Forty years ago last autumn, Cornell University Press published a revised and expanded dissertation, The Problem of Slavery in Western Culture (1).
Peter Mangold provides here a witty account of the relationship between two statesmen who at the apogee of their careers were respectively British prime minister and president of the French Fifth Republic.
Until relatively recently the in-depth historical analysis of Scottish women’s lives has been the preserve of dedicated gender historians. Although it is fair to say that Scottish historians have recently begun to include the lives of women in their research, this is by no means extensive.
Early-modern Europe (here covering the years from 1492 to 1750) was constantly beset by plagues of all kinds. Scarcely a year passed in western Europe until the 1720s without an outbreak of ‘pestilence’, and scarcely a decade without a major epidemic that killed ten, twenty, or even forty per cent of the community. Expansion brought with it new dangers.
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.