Past into Print explores history books and periodicals as sites of conflict and compromise in order to question how and why historical knowledge is created. Using primary documents and the history books of the period, Leslie Howsam combines two distinct strands of scholarship: the history of the book and publishing and the development of history as a scholarly discipline.
Howsam examines the relationships of historians and their publishers through correspondence and readers reports to reveal the assumptions that drove historical projects, which in turn came to shape the careers of writers, the reputations of publishing houses, and the values of a discipline. The first systematic exploration of the publishing history of history, Past into Print uncovers the ways in which historical writing was mediated by the book trade and traces how mid-Victorian narrative certainties gave way to twentieth-century disciplinary anxieties.
'Howsam provides not only a better and more rounded understanding of the development of British history as a practice and discipline, it opens up a realm of issues, themes, and questions that ought to be explored by all modern historians when they think about what they do and have done.'