We need to talk about Edward Augustus Freeman

Making History Blog PictureOn 7 December 2015, the editors of a new British Academy volume of essays about Edward August Freeman – Dr Jonathan Conlin and Dr Alex Bremner – met the Reverend Professor Diarmaid MacCulloch Kt FBA at Trinity College, Oxford, to talk about this intriguing Victorian historian.

The interview reveals that Freeman was a man of very strong and outspoken opinions. He is best known for his monumental The History of the Norman Conquest, ‘but he is not so much the founding father of medieval studies, as the deranged great-uncle that – for your own sanity as well as his safety – you have walled up into your attic.’

Listen to the interview to discover Freeman’s views on religion, the United States, race, the Empire, architecture, and the study of history itself.


Dr Alex Bremner is Senior Lecturer in architectural history at the University of Edinburgh. Dr Jonathan Conlin teaches modern British history at the University of Southampton. Together they have edited Making History: Edward Augustus Freeman and Victorian Cultural Politics (Proceedings of the British Academy, 202). Diarmaid MacCulloch Kt is Professor of the History of the Church at the University of Oxford, and a Fellow of the British Academy.

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