Show and Tell: three Branch book events

Historian article

By Marie Davidson and Richard Binns, published 2nd January 2020

When members of the Glasgow and West of Scotland Branch were invited to share their views on ‘Books that Changed History’, not all the contributions were as overtly revolutionary as Thomas Paine’s Common Sense nor as familiar as the King James Bible. Marie Davidson and Richard Binns tell us more.

Right from the first Glasgow and West of Scotland Branch book event, the aim was to involve the members actively: they create the event. In April 2013, we tried out a ‘My favourite history book’ evening. Among diverse contributions were Marc Bloch’s Feudal Society and Josephine Tey’s The Daughter of Time, a classic novel on Richard III which explores how sources are used to create history. Later that year, we followed up with a literary quiz of quotations: ‘“A Winter’s Tale” – let Scott and other George Square statues speak’.

This year our ‘Books that changed history’ meeting was subtitled ‘Convince us with your reading’. Contributors had five to ten minutes to discuss their chosen book and read excerpts. The seven contributions reflected our experience of what interests our Branch: religion, politics and Scotland...  

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