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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.
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.
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.
The history of consumerism in Germany is surprisingly new. Unlike other countries, most notably France, Britain, and the United States, the study of consumer culture is a relative newcomer to German historiography.
The 1715 rebellion has never really sparkled in the heroic iconography of the Jacobite cause. Within the old received narrative of doomed chivalry and defeated virtue, it inhabits a melancholic role, untouched by the colour and charisma of Charles Edward Stuart and the ’45, or the epic afterglow of Viscount Dundee’s earlier stand at Killecrankie.
For the first fifteen years after the end of the Second World War, the Nazi persecution and mass murder of the Jews of Europe was rarely the subject of public debate or historical analysis. Only after the Eichmann trial did the term ‘Holocaust’ gain widespread acceptance.
Every picture tells a story. The story told by posed portraits of the family is one of change over time; family groups look different at different times. Thus the Victorian middle-class family is typically photographed in an indoor ‘domestic’ setting, its members unsmiling, connected to each other by the touch of a hand on a shoulder.
Wright’s volume is very much to be welcomed moving as it does beyond the traditional debates concerning the relationship between General (Arminian) and Particular (Calvinist) congregations, and the argument as to whether Baptist origins are to be found in continental Anabaptism or more domestically in Puritan Separatism.
A new book by Greg Walker, Professor of Early Modern Literature and Culture at the University of Leicester, is a major event.
There is an old joke that doing intellectual history is like nailing jelly to the door. The field deals with abstractions that resist clear definition. Rudimentary notions of historical causality prove difficult to establish. Selecting representative figures depends upon contested assumptions about cultural hierarchy.