The Creighton Century, 1907-2007


David Bates
Jennifer Wallis
Jane Winters


The Creighton Century, 1907–2007 offers a selection of ten lectures from the first 100 years of the University of London’s prestigious Creighton Lecture series. Each of the chosen lectures, delivered between 1913 and 2004, is introduced and set in context by a historian of the modern-day University. The collection also includes, and is introduced by, Robert Evans’s 2007 centenary lecture, ‘The Creighton century: British historians and Europe, 1907–2007’.

This volume provides a fascinating insight into the development of the discipline of history over the twentieth and early twenty-first century, revealing some significant changes in approach and emphasis as well as some surprising continuities. The Creighton Century is an invaluable guide to students of historiography, and a chance to revisit some of the great lectures from the series, including those by R. H. Tawney, Lucy Sutherland, Donald Coleman, Eric Hobsbawm and Keith Thomas, published here with commentaries by Virginia Berridge, Justin Champion, Julian Hoppit and Jinty Nelson among others.

First published in 2009, The Creighton Century is now reissued as an open access edition by the University of London Press. This edition includes a new joint foreword by the volume’s editor, David Bates, and the current director of the Institute of Historical Research, Jo Fox.

Published as part of the IHR Conference Series by the Institute of Historical Research.


  • Foreword to the 2020 edition
    David Bates and Jo Fox
  • Foreword to the 2009 edition
    David Bates
  • List of Contributors
  • 1. The Creighton century: British historians and Europe, 1907–2007
    Robert Evans
  • 2. The meaning of truth in history (1913), with an introduction by Justin Champion
  • 3. A plea for the study of contemporary history (1928), with an introduction by Martyn Rady
    R. W. Seton-Watson
  • 4. The economic advance of the squirearchy in the two generations before the Civil War [published as The rise of the gentry, 1558–1640] (1937), with an introduction by F. M. L. Thompson
    R.H. Tawney
  • 5. The City of London and the opposition to government, 1768–74: a study in the rise of metropolitan radicalism (1958), with an introduction by P. J. Marshall
    Lucy Sutherland
  • 6. The guns of Kaifêng-Fu: China’s development of man’s first chemical explosive (1979), with an introduction by Janet Hunter
    Joseph Needham
  • 7. The perception of the past in early modern England (1983), with an introduction by Ariel Hessayon
    Keith Thomas
  • 8. Myth, history and the Industrial Revolution (1989), with an introduction by Julian Hoppit
    Donald Coleman
  • 9. The uncertainties of isolation: Japan between the wars (1992), with an introduction by Antony Best
    Ian Nish
  • 10. The present as history: writing the history of one’s own time (1993), with an introduction by Virginia Berridge
    Eric Hobsbawm
  • 11. The war against heresy in medieval Europe (2004), with an introduction by Jinty Nelson
    R. I. Moore


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July 17, 2020

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