For at least the first half of the twentieth century, Scottish history could be said to have stopped in 1707. The history of the Scottish nation was the history of Bruce, Wallace and the Douglases; of knights in armour, cross-border warfare and corrupt priests.
I come to Paula Bartley's book as someone who has for a number of years, been examining the extent and nature of prostitution in Ireland. Attitudes towards prostitutes and prostitution within Irish culture were in many ways similar to those that prevailed in England. They were also distinctly different.
The chapters in this collective work derive from a conference entitled Apologias for the Nation-State, organized by the editors at the University of Wales in 1996. Taken as a whole, in two respects the book constitutes an unusual and enterprising undertaking.
Reflections on the history of medicine in the second half of the twentieth century make much of the discipline's break with its association with the history of science, and the development of the new approaches and interests signalled by the coming of the 'social history of medicine'.
This is an important book which deserves wide circulation. It is perhaps the only satisfactory extended study yet produced of that important cultural figure Havelock Ellis and the impact of his writings. The parlous state of Ellis scholarship was recently demonstrated by Vernon Rosario's otherwise excellent edited volume Science and Homosexualities (1997).
Although by far the oldest and most numerous ethnic minority in Britain, the Irish have received relatively little attention within British social history or indeed the sociology of migration, race and ethnicity.
Ask most people, including Russians, who have a modest familiarity with European history what they know about medieval Russia and their answer will probably be brief, but will include something about the Mongols, perhaps even 'the Tatar yoke' (for a succinct statement of the difference between Mongols and Tatars see Ostrowski's preface, p. xiii).
Over the last thirty years, there has been a phenomenal rise in the number of soft drinks consumed in Britain.
Mona Lisa ('the eyes follow you round the room'), for example, has certainly been damaged by its over exposure and The Hay Wain barely survives its endless biscuit tin projection as the essence of Englishness.