“We are told that the study of literature ‘cultivates the taste, educates the sympathies and enlarges the mind’. These are all excellent things, only we cannot examine tastes and sympathies. Examiners must have technical and positive information to examine.” Professor Edward Freeman, 1887.
A revealing quote, less about the nature of literature, more about the aims of ‘history’. In time, history acquiesces to ‘literature’ for a brief moment.