We are entitled to retain the quotation marks until some point after the First World War. The years from 1860 to 1914 saw considerable change none the less and an observer surveying the background, working conditions, sources, production, expectations and theoretical sophistication of Western historians on the eve of Sarajevo could hardly miss significant developments engendered over the past half-century. Leisured dilettantes who held university posts by virtue of their birth or in spite of their reluctance to prosecute ‘research’ had decreased as a proportion of the whole. In England one was less likely to run into a Buckle on his daily constitutional or on the way to his club, though one might well encounter Frederick York Powell (1850-1904) on his way to a boxing match as late as the 1890s. Indeed York Powell confutes many suppositions about professionalization understood as a process among historians. As Regius Professor at Oxford he struck the fastidious R.L.Poole as betraying ‘an excessive hostility to all things German, an awkward archaic style, and an extreme dilatoriness in carrying out engagements’.87 Doubtless the impression had gained some currency through his having arrived late for his own inaugural lecture which he had then failed to protract beyond twenty minutes (Slee 1986:142). And of course once the mind sets out on this track, the quaintnesses rush into view: ‘Sligger’ Urquart of Balliol College, Oxford, and his chic reading holidays for attractive young men in his Swiss chalet; Oscar Browning of King’s College, Cambridge, and his violence against the idea of research; Acton himself who insisted on research while avoiding publishing much of it and whose career had been built on an expensive personal library, an eccentric education at the hands of Dr Döllinger in Germany and the social cachet that helped him become Earl Granville’s son-in-law.88 Even in America, where the idea of treating the past in a

‘professional’ way had entwined itself with a peculiar doctrine about ‘objectivity’, the main strides in recruiting historians from those of nonnotable background had still to come. Peter Novick’s recent examination of American historians reveals, for example, that around a quarter of them still came from ‘privileged’ backgrounds before 1914 (Novick 1988:171). The thought brings back a wonderful New Year’s Resolution-George Bancroft’s on the first day of 1821. ‘I think it would be highly useful’, he wrote in his diary, ‘to take lessons in dancing for the sake of wearing off all awkwardness and uncouthness’ (Howe 1908:I, 94). Social mobility mattered then far more than professional ascendancy.