- Vaderfiguren in de historiografische canon. De casus Jules Michelet
- Tijdschrift voor Geschiedenis
- Volume | Issue number
- 127 | 1
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Humanities (FGw)
- Amsterdam School for Regional, Transnational and European Studies (ARTES)
This article explores the metaphor of the father in the professional memory culture of historians. It takes as a case study Jules Michelet, who is generally considered the father of French historiography, and it traces how, why, and by whom he was elevated to this status. The role of Gabriel Monod, one of the most prominent historians at the end of the nineteenth century, was crucial in the promotion of Michelet. Ernest Lavisse, the writer of historical textbooks, also adopted Michelet as a father of history. This is remarkable because Monod and Lavisse were both members of the so-called positivist generation of historians, which is deemed to have distanced itself from the romantic historiographical tradition of Michelet in favour of a rigorous scientific method. Hence other factors than a similarity in scholarly practice appear to have been decisive in the choice of Michelet as father of history.
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