Love of History Proof

How do you know if you are in love with History? One knows with certainty about the level of his or her infatuation IF s/he:

1)      Keeps a pile of biography books under the bed at all times.

2)      Has recorded every documentary on the Roman Empire ever shown on BBC.

3)      Follows religiously the animated scholarly historical debates on BBC Radio 4.

4)      Brings on much needed holidays the latest historical best seller.

5)      Feels hers or his heart taking large leaps every time one mentions Caesar, Napoleon or Hitler.

6)      Reads and comments regularly (that is at least once per week) on all types of historical blogs (especially mine).

7)      While analysing modern politics, brings to the debate an example from history in order to prove a point.

8)      Repeatedly dreams that s/he is a historical figure, general, king, philosopher, hetera, or detested slave.

9)      Considers an argument void, if it has no historical perspective.

I will leave number ten for you to fill up.

Economic historian and numismatic consultant


  1. Evidently I don’t love history, if those are the criteria; which suggests they may need some revision.

  2. Well, I do numbers 4, 5, 6, 7, and 9. (At least to some extent.)

    As for number 10, I propose: “Studies history when s/he should be ironing clothes”.

    So I do number 10 too…

  3. Surely a true, passionate lover of history feels a gut-wrenching rage at seeing her coquette herself with the grotesque simplifications of television programmes and trite journalistic analogies? So, I don’t do 2, 3, 4, 5 or 7 (or 8, but that’s a different issue), I don’t think biography is proper history and I don’t think 9 applies in all circumstances (particle physics, for example), and I still consider myself a lover of history. Dear me, I’m in a bad mood this morning; something to do with being woken by the cats at 4.30…

  4. Neville,
    you need to get some proper sleep!

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