Copyright and what this blog is about
Welcome to this site.
Please do not quote material by Arnold (Joseph) Toynbee or others which is not in the public domain without permission from the copyright holder. Material written by me is copyright.
This blog generates no revenue for me or for anyone. It presents a tiny part of Toynbee’s œuvre in a fragmented form.
It contains no links to sites offering illegal downloads of books.
I hope that it will support Oxford University Press by helping to revive interest in his forgotten work. I was in discussion with them in 2008.
Material by Toynbee is quoted solely for
- educational and scholarly purposes and
- purposes of criticism, review, illustration and comment.
It would be appreciated if any questions about copyright were sent to me directly at david derrick one word [at the rate of] y___o [dot] c__ or posted below.
This blog is about
Letting air into the longest book in the English language, and some of its companions, via extracts and commentary.
With digressions, and apologies to the late Ray Bradbury for the title.
I live in London, am not a historian and can be contacted below and at david derrick one word [at the rate of] y___o [dot] c__.
In regular posts, quotations from Toynbee’s books do not have a grey line in the margin.
My words, and everything I quote that isn’t Toynbee, do have a grey line.
The book or other material by Toynbee from which I have quoted is identified at the end of a post, after my own commentary and images.
Arnold Toynbee’s A Study of History was published between 1934 and 1961.
There are ten volumes in the main series, an Historical Atlas and Gazetteer, done with Edward D Myers, and a twelfth volume, answering his critics, called Reconsiderations.
(My set – second editions of the first three volumes, first of the rest – has 7,315 pages. They are not necessarily the editions from which I quote.)
Noel Annan, Manchester Guardian Weekly, October 21 1954:
“How fortunate for us that A Study of History, one of the most striking analyses of life in our times, has been written by a man of such humanity and wisdom and with such a passion for inquiry. Today one feeling for his thirty years’ labour must predominate. Admiration for an achievement which has made his name a household word and history something new and exciting to countless people who needed a wider horizon than the old European landscape. Admiration for the tenacity in completing a task from which he has not permitted war or private troubles to deflect him. Admiration for his humanism, for his sympathy for ages and peoples long departed from this earth, and for his magnificent feat of synthesizing such diverse and intractable material. The scholar’s calling is, after all, to create order where none before existed; and to that calling Professor Toynbee has been faithful.”
Hugh Trevor-Roper, The Prophet, New York Review of Books, October 12 1989:
“A monument of wasted erudition.”
Scope of the blog
This is a page. Pages are listed top left. Normal entries are posts. All posts and pages are works in progress.
The blog is a dialogue with, or interrogation of, a half-forgotten and rather unfashionable master. I nearly always quote from the full Study. Half the fun is lost in the abridgements.
I add commentary. Most of the blog deconstructs Toynbee by presenting him without the laws and without the systems. That may seem too light-handed and forgiving, and to be avoiding the point, but much remains when you have done that. His fiercest post-war critics were judging the whole (sometimes the abridgements), or large parts, and the further away you stand from this canvas, the harsher your judgment is likely to be. The charm is in the detail. I’ll often choose lighter or shorter passages, low-hanging fruit, for lack of time to work on more difficult ones (the journalism and travel writings are sometimes light to a fault). Quoting in blog-sized extracts itself breaks up long passages. This is a mosaic or collage.
The Category called A Study of History may eventually contain my own synopsis of the Study. It already contains a digest of the Caplan abridgement in Toynbee-Caplan’s own words, some arguments of Toynbee’s critics, and passages in which Toynbee writes about the gestation of the Study, defines his technical terms, or summarises his theories. (A list of early criticisms appears top left here, under Criticism.)
I will try to see whether or how convincingly Toynbee dealt with particular criticisms by juxtaposing their texts with his replies in Reconsiderations.
A post called Toynbee contains early thoughts I found myself delivering in an argument with some colleagues several years before I started the blog, though I have revised it since then.
The blog’s sources are printed and online material. I have not visited archives in person. I make the reverse of the usual disclaimer: mistakes are likely to be in my sources. If they are mine, they are when I make an assumption or draw a conclusion about something I know little about.
Some posts have nothing to do with Toynbee, but take a wide Toynbeean view or are elementary summaries of a historical subject or link to more substantial things.
I use Wikipedia constantly, but critically. I usually don’t cite it, or Britannica, as a source.
There is a Bibliography: link on the left.
Searches do not pick up words in Comments.
More on layout and conventions
1. Quotations from Toynbee’s books, and his words taken from other sources, are not indented in posts. The few pictures which are not indented are taken from his books.
2. My words, and everything I quote that isn’t from those sources, are indented and greyed and have a grey line in the margin. Illustrations that I select are similarly indented. Embedded video and Flickr, however, are not.
Text-displaying software that eliminates the grey line will make nonsense of the blog.
Indented passages are usually ideas or facts or interpretations which I contribute, not summaries of omitted passages by Toynbee. Sometimes an indented greyed passage may appear to break what is really a single paragraph by Toynbee into two paragraphs. My shorter interpolations are in square brackets within the body of an extract.
Quotations from non-Toynbee sources are placed within double quotation marks, except sometimes when a poem is quoted in a Comment.
In order to keep style conventions as simple as possible in my own passages, I show article, as well as book, names in italics. (But not names of newspapers and institutions, even if the institution has a non-English name.)
Book reference styles:
A Study of History, Vol X, OUP, 1954
Micah Clarke 1889 (Monmouth Rebellion 1685)
Arthur Conan Doyle, Micah Clarke (1889)
Arthur Conan Doyle, Micah Clarke, Longmans, Green, and Co, 1889
4 vols (in list), four volumes (in sentence), Vol IV
Place of publication is London unless otherwise stated.
I use Comments for my afterthoughts and anyone else’s feedback.
3. Titles of posts do not normally quote Toynbee.
4. I follow the spelling, punctuation, diacritical-mark and other conventions of the published texts, which aren’t consistent from book to book or with my own conventions.
But I use double quotation marks (American-style) where Toynbee’s publishers do not and I standardise the way dots and dashes are displayed. And in reproducing the Study’s tables of contents (link top left), I have had to impose one or two conventions of my own in order to make a complex list comprehensible on-screen.
Until March 9 2011 I had shown the Arabic ayin letter, which should be romanised as ʿ (ie an upside-down opening inverted comma, neither a 6 nor a 9), as ‘ (ie a right way up inverted comma or a 6). Thus ʿIrāq became ‘Irāq. I am correcting old posts if I revisit them. Some printed texts do not use the ayin. I may use it even if they do not.
5. […] means that I have omitted something.
I may not show that my quotation has begun other than at the beginning of a printed passage or broken off before the end, or that I have truncated a printed passage’s opening sentence. Once, in “The view from 1897”, I have taken part of an omitted passage and inserted it at a later point in the extract.
An extract may include some, all or none of the original footnotes. I don’t indicate an omission if I leave out a footnote in its entirety. I usually omit mere cross-references to other parts of the Study.
The twelve volumes of the Study are, not least, an astonishing feat by OUP of (not particularly beautiful) typographic layout. One wonders whether anything as complex could even be done nowadays. There are few misprints. Where they are obvious, I correct them, if I notice them, without comment.
Once in a blue moon I might change questionable (not merely old-fashioned) punctuation in the original.
6. Extracts are taken from the printed books or from images of the original printed pages, or from EWF Tomlin’s Toynbee anthology, which I take to be reliable.
I do not link to online versions of any Toynbee texts except The Treatment of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire, which is a collection of documents edited and presented by Toynbee.
I refer to the first edition of a book by Toynbee when stating my source. In some cases my actual source is a later edition or impression. In a very few cases, the passage will have been revised.
7. Some of Toynbee’s post-war travel writings are based on articles sent to The Observer. In A Journey to China (1931), he relies on pieces sent to various publications. I mention pre-book sources when I quote from the China book, but not when quoting from the later books or non-travel books.
8. Where a Greek or Latin, or German or French, passage is given in English translation and Toynbee does not state the translator, there is a good chance that the translation is by him.
9. Most images for which I do not mention a source are from Wikimedia Commons. They are not, unless I say so, taken from printed texts which I am quoting. Photographs aren’t taken by me unless I say they are.
10. Embedded video sometimes stops functioning. I try to re-embed it or something similar when the material returns.
11. I try to correct my mistakes and to change pretentious or unclear or bumptious posts. It bothers me that they might get seen before I do that, but I doubt that it bothers anyone else.
Blogs are unflattering mirrors. Or fires onto which you have to keep tossing logs, since nothing is as dead as an untended blog.