The historian is like a detective

Collingwood likened the historian to a detective in The Idea of History: both regard narratives from the past not as "the facts," but as evidence to be analyzed to get at the facts. Agatha Christie seemed to understand the resemblance as well:

"You are at least right in this -- not to take what has been written down as necessarily a true narrative. What has been written may have been written deliberately to mislead." -- Murder in Retrospect, p. 183


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