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ISSN 1749-8155

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Review Date: 
7 Dec 2017

Edited volumes serve an important purpose: when executed correctly, they help consolidate a body of scholarship, encourage dialogue between the volume’s contributors and set an agenda for future research. The historical study of trauma has been well-catered for in this respect by Traumatic Pasts, edited by Mark S.

Review Date: 
7 Dec 2017

Paul Slack has made an important contribution to the history of early modern England. From his early research into plague victims, poverty and urban society, to his more recent discussions on ‘improvement’, consumption and material progress, Slack’s ideas and arguments permeate the 11 essays that make up this volume, which offers a diverse and eclectic history of England from 1550 to 1850.

Review Date: 
23 Nov 2017

This book traces trajectories of medical understanding of mind, brain and nerves from pre- to post-war Britain and analyses the impact of the First World War with its shell shock ‘epidemic’ on established medical ideas and practices.

Review Date: 
16 Nov 2017

The cover of Lindsey Earner-Byrne’s brilliant new book, Letters of the Catholic Poor: Poverty in Independent Ireland 1920–1940, features a collage of letters. One details a husband’s illness, another is a postcard of the Wellington Monument from Dublin’s Phoenix Park with ‘very urgent’ underlined on its face. A further letter pleads for assistance from Fr.

Review Date: 
26 Oct 2017

There is selectivity in many of the narratives of how animals’ lives have been shaped by warfare in the 20th century, which often focuses on their bravery and loyalty as they are used and abused on battlefields.

Review Date: 
19 Oct 2017

In contemporary understanding, a kitchen is a space which houses a heat source and appropriate utensils for preparing meals. How and why this kind of kitchen emerged in England between the 17th and mid-19th century is the story that Pennell set out to uncover.

Review Date: 
12 Oct 2017

Samantha Shave’s new book assesses how policies under the old and new poor laws were conceived, implemented, and the effect that they had on poor relief. The book is an excellent addition to the historiography. It is well written and researched and contains important new findings on several key topics that have largely been ignored by historians.

Review Date: 
21 Sep 2017

The emergence of racial classification in conjunction with the Enlightenment Science of Man in the 18th century is a well-known chapter in the history of European ideas. Far less understood are the ways in which this scientific project carried into the 19th and 20th centuries, the investigation of which is Richard McMahon’s purpose in The Races of Europe.

Review Date: 
14 Sep 2017

In 1833, after centuries of resistance and rebellion by enslaved people, decades of popularly-mobilized antislavery protests, and years of economic struggle on colonial plantations, England’s Parliament initiated the process of slave emancipation in the British Empire.

Review Date: 
7 Sep 2017

Tom Crook has written a big book – big in scope, range, and thought. It is both an overview of the institutionalization of public health in England and an interpretation of that event as paradigmatic of the systems and practices of pervasive governance that constitute modernity.

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