Article excerpt

It is a truth universally acknowledged that History, despite its many virtues, has one major fault. There is far too much of it, and it's getting worse all the time. (Hence Lytton Strachey judged that 'ignorance is the first requisite of the historian--ignorance, which simplifies and clarifies, which selects and omits'.) It is perhaps to the credit of the examination boards-or perhaps evidence that Eminent Victorians is not on their voluminous reading lists--that the modules comprising A-level History have mushroomed luxuriantly over the last decade. The choice of subject matter students can opt for is extensive, rich, diverse--and bewildering. It certainly bewilders the editors of magazines like this one. How can we, with so few editions, possibly cater for so many studying so much? Surely we should not attempt the impossible?

Rival publications have thrown in the towel and concentrate on merely '20th century' or 'modern' history, ignoring the needs of vast numbers who not only study earlier centuries but enjoy doing so and gain immensely in perspective from their work. History Review, however, is made of sterner stuff. The temporal scope of our articles is huge, stretching as widely as do the syllabuses. The result, inevitably, is that we can't satisfy all the people all the time--but we do aim to be responsive to our readers' needs. …