The Trickster Prince

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

The practitioners of history

In Theatres of Memory Raphael Samuel notes that: ‘If history was thought of as an activity rather than a profession, then the number of its practitioners would be legion.’ For several reasons I’ve been thinking about Samuel’s demotic and inclusive…

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February 25, 2013 · 2 Comments

Can the (subaltern) parrot speak?

As a self-confessed and uncurable cultural historian, I think I’m used to making the most of sources and snippets that many other historians would find just plain daft. In the past few months I’ve analysed a coroner’s report against a melodramatic…

February 18, 2013 · 1 Comment

On not writing

This morning I sent a book proposal to a publisher: The Prince of Tricksters: Cultures of Confidence in Interwar Britain. I have been working on various incarnations of this project for almost a decade now. For much of that time it has felt as tho…

February 11, 2013 · 1 Comment

A cultural historian’s confusion

In so doing, I reflect on the tensions that pervade The Prince of Tricksters. I approached Lucas as a cultural historian interested in the relationship between self-fashioning and culture, and the ways in which historical subjects might be seen as…

February 4, 2013 · Leave a comment