I picked this up in my first weekend when at the University of Birmingham in 1914. I’ve applied it to a few books, such as Niall Ferguson’s ‘Pity of War’. You end up doing more than reading the book: you eat it with a knife and fork.
At any one time I have some six books out with reviewers; I took have around six books to get through (at least). The latest being ‘The Western Front: Landscape, Tourism and Heritage’ by Stephen Miles and the other the unusual, but smart, densely researched and seriously cited ‘National Myth and the First World War in Modern Popular Music’ by Peter Grant.
I’ve given neither this treatment, however I am going to go through ‘A Kingdom United’ by Catriona Pennell in this way because it is a text that I will need to have absorbed deeply before I tackle my dissertation, which in some respects would be treated like this, but with the focus on one modestly sized English market town and its immediate local.
What does it suggest?
Author’s stated purpose
Have they succeeded?
Freinds in high places
Contents and layout
Approach in theoretical terms
The Historiographical Cycle
What is the purpose of the book?
Book of the TV/Film
Version & Publisher
Reading the Book
Critical, but sympathetic
Do not set out to attack the book
Read carefully and thoroughly
Don’t skip – go back and read the hard bits!
Don’t skip the forewards, prefaces and notes on the end.
Read twice – preferably
Hard bits to re-read
Impressions as they develop
Helps to stay awake
Slips of paper
As you read – questions to keep in mind
What is the genre or field and how does the book fit into it?
How does the author approach the subject?
What is the central thesis?
Several these bound together
Ust be clearly defined