chapter  13
12 Pages

W R IT IN G AND PUBL IS H IN G

I assume that the local historian who has spent some years studying every detail about the past history of his chosen place, or some special aspect of it which more particularly appeals to him, will wish to see the results of his labours in print. The great problem which will arise before beginning to write is: What kind of reader has one in mind? For this will determine to a very large extent the treatment of the subject. If one is dealing with a special aspect of local history, for example the financial history of a town or a study of the public health of a particular community, the question does not arise very seriously. But if one intends to write a complete history of a town or a parish one has to envisage two distinct kinds of reader. In a purely local history of what one may call, without disrespect, an antiquarian kind, in which one puts in all sorts of details about local families, local events, local houses, and topography, one must expect to interest mainly the inhabitants of that place and a few people outside who happen to know it. In other words, one is writing for a very limited public, able to appreciate this kind of detail.