Saturday 24 December 2011

For the Collector's Christmas Stocking?

A new edition of Neil MacGregor's 'History of the World in 100 Objects' is out in time for Christmas and is apparently selling quite well, the synopsis call "original" the approach to the history of humanity:
using objects which previous civilisations have left behind them, often accidentally, as prisms through which we can explore past worlds and the lives of the men and women who lived in them.
Basically a rather odd use of the word, given that relics of the past have been treated in this way since at least the seventeenth century antiquaries, or as some would have it, going back to the Middle Ages and the cult of relics. The trade review by John Adamson, "Sunday Telegraph" says:
'A History of the World in 100 Objects...has been a triumph: hugely popular, and rightly lauded as one of the most effective and intellectually ambitious initiatives in the making of 'public history' for many decades'
Publisher: Allen Lane, ISBN: 9781846145117

The Portable Antiquities Department of MacGregor's BM will no doubt be bringing out their bumper book of goodies next year: "A Social History of Britain (5000BC to 1712) in 100 Found Objects".

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