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Medieval History and the Romantic Imagination.

Oxford: University Press, [1963] Stock Code: 139947
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Scarce original offprint inscribed by the author "with best wishes SR" to the front free endpaper. This copy is from the library of John Julius Cooper, 2nd viscount Norwich (1929-2018) a hugely prolific popular historian and television presenter. Runciman and Norwich led very similar careers: both educated at Eton, both dabbling in the Foreign Service, and both concentrating as historians upon similar fields. Runciman's primacy as a historian of the Crusades, the Greek and Byzantine world, and Norman Sicily is well known. Norwich for his part wrote his first book on Mount Athos (where Runciman was one of very few outsiders permitted to visit), others on Norman Sicily and Venice and numerous works on Byzantium. Medieval History and the Romantic Imagination was published in Essays by Divers Hands, being the Transactions of the Royal Society of Literature of the United Kingdom, volume 32. Runciman read this lecture to the Society, of which Norwich was a member, as the Katja Reissner Lecture on 13 December 1962. In the work Runicman argues that "good history relies on the same imaginative and structural power that sustains great fiction" (Dinshaw). The lecture was broadcast on BBC Radio 4 on 26 December 1963. The offprint has been traced institutionally in just five locations, all in the US.

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Octavo, pp. 14. Original blue wrappers, titles printed in black to front cover, wire-stitched as issued.


Very faint sunning and minor creasing to wrapper edges; else a fine copy of this fragile publication.


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