The historiographies we have gathered in this volume tell a multitude of stories about the development of economic history, in its various forms and guises, from its pre-history as an academic field, to the present. In some places and periods it has been conjoined with other disciplines or has even been defined in itself as a broadly based endeavour; in others it has been more narrowly delineated, largely to coincide with certain dominant forms of analysis or in engagement with regional political or policy imperatives, rather than with the subject matter of material history per se. The narratives highlight (by no means always congruent) periods of contraction and expansion, turning points in approaches and methods, the impact of varied ideas in broader social science, and the power of prejudice and ideology in limiting the influence of certain approaches and individuals, sometimes cutting short their careers and even their lives. 1 At the same time ideology and political favour have also, of course, been responsible for the elevation of certain individuals and ideas and for endorsing their influence over swathes of the subject, regardless of their shortcomings.