The Trickster Prince

Matt Houlbrook: mobile historian; beard growing, head shaving; occasional cycling.

On trust and the historian

Fragment of an epilogue:

This book hasn’t ended up being anything like I expected it to be: what started life as an interest in individuals who faked it or masqueraded between the wars became a history of the confidence trick before settling into whatever it is now. Following Lucas has taken me in directions and to histories and historiographies that I had not anticipated — and with which I have no intuitive affinity. I have had to accept him as a guide and go wherever he has taken me. Jingle Jinks and royal biography and the days I spent in the Royal Archives in Windsor Castle made me more aware than ever of the chances and coincidences that shape our practices as historians — of the commitment to follow the archival traces wherever they may lead that we tacitly make at the beginning of any new project.

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