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Review Date: 
7 May 2015

The dissemination of cultural improvement was written into the ethos of the BBC under John Reith, the first director-general from 1927. Until 1945 the BBC broadcast a single national service and therefore constructed programming that attempted to offer a culturally unified ‘voice of the nation’.

Review Date: 
11 Jun 2015

This is a self-consciously old-fashioned treatment of an unaccountably neglected chapter in the history of travel which should be placed alongside such a classic as John Stoye’s English Travelers Abroad, 1604–1667, whose first edition was published as long ago as 1952 rather than more recent treatments by Chloe Chard and Rosemary Sweet.(1) Indeed, one might go

Review Date: 
4 Jun 2015

As this book begins (p. 1), the author marvels how the art of the Wycliffite Bible, one of the most popular books in late medieval England, has not been studied systematically. The answer lies in the historiography of the Wycliffite Bible. Kennedy suggests that the ‘Shadow of the Reformation’ has created a binary view of Wycliffite Bibles, linking them to heresy and illegality.

Review Date: 
24 Jul 2014

I cannot help a passing allusion to the lack of pictorial records of this war – records made by artists of experience, who actually witness the scenes they portray.

Review Date: 
30 Oct 2014

When attending a book-signing reception at the Jesuit School of Theology in Berkeley nearly ten years ago, I lifted the hefty coffee table tome titled The Jesuits and the Arts and turned to a Jesuit friend of mine and said, ‘This is certainly a beautiful and lavishly illustrated book!’ After a pause I then, with unabashed Dominican chauvinism, added, ‘… but of course if this were a history of t

Review Date: 
3 Jul 2014

While there has been sustained focus on modern women’s relationship to their culture and society, and, with the upcoming centennial commemorations of the First World War a surge of renewed interest in the art generated by the conflict, war-related imagery produced by women artists remains largely overlooked.

Review Date: 
27 Jun 2013

It is 50 years since Edward Thompson introduced historians to the phrase, the idea, the reality of 'the condescension of posterity'.(1) And while Thompson restricted his lens to the poor and forgotten of late 18th- and early 19th-century Britain, for a number of years a small number of historians, John Barrell notable among them (2

Review Date: 
23 May 2013

As Richard Steele opined in one 1712 edition of The Spectator, a predilection for portraiture in post-Reformation England was something both recognised and respected by the journalist and his peers: ‘No nation in the world delights so much in having their own, or friends’, or relations’ pictures; whether from their national good-nature, or having a love to painting, and not being encou

Review Date: 
15 Aug 2013

The work of Mary Carruthers is well known to students of medieval culture. Her Book of Memory charted discussions of memory from antiquity to the late Middle Ages, treading in the footsteps of Frances Yates in arguing that memory was not just another concept in the minds of medieval writers, but a conceptual motor for the organisation and motivation of thought.

Review Date: 
7 Mar 2013

‘The Sitwells belong to the history of publicity rather than of poetry’, famously pronounced F. R. Leavis in New Bearings in English Poetry (1932).

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