The diaries of Joseph Woolley (c.1769-1850), Nottinghamshire stockingmaker, are the basis of An Everyday Life of the English Working Class (Steedman, CUP 2014). The book would not exist without them. Now, all done and dusted, they raise important questions about how a historian should read texts from the past. Are the diaries a text, to be read and analysed as literature; or an archival document? Or both? How should historians use literary and narrative theory in their reading of ocuments? Should they read in this way, in the first place?
Monday 27th April
5.15-6.30pm, Special Collections, Museum of English Rural Life (MERL)