If Neutral History Existed, No One Would Read It

The myth of neutral history is just that: a myth. If it actually existed, no one would want to read it. Every historian brings to their subject-matter a raft of experience, opinions, attitudes and assumptions that inform their perceptions, and influence both the issues they find interesting, and the questions they bring to their material. History is an attempt to discern the patterns that underlie the surviving traces of the past, not a bloodless chronicle of patternless events, and the interpretation of the records of the past demands personal gifts like imagination and empathy. 

—Eamon Duffy, “‘The Stripping of the Altars,’ 30 Years On,” abridged introduction to the new edition, Catholic Herald, March 30, 2022