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Ever since the rise of American and German challenges to British industrial hegemony in the late 19th century, stories of 'decline' have played a key role in narratives of British history, extending well beyond the narrow confines of the economy. Of course, declines have taken place.
This book is the result of a bold and innovative research project funded between 1999 and 2002 by the then Arts and Humanities Research Board, with further funds provided subsequently by a number of scholarly institutions. The preface further acknowledges the support of a glittering array of scholars, not least Geoffrey Parker who read through the entire draft.
Scotland's history is increasingly well served by textbooks.
As P. G. Maxwell-Stuart notes in his introduction to these selections, the Malleus Maleficarum (c.1486) has elicited periodic interest throughout the last hundred years, perhaps more than it ever did in the two centuries or so of witch persecution after its first publication (p. 36).
Katharine Hodgkin's Madness in Seventeenth-Century Autobiography is a welcome, thought-provoking contribution to our understanding of the cultural history of madness.
In the six centuries after his death in 1404 William Wykeham, bishop of Winchester, has not lacked biographers. As prelate and patron of learning, he inspired pious remembrance. Dr Thomas Aylward, one of his executors, composed a brief memoir shortly after his death, and Robert Heete, a beneficiary of his patronage, compiled a more substantial memoir in the early 1420s.
The Ancient Greeks at War by Louis Rawlings is a wide-ranging and varied survey: it presents a clear and well-informed overview of key issues in the study of Greek warfare and of the modern controversies about them - though without extensive footnotes.
First time as tragedy, second time as kitsch. During the 1990s, China took on board Deng Xiaoping's message that 'to get rich is glorious'. Yet some of the country's elite, jaded by the endless supply of luxury goods now available in Beijing and Shanghai, favour restaurants with a new spin: the peasant cuisine of the Cultural Revolution.
In 1900 the Conservatives won 51 of the 59 London parliamentary seats. Alex Windscheffel's fine monograph provides a commentary on how the party achieved such parliamentary dominance in the most busy and complex of British cities. Yet the book is much more than just a commentary, as its manifesto-like introduction makes clear.
The feverish speculation in tulip bulbs which reached a peak in February 1637, together with the crash that followed, is one of the more notorious episodes in 17th-century Dutch history.