03 April, 2015

Review and Letter

Just a very quick post as it's almost Easter and I have visitors - in case you didn't see it, Professor Nicholas Vincent's review of my book Edward II: The Unconventional King appeared in BBC History Magazine a few weeks ago (it can be read here, on the second page).  Professor Vincent is very kind about my book, but claims that my account of Edward II's survival past 1327 is 'entirely speculative' and 'make-believe' (it really, really isn't).  Dr Ian Mortimer has written a letter also in BBC History Magazine, responding to the review.




6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Good for Ian Mortimer, although I agree with the original reviewer that your book was "entertaining and informative".

Esther

Kathryn Warner said...

Thank you, Esther!

Kasia Ogrodnik said...

I was really happy to see Ian Mortimer coming to your and Edward's defence. I think that for an academic like Prof Vincent it was the easiest way to brush aside what might shake the "fundaments", especially that your book is a debut, and his authority well established. Recently, there has been a discussion in one of the FB groups about the academic approach and sb made a really good point saying that they, meaning academics, should step out of their ivory towers. Well said, don't you think? In my view, to be a scholar one should be open-minded in the first place.

Anonymous said...

I have yet to read the book about Edward II though it is on my "to do" (or should that be "to read"?) list. There is a lady historical novelist who I won't name who has made me very cross with some of the assertions in her books, but notwithstanding that there is room for re-examination of ideas. I read on one history board that some historians now think that rather than all the British (Welsh) people having been pushed westwards in a sort of ethnic cleansing at the time of the coming of the "Anglo-Saxons" that some of them stayed in England and interbred with the newcomers. I also saw a programme on TV where a grave of a person of mixed-race was found dating from the Middle Ages, so our ancestors may not all have been as pale and interesting as we thought, though I suspect people of mixed-race were not numerous back then. DNA has enabled pre-conceived ideas to be re-examined. All that has nothing to do with Edward II and I doubt DNA will ever be able to prove anything about that king. Still, it is worth having some backing from someone such as Ian Mortimer.

Sami Parkkonen said...

The thing is is, too many men of fame and position have repeated the old "fact" wihtout checking the original sources. Now they are too embarrassed to admit that: hey, guess what, I was mistaken.

The reason they can not admit it it that they are insecure. Making a mistake, and in this case it just based on the wrong historical tradition, for these people is a terrible blow for their selfesteem. They take it personally. It is a weakness. That is why they still oppose the idea which is PROVEN BY FAR MORE ORIGINAL SOURCES than their mistake.

Anerje said...

I was thrilled to see Ian Mortimer's letter in BBC History mag!