So long as the past and the present are outside one another, knowledge of the past is not of much use in the problems of the present. But suppose the past lives on in the present; suppose, though incapsulated in it, and at first sight hidden beneath the present’s contradictory and more prominent features, it is still alive and active; then the historian may very well be related to the non-historian as the trained woodsman is to the ignorant traveller. ‘Nothing here but trees and grass’, thinks the traveller, and marches on. ‘Look’, says the woodsman, ‘there is a tiger in that grass’.

R. G. Collingwood, Autobiography