Herbert Butterfield

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Sir Herbert Butterfield (7 October 1900 – 20 July 1979) was Regius Professor of History and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cambridge. As a British historian and philosopher of history, he is remembered chiefly for a short volume early in his career entitled The Whig Interpretation of History (1931) and for his Origins of Modern Science (1949). Butterfield turned increasingly to historiography and man's developing view of the past. Butterfield was a devout Christian and reflected at length on Christian influences in historical perspectives.
Butterfield thought that individual personalities were more important than great systems of government or economics in historical study. His Christian beliefs in personal sin, salvation and providence were a great influence in his writings, a fact he freely admitted. At the same time, Butterfield's early works emphasized the limits of a historian's moral conclusions, "If history can do anything it is to remind us that all our judgments are merely relative to time and circumstance".

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The best books of all time by Herbert Butterfield

  1. 440 . The Whig Interpretation of History by Herbert Butterfield

    The Whig historian studies the past with reference to the present. He looks for agency in history. And, in his search for origins and causes, he can easily select those facts that give support to h...