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Rob Orland
Historic Coventry
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211 of 214  Tue 24th Mar 2020 10:13am  
Webmaster: Joined Jan 2010  Total posts:1539

For some reason, back in the 1800s, nearly all Coventry history books were unimaginatively titled History and Antiquities of Coventry, or some near variation of. The early one, from 1810, will probably be William Reader's book, which I have a slightly battered version of! Benjamin Poole wrote three such histories - a small one in 1847, a slightly larger one in 1852, and then his huge, seminal 424 page tome in 1869, which became virtually an encyclopaedia referenced by all serious historians for well over a century. The one bought by our fortunate member the other day was this last version, and checking on the abebooks.co.uk site, it's probably worth more like £400! The illustrations alone (there are about 60 of them) are worth that, so 50 quid was a real bargain. Smile
Books on Coventry
Kaga simpson
Peacehaven, East Sussex
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212 of 214  Fri 27th Mar 2020 12:18pm  
Member: Joined Sep 2014  Total posts:3393

Rob, But are you sure they got it right? You have a topic, George Eliot, but she never saw Coventry until she was thirteen, and at that age was far more intellectual than her classmates. Four years later she leaves school, five years later, now in her twenties, she moves into Coventry. For nine years she looks after her father, as soon as he dies, she leaves leaves Coventry for good. Four years at school, nine years with her ill father, returns for a month, rows with brother lasting forty years, non-speaking. She has one article printed in the local paper, everything else was written and printed elsewhere. She was feminist minded, friends with them, and to me the first murmurings of the later suffragette movement.
Books on Coventry
Rob Orland
Historic Coventry
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213 of 214  Sat 28th Mar 2020 11:26am  
Webmaster: Joined Jan 2010  Total posts:1539

Hi Kaga, Do you mean, am I sure the historians of old got their history right? If so, then I'm really not qualified to judge - I have to rely mainly on their books to learn what little I know. There are many original documents and maps available that ought to be reliable, and the better historians will use these to give an accurate picture of the past, rather than just regurgitating words from books already written (surprisingly many do this!). However, over time new discoveries are often made, so sometimes we find out that certain 19th century "facts" are disproven. One such fact came to light with me fairly recently. I have an original "Illustrative Papers on the History and Antiquities of the City Of Coventry", put together by William Fretton in 1871 using original early 19th century papers by Thomas Sharpe. It's very scholarly, but tells us that the Old Grammar School was probably built on the site of the original Saxon nunnery of St. Osburg - which we now know to be untrue from a century and a half of archaeology since.
Books on Coventry
Kaga simpson
Peacehaven, East Sussex
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214 of 214  Sat 28th Mar 2020 5:24pm  
Member: Joined Sep 2014  Total posts:3393

Rob Yes, I am finding as I get older that a lot of what we were taught from old books when we were young are not true, or only apply if seen in that time and era. The 1920s and 30s still were in the rules of the Victorian age, believe it or not. Living in Foleshill we heard a lot of George Eliot that simply to me today is different to when I was a child (example).
Books on Coventry

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