William Tullett recommends

Faculty: Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
School: School of Humanities and Social Sciences
Course: BA (Hons) History
Category: Staff

31 March 2020

Headshot of William Tullett

We asked our BA History lecturers to give us their recommendations for a textbook, novel and film that students should try before joining the course.

These selections are by Dr William Tullett, whose research focuses on the senses, emotions, and materiality in long-eighteenth-century Britain.

History Text
Robert Darnton, The Great Cat Massacre And Other Episodes in French Cultural History (1985, Basic paperback edition 2009) - a book of essays on different aspects of eighteenth-century French culture. Read the whole thing or pick an essay that strikes you as interesting. A great introduction into the strange and exciting world of cultural history.

Adam Thorpe, Ulverton (1992, Vintage Classics edition 2012) – the history of a fictional English village over the course of 300 years, told as a series of fabricated, but highly realistic, historical documents. A fascinating and thought-provoking novel that explores the relationship between historians, fiction, sources, and how to tell the history of a community.

Perfume: The Story of a Murderer directed by Tom Tykwer (2006). As my first book was on smell I thought I should offer something odorous! This film, based on a novel by Patrick Suskind and starring Ben Whishaw, traces an eighteenth-century Frenchman named Jean-Baptiste Grenouille and his murderous quest to create the ‘perfect’ scent.


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