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Meetings with Remarkable Forgeries (British History)
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Grant



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I was the first reviewer (Five stars!)
I was the one who said you will be famous when you're dead
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Mick Harper
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In: London
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Thanks, mum, but you can use your real name. You're among friends.
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Mick Harper
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Not the strangest thing about writing revisionist books is that academics never point out the mistakes. They wail, they abuse, they mock, but they don't actually critique. I like to think in the case of my books it's because they can't but it's more likely they can't be bothered. The nearest I ever got was somebody who claimed (in a public forum) that he counted errors 'on every page'.

Now I've been reading books all my life and it's really quite rare to spot an actual error. Disagreements, sure, but I can't remember when I spotted two errors in the same book though I'm sure it must have happened. This dude spotted 159 though he declined my invitation to mention any. I suppose I should have asked him the name of the book with the second-most number of errors he'd ever read.

I tell you all this because ... it's happened! At last! A real, live, tenured, academic has pointed out an actual error in Forgeries. See if you can spot what he spotted.

Lindisfarne is one of the best-documented places in the whole of Dark Age Europe. Nothing remarkable about that, it is hallowed ground, the Holy Island. Not so well-evidenced underground as no ecclesiastical archaeology before the twelfth century has ever been found anywhere on Lindisfarne. But it is a tiny island and archaeological digs have been practically an annual event for as long as anyone can remember, so it won't be long now.
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aurelius



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A community project on Holy Island has uncovered the foundations of a pre-Norman church, according to British Archaeology. The remains are on the Heugh, a ridge with extensive views of the Farne Islands & Bamburgh Castle. They consist of metre-long sandstone blocks, a probable (sic) altar base and the division between nave and chancel.

But presumably this is not the answer you are looking for, nor the Parish Church of St Mary The Virgin, because stones cannot be dated.

http://www.stmarysholyisland.org.uk/
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Mick Harper
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Well, it is the answer they've been looking for 'for as long as anyone can remember'. This too is is an annual event -- the declaration that Cuthbert's monastery has been found on Lindisfarne or, as may be, Columba's on Iona or Bede's at Monkwearmouth or St David's at ... um ... St David's. I think they take turns so as not to saturate the market. I'm not a betting man but I bet these latest finds turn out to be metre-long sandstone blocks. Something of that sort.

You're right, it wasn't the answer.
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Mick Harper
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His objection was that far from digs on Lindisfarne being practically an annual event, ‘Lindisfarne has seen surprisingly little archaeological investigations’. I didn’t have much on that afternoon so I decided to crush him. I sent him this list of 'archaeological investigations' of Lindisfarne

1984 Leicester University
1985 Leicester University
1986 Leicester University
1987 Leicester University
1988 Leicester University
1989 Leicester University
1990 Leicester University
1991 Leicester University
1998 The Archaeological Practice
2000 Bernicia Archaeology
2008 English Heritage (aerial survey)
2009 Addyman Archaeology
2012 Geophysical survey
2015 Peregrini
2016 Digventures
2016 Peregrini
2017 Digventures
2017 Peregrini

But he was not for crushing and returned with a savagery rarely seen outside the portals of academe.
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Mick Harper
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First he pointed out that 1984 is not ‘as long as anyone can remember’. Damn, why didn’t I spot that.? It’s simple arithmetic. Some of the Leicester expeditions were ‘non-intrusive’ ie earthwork surveys and fieldwalking. Thud, thud, straight into me vitals. Then he said geophysical and aerial surveys aren’t ‘digs’ so they were out. As was I by this stage. But the stomping didn't stop. Many of the later ones were merely ‘keyhole’, ‘small scale’ so they didn’t count either.

Obviously the book will have to be pulped. The only question is whether I will ever again dare take on these Giants of the Rhetorical Arts.
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Wile E. Coyote


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I would like to see more books with errors. They often signify an author trying to undertake original analysis.

Accuracy is overrated.

If strong ideas are presented, accuracy will follow those ideas.
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Mick Harper
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Our wonderful book is now in the Pierpoint Morgan Library in New York for those of you who do not wish to purchase your own copy.
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Mick Harper
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The 'It's hard to know what they want' Dept

I have just had a review of Forgeries which was quite nice though not over-enthusiastic. In the course of it, the reviewer agreed that I had demolished the 'world's leading expert' on something or other and then moved on to something else that I had failed to do to his satisfaction. Now I live a sheltered life so I don't often come across books that, as far as I'm concerned, demolish the world's leading expert on something or other. In fact I don't think this has ever happened to me. Would I shrug and move on to the next chapter? I'll let you know should it happen.

A similar thing happened, twice, with THOBR. The first time was when my publisher asked my plans for my next book and when I told him he evinced profound uninterest on the grounds that I couldn't possibly overthrow the world's experts. 'But you published THOBR because you thought I had done just that," I pointed out. Yes, that's true, he said, guiding me gently towards the door.

But perhaps he knew his business since the Anglo-Saxon-not-English theory is now entirely respectable (though not accepted). The fact that I invented it is not recognised by anyone (apart maybe you lot). I am a footnote in my own theory!
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Ishmael


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Post a link to the review please.
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Mick Harper
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As soon as you've posted yours.
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Mick Harper
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Fame at last. From my wikipage

Michael Harper may refer to:

Michael Harper (priest) (1931–2010), English charismatic Anglican, later an Orthodox priest
Michael S. Harper (1938–2016), African-American poet
Mike Harper (born 1966), American racecar driver
Mike Harper (basketball) (born 1957), retired American basketball player
Michael Harper (My Family), a character in the British TV series My Family
C. Michael Harper (1927–2016), American businessman

I am all these things and more.
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Mick Harper
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Trinity College is challenging people to get creative using the world famous Book of Kells as inspiration (RTE News)

Better late than never.
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Mick Harper
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Fabulous anti-Harper litany here
https://twitter.com/DrLRoach/status/889425815049469953
including a reference to this very page which should put the Google bots in a tail spin as they go back and forth.
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