Many of you will have read, or at least have heard of, EH Carr’s famous work from 1961 called What is History? in it he uses a powerful analogy which is reproduced below. Have a re-read and think whether it has any value as an image to be shared with pupils struggling to see why it is so difficult to recreate the past and why we have so many competing interpretations of it. This is what Carr wrote nearly 50 year ago:
Historical facts are like fish swimming about in a vast and inaccessible ocean; and what the historian catches will depend partly on chance, but mainly on what part of the ocean he ( sic) chooses to fish in and what tackle he chooses to use-these two factors being, of course, determined by the kind of fish he wants to catch.