Truths and facts in history

September 19, 1997

Richard Evans was partly wrong about Edward Thompson in his anti-postmodernist polemic. Ironic, in that Evans was insisting that it is the quality of evidence that can distinguish the worth of one historical account, as against another, to avoid the relativistic nightmare which he so dreads.

Pity then that Evans was mistaken about Thompson who, he states, "had no university post, apart from a disastrous spell at Warwick". Thompson, in fact, spent many years in university extramural education at Leeds. Hardly at the centre of institutional power, true, but a university post none the less.

Linden West

Senior lecturer Keynes College University of Kent

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