Mary-Anne (Read) Rawson (1801–87) was everyone and no one. Raised in a family on the cusp of a professionalizing industrial Sheffield, as presented in Alison Twells’s study, Mary-Anne and women like her both personified the absolute personal intimacy of evangelical piety, and married their belief and middle class privilege with a public critique of both the poor and poverty.
Glenn Richardson’s latest contribution to early modern Anglo-French relations comes in the form of this edited volume covering nearly three centuries of contact between England and France from 1420 to 1700. The Contending Kingdoms is essentially the proceedings of a Society for Court Studies conference which took place in London in November 2004.
This is a very carefully researched and well-written account of reactions within Britain to the Soviet Union during the industrialisation and forced collectivisation programmes of the 1930s.
Although this book is not very long (109 pages, not counting appendices and index), it might be characterized in multiple ways. First, it is important, making a valuable addition to the literature on medieval prisons. Interestingly, medieval prisons have not attracted a great deal of scholarly attention.
Jenny Keating’s A Child for Keeps, based on her excellent doctoral study of the subject (1), is a welcome addition to the social history of 20th-century Britain.
This volume, dedicated to the historian Lawrence W. Levine, was, in the words of its authors, ‘born of our belief that the time is ripe for a broad assessment of U.S. cultural history’.
In early 1840, the New York lawyer and diarist George Templeton Strong noted that the newspapers were obsessed with commentary and speculation about the upcoming wedding of Queen Victoria. All this was ‘doubtless very interesting and important to her Majesty’s loyal subjects’, wrote Strong huffily, but ‘to us republicans is, or ought to be, rather dull and profitless’ (p. 50).
When reviewing books one’s expectations can be raised by the title. In the case of The End is Nigh one could be forgiven for assuming that it must relate to the End of Time and the various ways in which the world might end – cosmic impact; neighbouring supernova; nuclear apocalypse; unstoppable virus; runaway global warming, i.e. large scale global catastrophes.
This is a literary study of the servant problem, a problem that endlessly bothered employers and moralists, and has recently emerged in a rather different sense to worry scholars too. Virginia Woolf observed that we would understand great lives far better if we remembered domestic struggles, the scrubbing, carrying and labours of one maid to hold back cold and dirt.
The title and sub-title of this work promised much, suggesting – to this reader at least – that we would be presented with a monograph that could help take forward the growing international and inter-disciplinary scholarship on the animal – human historical relationship. The study of non-human animals within the humanities and social sciences has developed dramatically in recent decades.