The moral complexity of history is a fascinating topic. ‘Rhodes must stay’ (Trinity term 2016) invites a constructive debate about the darker parts of our past we choose to retain, honour, disdain or discard. I offer a suggestion from Thomas Carlyle, that curmudgeonly, eccentric, surprisingly modern (old-fashioned) poet-historian of the Victorian era: ‘History is the essence of innumerable biographies.’ In our Social-Media-saturated world, we are surrounded by innumerable (visual) biographies, via Facebook and Instagram; we do not censor these stories, we invite a broad, global sharing of the often mundane details of Twitter feeds. If Rhodes was alive today, would he not be given equal air time on our world wide web? Perhaps it is the more disturbing aspects of his Imperialism that makes our politically-correct selves uncomfortable: he invites us to examine (and not project onto others) those parts of our own personae that are the very human, albeit fatally flawed aspects of our ‘innumerable biographies’, still being written, still evolving, but open to the constructive correction that is possible with integrity and self-awareness.