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Hoskins: The making of the English Landscape: Sources

Hoskins’ work was based on detailed and extensive research. He pioneered the use of records like probate inventories to construct a profile of everyday life. In this section, although he gives no specific references, he is describing a typical scene based on the different examples he has studied; there is no sense here of the unsupported assertion. The linguistic point (although this sort of detail can be obtained from a quick look in the Oxford English Dictionary!) also suggests careful investigation of the evidence. This passage is an example of a historian using his knowledge of the sources to construct a general picture in a way that carries conviction even without giving specific examples.

 

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