Fourth Interview with Professor Toby Milsom (11 December 2009): Professor Milsom's Published works
Professor Milsom was interviewed four times at his home in Newnham to record his reminiscences of over sixty years of an illustrious academic career, the majority of which was spent in the Faculty of Law at Cambridge. The interviews were recorded, and the audio version is available on this website with this transcript of those recordings. The questions and topics are sequentially numbered in the three interviews for use in a database of citations made across the Eminent Scholars Archive to
... ars Archive to personalities mentioned therein. Interviewer: Lesley Dingle, her questions and topics are in bold type Professor Milsom's answers are in normal type. Comments added by LD, in italics. All footnotes added by LD. 230. Professor Milsom this is our fourth interview and we've come to the point where we can discuss your published work. Everything I've learned from scholars who have reviewed your books indicates that you are, to quote Professor Ibbetson 3 , "The lawyer's legal historian par excellence". Today I hope we can talk in general terms about the background of the writing of your books and perhaps we can turn over some stones to reveal a few aspects hitherto not discussed in more scholarly fora. Your life's work seems to me to read like a long journey in a carriage during which you constantly sought true meaning from situations for which most, maybe all of your fellow passengers, initially accepted the conventional Maitlandian view. As you discerned what you saw as the truth you patiently, repeatedly presented your evidence to convince, dare I say, convert them. This has been an heroic, perhaps a lonely exercise of forensic legal investigation, and in his review 2003 of you're A Natural History of the Common Law, your last book, Professor David Ibbetson said that some of your heresies have now become orthodoxies. Do you believe, Professor Milsom that you have by now converted most of your fellow passengers to your way of thinking?