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This is a book of exceptional originality and importance. Dr Martínez Hernández has written a biography of Don Gómez Dávila y Toledo (1541–1616), II Marquis of Velada, but such is the breadth of his research that his book reshapes our understanding of the courtly politics and of the policymaking processes at the Spanish court in the critically important period from the 1560s to the 1620s.
In 1990, immediately after UN Security Council Resolution 678 provided authorisation for the use of force to expel the Iraqi military from Kuwait President George H. W. Bush said in a news conference:
It has often been observed that the greatest legacy of the Paris Commune of 1871 was its myth. In its short duration the Commune failed to transform Paris in any lasting way – even its supreme gesture of repudiation of the military traditions of the French past, the toppling of the Vendôme column, was to be reversed.
Duncan Bell’s book comes with an intriguing picture on its front cover: Gustave Doré’s famous 1860 depiction of a New Zealander perched on a broken arch of London Bridge sketching the ruins of St Paul’s and its environs. The image, derived from an essay by Thomas Babington Macaulay, captures much of the Victorian premonition and anxiety about empire.
Russell, Conrad Sebastian Robert, Fifth Earl Russell (1937–2004)
The five senses of the body were imbued with moral significance in the high and late Middle Ages, and 13th- and 14th-century confession manuals afford ample evidence of this belief. Contained in these treatises were interrogatories that urged priests to examine penitents on their sins, using the five senses as the starting point for ways in which the laity might lapse.
Work in the 18th century has long been neglected by historians, who have focused instead on other aspects of economic life: notably consumption, but also on the legal structures of inheritance and marriage which shaped working lives over the life cycle. So we can identify the legal differences and similarities between 18th-century Brittany and Britain.
James M. Smith’s book, Ireland’s Magdalen Laundries and the Nation’s Architecture of Containment (2007) fills a significant gap in research about the Magdalen laundries and their impact on Irish society. Frances Finnegan’s Do Penance or Perish (2001) has also tackled the subject, but her study is confined to the Good Shepherd asylums that operated in Ireland.
Sandra Cavallo’s Artisans of the Body in Early Modern Italy will appeal to scholars interested in the social history of medicine for more than one reason.
This is a book whose coverage is not confined to its title. That is, it tells us about more than just the naval aspect of 1915’s attack on Gallipoli.