GEN-MEDIEVAL-L ArchivesArchiver > GEN-MEDIEVAL > 2004-03 > 1079135610
From: Peter Stewart <>
Subject: Re: Richardson's Book --[PA3]
Date: Fri, 12 Mar 2004 23:53:30 GMT
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John Steele Gordon wrote:
> "Peter Stewart" <> wrote in message
>>John Steele Gordon wrote:
>>>Seeing as PA3 will be over 800 pages if I remember correctly (PA2 has
>>>there will be much new information gathered in a very useful format.
>>And are you telling us that you will have confidence in using this?
> Of course. Would I regard it as sacred, unquestionable text? No. But then I
> wouldn't regard any reference work, from the OED to CP to this morning's
> stock report (which does not make pleasant reading) as unquestionable. But
> PA1 and PA2 were both excellent, valuable works and I have no reason
> whatever to think that PA3 will be anything else. Naturally I haven't seen
> more than very small portions of the manuscript, so I am not reviewing it,
> just stating my expectations.
The book, as you are aware, is made up of small portions - this is not a
Richardson has posted some extracts, and it's reasonable (given his
wonted caginess with purported "research") to assume that he chose to
reveal what he thought would stand up to scrutiny on SGM.
Some notable portions have been examined in detail, with results that by
now should have given rise to a highly cautious revision of any sensible
person's wishful "expectations" of the work.
Hap Sutliff, Rosie Bevan, Brad Verity and others have pointed out
egregious lapses in method and analysis. Their considered opinions ought
to be treated with some respect by anyone genuinely interested in
medieval genealogy, rather than merely uncritically filling in gaps on a
personal vanity pedigree.
No-one suggested that PA3 should be held to a standard of
unquestionability. Quite obviously you have reason to suppose that it
will be something other than PA1 or PA2 in several ways, because the
oversight of Dr Faris was lacking with the additional material. If these
ways do not include scholarly excellence, you must have retained a high
opinion of Richardson through much strong evidence to the contrary, or
else have a low one of Faris.
Your brusque "of course" followed by the addressing of your own
different question is a blatant rhetorical evasion of the point at
issue. Do you still have confidence that the accuracy of Richardson's
"new" information can be trusted, as generally reliable, without going
over his tracks and checking every single citation to see which - if any
- supports a specific claim?
If so, what is the rational basis for this confidence? And if not, how
can you imagine that such a book is likely to be useful?
Richardson's customarily shoddy standard of work is a matter of almost
daily record on this newsgroup. Is there a particular reason to suppose
that this is a blind, and that he has done better work for PA3 than has
ever been indicated here?
|Re: Richardson's Book --[PA3] by Peter Stewart <>|