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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.
Having extensively written on radical republicanism in 20th-century Ireland, Richard English approaches the subject of Irish nationalism with expertise.
Leif Jerram’s Germany’s Other Modernity: Munich and the Making of Metropolis, 1895–1930 is a rich and welcome contribution to the urban history of modern Germany, a field which has, for some time now, been dominated by studies on Berlin and Hamburg. Berlin has, as Jerram puts it with little exaggeration, acquired ‘totemic status’ (p.
The intellectual historian Martin Jay once championed the cause of ‘ocular-eccentricity’ as an alternative mode of visual engagement.(1) The term, of course, was a play on ‘ocularcentricity’, the concept that the rational power of the eye had come to dominate the nature and scope of our interactions.
In Thomas Cannon’s 1749 pamphlet Ancient and Modern Pederasty Investigated and Exemplify’d, the author recounts a chance meeting with a ‘too polish’d Pederast’ who, ‘attack’d upon the Head, that his Desire was unnatural, thus wrestled in Argument; Unnatural Desire is a Contradiction in Terms; downright Nonsense.
Rhodri Jeffreys-Jones’s volume makes an important, accessible and timely contribution to the literature and historiography of the FBI. Among its many positives, two stand out.