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The Uses of Facts: G. Kitson Clark: The making of Victorian England

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Professor George Kitson Clark was Reader in Constitutional History at Cambridge when he was invited in 1960 to give the prestigious Ford Lectures at Oxford. He had made his name with his work on two major nineteenth-century political campaigning movements, Chartism and the Anti-Corn Law League and the Oxford invitation enabled him to expand on his theme to look at the wider issue of Victorian. The published lecture, a medium in which Kitson Clark specialised, is a different form of writing from an academic article or a book. In its concern to communicate with a listening, rather than primarily a reading, audience it is something of a return to the style of Roman writers like Tacitus and Suetonius. To a greater degree than in a book, the author is persuading the audience, winning them over to his or her own interpretation.

 

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