Baker, William J.(Department of History at the University of Maine)
Journal of Sport History, Vol. 6, No. 3 (Winter, 1979)
Clio is a sprinter, not a pedestrian. On winged feet historical subjects, meth- odologies, and styles change with dazzling rapidity. Masterpieces by Gibbon, Macaulay, Bancroft, and Turner once were devoured by readers eager to learn about bygone eras; now those masterpieces appear to be period pieces heavily etched with the preoccupations, intellectual currents, and literary styles of the historians’ own eras. The idea of a final historical judgment constitutes a con- tradiction in terms. Clio will not stand still.
A case in point is the recent proliferation of studies on leisure in Victorian England. A subject long ignored by historians, leisure is now gaining a promi- nant place in the story of the transformation of English society brought on largely by the Industrial Revolution. No longer can a balanced history of Victorian England omit the leisure factor. A review of the recent literature on the subject is in order.