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Until the last decade, scholarly work on the history of sport and leisure in Ireland was most noted by its absence. Historians of modern Ireland almost entirely ignored the importance of sport as a historical phenomenon, preferring to concentrate on matters of church and state.
There are very few books about amateurism. But it is also true that most books about sport in the century before 1960 are about amateurism because it was the idea dominant in the politics and administration of sport. One can no more ignore amateurism in the development of modern sport than one could ignore religion in medieval politics.
Andrea McKenzie begins her preface to Tyburn's Martyrs by attempting to locate the 18th-century Tyburn execution in the broader modern cultural context.
Gwenda Morgan's The Debate on the American Revolution adds a valuable volume to Manchester University Press's series on Issues in History. Stretching the American Revolution forward to the construction and ratification of the American federal constitution, she surveys and sifts through a vast literature that has grown exponentially over the last several decades.
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: in addition to the Edinburgh History of Scotland (four volumes, 1965-75) and the New History of Scotland (eight volumes, 1981-4), we now have the New Edinburgh History of Scotland (10 volumes, in progress), not to mention Michael Lynch's substantial and phenomenally successful Scotland: A New History (2nd ed
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.