drink book. Went with the OUP with Peaceable Kingdom in 1982 only after Ivon Asquith had made contact with him. Published fourth book with Penguin 100 Years Ago. Various others with OUP and has good relationships but the Press lacks much of a creative role. [07:36] Not going to write an autobiography for various reasons. There is a case if academics have a more public life, but not if they just sit behind desks. [11:41] Does not have many other interests outside history, but doesnt feel the need because history is so broad. Aims at professionalism, and does not pretend to appear to be amateur. Attitude to time. Reads books and newspapers in the car. Ag-nostic but resembles a Methodist in his attitude to work. Talks about scissors and paste in the process of discovery and how things come together. Sometimes thoughts assemble themselves into paragraphs, and the writing for the Oxford history of England volume began like that. Holidays are a bore. His guru is George Orwell mentions Orwells essay Politics and English Language. Discovered him properly when on holiday in Mexico in 1972. AJP Taylor is another influence (pithy style). [29:44] Feels himself to be an outsider, not an Oxford person, but MOST Oxford people view themselves as outsiders because no orthodoxy there. Compares his research process with Keith Thomass.

  • Description

    Life story interview with Brian Harrison, original committee members of the Oral History Society and Emeritus Professor of history at University of Oxford.

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