Chapter

Into the Past: A Brief Foreword

Nicholas Freeman

in 1895

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print October 2011 | ISBN: 9780748640560
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748651399 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3366/edinburgh/9780748640560.003.0011
Into the Past: A Brief Foreword

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This chapter sets out the purpose of the book, which is to serve as a subjective composite of a year that took millions of subtly distinct forms even as clocks and calendars divided it into the shared units of hours, weeks and months. In some ways, it is a Venn diagram, with vast numbers of individual sets (or lives) intersecting at moments of national significance; in others it is more akin to the notion of the multiverse advanced by William James in The Will to Believe (1895). The book tries to show how certain events were unique while others belong to currents that flow through the era. Certain aspects of British life were unchanged from much earlier in the century, but elsewhere, daily existence was altering at an increasingly rapid pace, with new technology unsettling those who favoured the horse over the bicycle, the fountain pen over the typewriter or the needle over the sewing machine.

Keywords: British life; William James; Will to Believe; multiverse; Venn diagram

Chapter.  2717 words. 

Subjects: Early Modern History (1500 to 1700)

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