Euan Cameron, former Professor of Early Modern History at the University of Newcastle, now Henry Luce III Professor of Reformation Church History at Union Theological Seminary in New York, has written a fascinating and, in many ways, remarkable study.
This is a stimulating and engaging study that ticks a great many (postcolonial scholars’) ‘boxes’.
For an outsider contemplating historiography on the early middle ages, it is a tribute to the subject’s vitality that a book of over nine-hundred pages of text should claim to be less than a definitive statement and aims ‘only to provide the raw material for a better synthesis to do so in the future’. The rather appealing modesty is misplaced.
How does one find information about an author, an anonymous text, or a genre of writing from a particular region in the middle ages? Where does one search for writers of saints’ lives, authors of diaries or letters, historians, and chroniclers?
There is a traditional, whiggish, account of toleration in early-modern England that sees it as the polar opposite of persecution, and charts its gradual triumph over its evil antithesis.
A new book by Greg Walker, Professor of Early Modern Literature and Culture at the University of Leicester, is a major event.
Wright’s volume is very much to be welcomed moving as it does beyond the traditional debates concerning the relationship between General (Arminian) and Particular (Calvinist) congregations, and the argument as to whether Baptist origins are to be found in continental Anabaptism or more domestically in Puritan Separatism.
Every picture tells a story. The story told by posed portraits of the family is one of change over time; family groups look different at different times. Thus the Victorian middle-class family is typically photographed in an indoor ‘domestic’ setting, its members unsmiling, connected to each other by the touch of a hand on a shoulder.
For the first fifteen years after the end of the Second World War, the Nazi persecution and mass murder of the Jews of Europe was rarely the subject of public debate or historical analysis. Only after the Eichmann trial did the term ‘Holocaust’ gain widespread acceptance.
The 1715 rebellion has never really sparkled in the heroic iconography of the Jacobite cause. Within the old received narrative of doomed chivalry and defeated virtue, it inhabits a melancholic role, untouched by the colour and charisma of Charles Edward Stuart and the ’45, or the epic afterglow of Viscount Dundee’s earlier stand at Killecrankie.