Mudcat Café message #3935657 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #162666   Message #3935657
Posted By: Vic Smith
06-Jul-18 - 06:22 AM
Thread Name: New Book: Folk Song in England
Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
Brian wrote:-
"I also think it sensible to take account of recent research and not accept all of Cecil Sharp's ideas as the last word on the subject."


... and, of course, Brian is right. Further, we also need to accept that modern academic standards in a wide range of disciplines has become much more rigorous and discerning and that there is much more emphasis on detailed research discipline than there was previously. In addition there is far more recognition that whatever your socio-political beliefs you will be hounded by your peers for bringing preconceptions to your work. For example, I doubt if another E.P. Thompson could emerge today and bring such an overbearing influence to historical academic practice as he did in the 1960s and 1970s. I would give Roud's book as a good example of these qualities of being extremely thorough and careful.

I need to add that some of these thoughts have been provoked by reading Penelope Lively's essay Reading and Writing in her 2013 book Ammonites and Leaping Fish which I have just finished this morning. Successful as a novelist, she also had a very precise intellect, the sort of outstanding thinker that gets chosen to be on the Board of Governors of the British Library as she was.