The use of the past in previous eras has become a growth area of historical enquiry in recent times, exemplified by the enormous Cambridge University project, ‘Past Versus Present: Abandoning the Past in an Age of Progress’, on the Victorians’ relationship to the past.
As social history’s highest tides recede, certain of its presumptions are exposed for reargument.
Throughout my reading of Professor Parry’s new book I was distracted by a low, angry, buzzing noise. On reflection, I realized it was the sound of Hugh Trevor-Roper spinning in his grave. The scale of the chasm between the two authors can scarcely be exaggerated.
As the editors Christopher Woolgar, Dale Serjeantson, and Tony Waldron underline on the first page of the introduction to this book, ‘food and diet are rightly popular areas of research, central to understanding daily life in the middle ages’.
Is biography still a legitimate activity for professional historians in the twenty-first century? In contrast to many of the newer approaches towards the past, biography smacks of a very traditional top-down, mostly man-centred, approach. Medieval biographers face the particular problem of relatively restricted source material which led K. B.
Whilst the politics of the British radical right has produced a flourishing scholarship, there has been little systematic attempt to understand its development over the long term.
As popular television and film insists on reminding us, Jesuits were infamous in the early-modern period for plotting the deaths of monarchs. Shekhar Kapur’s portrayal of Edmund Campion in Elizabeth (1998), cloaked and dagger in hand, is a case in point.
Whether or not Michael Maas is right that ‘many excellent studies of Justinian and his age’ exist (p.
Professor Abrams has written a profound and illuminating study of a relatively-isolated, but not inward-looking, community which has been perceived by outsiders as a quintessentially masculine society and yet which was, at least until the 1960s, very much ‘a woman’s world’.
The first, main title of this volume might seem to promise too little or too much—either a very superficial work of generalization, or a heterogeneous assortment of broadly grouped pieces too diverse and disparate to cohere.