History was my favourite subject at school. Until I was seventeen, I assumed that everything I read was fact. Just as the dates and names of kings and queens were beyond question, so too was everything else I had learnt. So it was profoundly shocking to read Edward Hallett Carr’s book What Is History?
Many years ago, and in the throes of relationship turmoil, I went to see my wise friend and mentor. Having sobbed and complained about the behaviour of my soon-to-be-ex partner, I then went into a long diatribe about how I knew I was supposed to accept what was happening and that my inability to do so was evidence of my obvious and inherent flaws. Having recently encountered New Age teachings, I had unquestioningly swallowed the idea of unconditional acceptance and surrender.