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Making HistoryEdward Augustus Freeman and Victorian Cultural Politics$
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G.A. Bremner and Jonathan Conlin

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780197265871

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197265871.001.0001

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‘Seeing Things With Our Own Eyes’: E. A. Freeman’s Historical Travels

‘Seeing Things With Our Own Eyes’: E. A. Freeman’s Historical Travels

(p.85) 5 ‘Seeing Things With Our Own Eyes’: E. A. Freeman’s Historical Travels
Making History

William M. Aird

British Academy

Edward A. Freeman travelled extensively throughout his life and was far from being a sedentary gentleman-scholar confined to his country residence at Somerleaze, Somerset. According to Freeman, the successful historian needed to see the places about which he wrote. His historical travels took him to all parts of Europe, into North Africa and to the United States. Freeman’s foreign tours were carefully organised and conducted with the central purpose of informing and guiding his historical work. Over many years, Freeman developed a methodology for his historical travels that he seems to have applied consistently. On occasion, his travels took him into dangerous regions, such as Dalmatia in the late 1870s. Edward Freeman’s travels reflected his interest in historical geography and his recognition of the importance of place in the study of the past marks him out as one of the pioneers of the so-called ‘spatial turn’ in modern historiography.

Keywords:   Edward Augustus Freeman, historical geography, Victorian travel, Dalmatia, Montenegro, Herzegovina, Victorian historiography, Arthur J. Evans, Ottoman Empire, Eastern Question

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