Van kroon tot bastaard: Biografie en het individuele perspectief in de geschiedschrijving

de Haan, B., 2015, [Groningen]: Rijksuniversiteit Groningen. 398 p.

Research output: ThesisThesis fully internal (DIV)

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  • Binne de Haan
In this study the central question is whether a biography, a study of one individual life, is being regarded as a form of historiography. During the twentieth century, various historical schools and historians have dismissed biography as a historical genre. According to historians of the influential French Annales school and authors from the fields of social history and cultural studies, biography did not fit in the ambition of historiography to become a social science. Additionally, fields as literature, psychology and journalism have left their mark on the 'popular' genre of biography too much, according to historians.
The study From Crown to Bastard reveals for the first time on the basis of cross-border scientific historical research how biography in different national historical traditions (Germany, France and the Anglo-Saxon world) was and remained a disputed but permanent part of historiography and historical thought in the nineteenth and twentieth century. The decline of the Grand Narratives and the emergence of microhistory has even ensured that biographical research since 1980 has again taken a central role in the work of historians. Biography can be considered as a form of microhistory, often misinterpreted as historical research into small and particular cases. Microhistory is a way of historical writing in which scrutinious investigation of specific issues and also persons - from kings to bastard children - can reveal new historical connections. Thus, in the last decades, biographical research has become more historical and historical research more biographical.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
Award date28-May-2015
Place of Publication[Groningen]
Print ISBNs978-90-367-7807-7
Electronic ISBNs978-90-367-7806-0
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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