On the Spot: Lucy Inglis

‘People don't learn from others’ mistakes. We have a need to make our own.’

Lucy Inglis

Why are you a social historian?
I’m interested in people, from morphine-addicted veterans of the American Civil War to 18th-century London artisans.

What’s the most important lesson history has taught you?
That people don’t learn from others’ mistakes. We have a need to make our own.

Which book has had the greatest influence on you?
David Cannadine’s Decline and Fall of the British Aristocracy.

What book in your field should everyone read?
Alfred W. McCoy’s The Politics of Heroin in Southeast Asia.

Which moment would you most like to go back to?
Covent Garden market at dawn, early 1760s, when it sold marmosets and songbirds, and had an Italian food warehouse.

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