New virtual issue of ‘Transactions’: the Prothero Lectures

8 July 2022

A new virtual issue of 16 articles, selected from the Transactions of the Royal Historical Society, is now available. Each article is a published version of one of the Society’s annual Prothero Lectures. This virtual issue of the journal–freely available during 2022–is published on the centenary of the death of George W. Prothero (1848-1922), after whom the lectures are named.

First delivered in July 1969, the Prothero Lecture is now the centre point of the Society’s annual events programme. Lectures, given each July, are published as articles in the Transactions of the Royal Historical Society, and the journal has more than 50 ‘Prothero’ articles in which leading historians consider new subject areas, methods and historiographies. Collectively, the Prothero articles chart shifting interests and priorities in historical research over the past half century.

10 July 2022 marks the centenary of the death of George W. Prothero (1848-1922), historian and editor, after whom the lecture is named. Prothero was President of the Royal Historical Society between 1901 and 1905 and played a leading role in the professionalisation of history and historical research in the early twentieth century.

For this virtual issue a selection of 16 articles have been chosen. They range from Charles Crawley’s inaugural ‘Sir George Prothero and his circle’ (1969) to Linda Colley’s 2020 lecture: ‘What happens when a written constitution is printed? A history across boundaries’. Historians whose work appears include: Joanna Bourke, Natalie Zemon Davis, Roy Foster, Olwen Hufton, Carole Hillenbrand, Sujit Sivasundaram, Pauline Stafford and Keith Thomas.

Read all 16 articles, freely available during 2022

This year’s Prothero Lecture—‘The Gaiety Girl and the Matinee Idol’, given on 6 July 2022 by Professor Rohan McWilliam—examines celebrity culture in London’s West End, 1880-1914. The video of the lecture is available, as part of the Society’s events archive. A published version of the lecture will be available later via TRHS FirstView and in print in 2023.

The Society’s archive, at University College London, includes an extensive collection of the papers of George W. Prothero (1848-1922), historian, editor and President of the RHS, 1901-05. The archive has recently been re-catalogued and is available for consultation by appointment.

The next virtual issue of the journal will appear in November 2022 to mark the 150th anniversary of the publication, in 1872, of the first volume of the Society’s Transactions–making TRHS the UK’s longest-running scholarly historical journal.