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How to be a HistorianScholarly Personae in Historical Studies, 1800-2000$
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Herman Paul

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781526132802

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: January 2020

DOI: 10.7765/9781526132819

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Generational continuities and composite personae: French historiography from the 1870s to the 1950s

Generational continuities and composite personae: French historiography from the 1870s to the 1950s

Chapter:
(p.72) Chapter 4 Generational continuities and composite personae: French historiography from the 1870s to the 1950s
Source:
How to be a Historian
Author(s):

Camille Creyghton

Publisher:
Manchester University Press
DOI:10.7765/9781526132819.00008

The standard narrative on French historiography during the period 1870–1950 classifies historians under two successive and wholly different generations, schools or paradigms: the ‘methological’ or positivist school and the Annales school. This chapter studies French historiography in terms of the scholarly personae valued by historians of these two generations, taking as case studies two pairs of masters and students: Gabriel Monod and Lucien Febvre; Charles Seignobos and Marc Bloch. It concludes that, from the perspective of scholarly personae, the continuities between the generations are more important than their differences. The personae approach thus leads to an important reconsideration of the standard narrative, putting into perspective the sharp distinctions that structure it. In addition, the chapter argues for a broader and more open interpretation of the persona concept than has been adopted to date, as this appears necessary for understanding some complexities or internal tensions within the discourses of different French historians about what it takes to be a historian, which in part stem from the fact that historians play different roles at the same time.

Keywords:   French historiography, scholarly personae, Annales school, positivism, methodological school, Gabriel Monod, Charles Seignobos, Lucien Febvre, Marc Bloch

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