Prejudice & Promise in XVth Century England

Prejudice & Promise in XVth Century England

Prejudice & Promise in XVth Century England

Prejudice & Promise in XVth Century England

Excerpt

When I was invited at somewhat short notice to deliver the Ford Lectures in 1923 I was constrained to select such subjects as could be dealt with most readily in the time at my disposal. This will explain a certain discursiveness both in choice and treatment. But I had always before me two main ideas: the one, that the truth about Fifteenth-century England had been distorted through the prejudice of chroniclers and Tudor historians; the other, that the truth could only be discovered by the study from different sources of the Fifteenth Century as the seed-time of the future. The first Lecture deals with the prejudice generally, and the last with a conspicuous instance. The other four will serve jointly to illustrate the promise of the age as shown in the intellectual ferment, social growth, the spirit of adventure, and commercial enterprise. In these four Lectures I have sought deliberately for most of my material in less familiar and so far as possible unprinted sources. The Appendix includes a selection of the most important and interesting of the documents which furnish the principal source of the fourth Lecture.

The Map of London in the Fifteenth Century was designed primarily for the illustration of the fifth Lecture, but will I hope be of wider service. It is of necessity in some degree tentative, since the material on which it is based is perforce in part conjectural. The permanence of the London streets made it possible to adopt for the basis of this map the one drawn for my edition of Stow . . .

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