What makes good historical research? Put simply, diligence, knowledge-based understanding – and complete objectivity. I choose the projects I undertake very carefully, and ensure that a clearly defined objective for the project – and parameters for what I am researching – are in place before I start. That way you know what to expect from me, and I know what you expect.
I believe in a cross-disciplinary approach, taking data from archaeology, written history, genealogy*, geography, politics, economics as well as my own on-site observations. I will isolate folklore and myth from fact – and whilst this folklore is itself historically relevant (it tells how a place, person or situation is perceived at a certain time), I will not perpetuate it as historical when it is not, and I will highlight where an idea is my own, and explain why. I will also not undertake to rewrite “revisionist” history to fit a specific agenda or pre-determined narrative.
From Sherlock Holmes in “A Scandal in Bohemia” –
‘It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts.’
*Please note that I am not a professional genealogist, although I do have contacts in that area should you require this service.