The ‘I’ in the Historian in Geschiedenis als metgezel In her analysis of Geschiedenis als metgezel Mineke Bosch focuses on the autobiographical aspects of the book. At first Bosch wonders why the author needs to legitimise her choice of a personal perspective on history as an intellectual, academic and professional practice so many years after the autobiographical turn in the humanities. Ebels convinces her, however, that in the face of still rigid norms regarding objectivity within the heart of the historical ‘biotope’, such an explanation is not only reasonable, but also illuminating. The subtle organisation of the book into four chapters on ‘subject’, ‘sources’, ‘narrative’ and ‘reception’ is very productive for always well-founded discussions of innumerable aspects of history.
The Intermezzo on her life as part time historian forms an essential prologue to the last astonishing chapter. Apart from the autobiographical references to her career as a historian, the more hidden aspects of self presentation in the book reveal Bunna Ebels-Hoving as an impartial and fully dedicated scholar who as a ‘Miss Marple’ of the historical profession solves a character assassination within the academic community.
This review is part of the discussion forum 'Geschiedenis als metgezel' (Bunna Ebels-Hoving).