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It is a bold historian who, in the 21st century, still advertises, even as subtitle, a history of ‘Germanic Europe’ in the late Middle Ages. Evidently alarm bells were sounding in the author’s own ears, as he uses his first page (p. viii) to insist that ‘this book does not revive discredited racist notions based upon a supposedly pristine Germanic antiquity’. And nor does it.
Selling the Tudor Monarchy is large, colourful, contentious and far-reaching. It is the first of three volumes stretching from the 15th to the 18th centuries, examining the representations of monarchs from Henry VII to Queen Anne. This is a bold undertaking, but this first volume suggests that it is one very much suited to Kevin Sharpe’s strengths.
As the title of the book suggests, Geographies of Empire covers the period roughly from the beginning of the ‘scramble for Africa’ – following the British invasion of Egypt in 1882 – to the year by which many of the territories formerly acquired by European colonial powers had been lost or given up.
Sarah Pearsall has found her sea legs in her analysis of Atlantic families who were launched alone and adrift ‘into the ocean of the world’ (p. 47). Family members in Britain, the Caribbean, and the American colonies were divided by the Atlantic in a period of revolution and war (1760–1815).
The idea of the ‘two cultures’ was launched by C. P. Snow in the Rede lecture, delivered in Cambridge on 9 March 1959, and entitled, ‘The two cultures and the scientific revolution’.
This is a hugely welcome book. The informal economy of gifts, favours and support in early-modern England, though of obvious importance, remains extremely elusive.
‘Look into his eyes: could you ever say “no” to a man like that?’ We were standing before a portrait of Emiliano Zapata; the woman who would have found it hard to say ‘no’ was a young, middle-class professional from Mexico City who had generously taken up the task of introducing her nation’s language and history to me.
Two books on druids in two years, and by the same author! If I were either of Ronald Hutton’s publishers I’d be biting my nails over this, but let me reassure them both right at the start that Hutton pulls it off, and in style. The two really do complement each other. So what does Blood and Mistletoe have that The Druids: A History (1) does not?
The first decades of British rule in Cyprus have so far received by far too little academic interest. Ever since the fourth volume of George Hill’s epic A History of Cyprus was published in 1952, few books have added in depth analysis and new insights on this period.
Do we get the history of parliament we actually deserve or the one we want to see? From the broad Whiggish vistas of the 19th century to the Namierite views of the 20th century, to the post-revisionist views of the 21st, more than most history the sources and narratives on this remarkable institution of parliament were always significant and seem to reflect the history we wish to see.