A choice of context
In doing this, I have adopted certain roles as a historian - not least, that I chose to present the story of John Hogsflesh (rather than, say, that of Henry VIII) to you in the first place. Which suggests to me that there is another question here about roles, the role adopted by the reader or audience of history.
Is the audience best served by passively accepting everything that historians say or write? Or might the reader also want to ask questions, think of arguments - and wonder about what roles the historian adopted in producing his or her 'history'?
About the author
Dr John H. Arnold iteaches medieval history at Birkbeck College. He is author of History: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford University Press, 2000) and Belief and Unbelief in Medieval Europe (Hodder Arnold, 2005).