'In the recent years, the urgency of reviewing the general framework of European history has grown in proportion to the fashion for highly specialized, high-magnification studies. (...) Many historians and students have been drawn into ‘more and more about less and less’ to the point where the wider perspectives are sometimes forgotten. Yet the humanities require all degrees of magnifications. History needs to see the equivalent of the planets spinning in space; to zoom in and observe people at ground level, and to dig deep beneath their skins and their feet. The historian needs to use counterparts of the telescope, the microscope, the brain-scanner and the geological probe.’ Norman Davies