Andrew MacLennan, longtime history editor at Longman Publishers, explains why his love for the subject is simply second nature to him.
An active engagement with the past is not perhaps a desideratum, let alone a requirement, for a history publisher in these hard-nosed times. However, in our family it wasn’t an option: we were marinated in it from the womb, and the amniotic fluid came from our father.
Dad – a Scottish army medico – was soldier by profession, military historian by avocation, and antiquarian by habit. His enthusiasms were the early-modern history of Scottish regiments and mercenaries; and arms and armour. He collected both throughout his life, but particularly early on in his native Aberdeen. As a result, we were born into a happily chaotic family home that was part library, part arsenal, part cabinet of curiosities, and part obstacle course.