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George Bancroft

Becker and Style

In an essay called “Labelling the Historians” from the April 5, 1917 issue of The Dial, Carl Becker took up the issue of style in history-writing: any style worth attention cannot be separated from the matter of which it is, in the measure of its excellence, merely the most appropriate form. The very word “style” does incredible harm, since it brings with it, from common usage, connotations that are inapplicable to literary discourse. Style? Stylish dress, stylish woman. Every one knows what a stylish woman is—a woman attractively dressed, a woman with an air, a manner. How then can a Read more