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Unless the event is contemporary, gossip never comes out of a vacuum. It always has a source of some kind that is relating it. In those cases, the historian considers the track record and perspective of whoever it is relating the gossip, or the newspaper in which it appeared. Additionally, there are two major ways to verify any information, including ...


Historians treat gossip (or, in French, "rumeur", and I understand your question in this way) in two ways: 1) as something to debunk. Unsubstantied facts that need (apparently, again and again) to be put to rest. 2) as a social fact. If someone or a lot of people or a crowd believe in gossip it's not the truth of the gossip that is important but its role ...

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