The Ocean in English History: Being the Ford Lectures

The Ocean in English History: Being the Ford Lectures

The Ocean in English History: Being the Ford Lectures

The Ocean in English History: Being the Ford Lectures

Excerpt

IN 1938 I was honoured by the invitation to deliver the Ford Lectures for 1939-40. They were prepared before the outbreak of war and were delivered in the summer of 1940, when no one can have been more conscious than the lecturer of the incongruity of discoursing on past history amid the shattering events of May and June.

Many of my obligations to the work of others are mentioned in the footnotes. Many are of long standing, spread over thirty years, and some have been derived not from books but from conversation. Such acquisitions lose their distinctness of origin and incorporate themselves in the thought of their borrower, so that it is hardly possible to specify them. They form, nevertheless, the substance of my stock-in-trade, for I confess that my own claims to originality of thought are small. More easy to acknowledge are debts of a different sort, and my gratitude is due to Professor F. M. Powicke, Sir Charles Grant Robertson, Mr. A. L. Rowse, and Mr. J. N. L. Baker for having done their best to set a stranger at his ease in the unaccustomed surroundings of an Oxford lecture theatre.

J. A. W.

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