Being a historian is difficult.
There’s the slog work as I call it; the readings, the theories, the whiteboard sessions, the late nights and early mornings, the travel (and travel food and budgets and not having a proper workspace on trains etc).
There’s the archives and libraries; most are fine, but some….some would try the patience of a saint. ID, more ID, that’s out of date by 4 minutes, you need to leave, go home, repent your sins, say 1,000,000 hail mary’s, flagellate yourself with barbed wire (á la Christy Moore) and return having completed the journey on your knees, unworthy one! Those kind of archives! We all know them!
Add to that the general lack of cash and wow factor associated with the field (sometimes) and then you’d really wonder why people like us bother with it at all? Is it an ego stroke? Maybe a bit being…
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