Benedetto Croce And Robin Collingwood - Historiographic and humanistic approaches to the self and the world

Prose Studies 31 (3):214-226 (2009)

Autobiographies by intellectuals are a privileged source of intellectual history. This potentiality is increased when we study historians' autobiographies, where they negotiate with a past which is actually their own past. Acknowledging the genre's potential as a source of theory and history, this essay examines Benedetto Croce and Robin Collingwood's memoirs, connecting them to the general trends of historiographic evolution in the twentieth century. Their exploration of the self becomes not only an excellent testimony of the methodological and epistemological trends of between-wars historiography, but also illustrates the natural alliance between history, philosophy, and literature at that time. The analysis focuses on the organic connection between their autobiography and their scholarly work and on how their autobiographies dialogue with the critical framework on scholarship of their time, giving us insight into processes of intellectual history.
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