[LMB] Macauley's History, somewhat on topic

Tony Zbaraschuk tonyz at eskimo.com
Sat Jan 22 03:55:25 GMT 2011

On Fri, Jan 21, 2011 at 10:43:15PM -0500, Nicholas D. Rosen wrote:
> I posted an appreciation of Macauley's *History of England*
> on my weblog a few days ago: 
> http://ndrosen.livejournal.com/348717.html
> Jerrie Adkins paid me the compliment of suggesting that I could
> post it to the list, especially if I made it relevant.  It's a bit lengthy,
> and I don't propose to take the time to rework it to contain a few
> ObBujolds, but interested people may want to read the post.
> Do you think that Aral would have read Macauley's History?
> What about Miles?  Gregor?  What might they have learned, what 
> might they have disagreed with, how might it have guided their
> actions?

It's probably in the databanks, but I don't see Aral or Miles as
being the sort of person to read a hymn of praise to parliamentary
government.  (Macaulay is wonderful reading, and a great story-
teller, and even to some extent a good historian -- certainly you
need to read his analysis of the Glorious Revolution! -- but it's
not particularly in favor of monarchy, let's face it.)

Cordelia... now I could see Cordelia reading it, particularly in
the post-_Barrayar_ period when she's finished the maternity books
and is ready to start thinking about changing Barrayar, and going
back and seeing how the transition from monarchy to parliaments
was made in Earth's history.  (But then Cordelia probably thinks
more in terms of direct democracy, and Macaulay is talking more
about the British aristocracy.)

I wouldn't be surprised if some progressive Vor have read Macaulay
and are thinking "how nice it would be to move to this point and
STOP."  Possibly Lord Miles Proxy-for-the-Count Vorkosigan is
one of them.

Gregor.... it's very possible, particularly if Cordelia sneakily
modified his reading list somewhere along the line.  But keep in
mind that Gregor may or may not have the same goals as Cordelia
in mind.  (Gregor as Charles II?  The mind boggles.  But Gregor
as a smart James I working with his nobility, or thinking like
William of Orange -- yeah, that's a possibility.)

Tony Z

Online plagiarizing is easy to do, but even easier to catch.

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