It has become a commonplace to assert that biographies are unfashionable these days. I’m not sure that’s entirely true, even for English history (female subjects certainly buck the trend), but there is no doubt that they are still the staple of Scottish history, particularly when it comes to the middle ages.
In the latest of our occasional Reviews in History podcast series, Anthony McFarlane talks to Felipe Fernandez-Armesto about his new book, Our America: A Hispanic History of the United States.
Felipe Fernández-Armesto (born 1950) is a British historian and author of several popular works of revisionist history.
John Edwards’s new biography of Cardinal Reginald Pole, part of Ashgate’s Archbishops of Canterbury Series, is a magnificent example of first-rate historical scholarship. Reginald Pole is no easy subject.
Ryan Floyd’s Abandoning American Neutrality should be considered required reading about America’s entry into the First World War.
Elizabeth I (1533–1603) has been the subject of many fictional representations, some as early as the 1680s, speculating about her private life. Theatre plays, novels and later also films explored the allegations made against her during her life-time, such as suggestions that the Queen was infertile, that she was malformed, or in fact, a man or a hermaphrodite (p. 355).
Despite the substantial historiography of Edward I’s reign, this is the first real attempt to examine in depth the relations between this king and his earls at a crucial time in the development of both monarchy and nobility. Edward I is a king now remembered mainly for his ‘masterfulness’ when dealing with the English nobility, a term with which Spencer takes some issue.
This is a most welcome volume for a number of reasons. For a start, it is the most nuanced and comprehensive study of the practice of intercession in the earlier Middle Ages, focusing on the ninth and tenth centuries. More to the point, perhaps, it constitutes the first (and to date only) sustained engagement with the diplomas of the Ottonian and Salian rulers available in English.
Recent developments in Ukraine and Crimea have raised a number of questions about Russia and her political machinations.
Philip Murphy’s Monarchy and the End of Empire is a carefully researched and beautifully presented book that chronicles the relationship between the monarchy, the UK government, and the decolonisation of the British Empire.
In western Europe – thus runs one of the standard narratives of medieval history – it is only after c.1200 that we really find the beginnings of administrative bureaucracies, which allowed for the growth of centralised governments, and were fed by the rise of professional law, enabled by growing literacy at various levels of society, and were one of the key elements in what John Watts