Of late, the Virgin Mary has become somewhat fashionable in academic circles. This prominence reflects her long-lasting cultural influence as an international historic and spiritual figure.
In Britain today, alcohol is a topic of concern to the government, media, and academics alike. The papers tell of ‘Binge Britain’, and academics inform us that there is a new kind of drinking and intoxication that attracts young people to our city centres.
When historians of the future come to write about the historiographical preoccupations of 21st-century Britons, they surely will observe our growing obsession with consumer behaviour and material culture.
In the two decades since Margaret Rossiter’s first volume on Women Scientists in America (1), there has been a steady series of books which have investigated the place of women in science, seeking to discover if and where they existed, the nature of their of their contribution and the reasons why for so often and so long there has been a perceived disjuncture
The Industrial Revolution has traditionally been seen as a transformation in the technological basis of production and in the social arrangements surrounding it. On the other hand, the Scientific Revolution of the 16th and 17th centuries was originally conceived as a purely intellectual transition, a shift in mentalities or worldviews.
In this book Holger Hoock outlines the material and psychological investment of culture in the process of British identity-formation from the mid 18th to the mid 19th century. Studying the context of national consciousness Hoock draws on forms of aesthetics, war, literature and biography.
The competition between religion and recreation in the Victorian period was pointed out by Brian Harrison as long ago as 1967, and at one level this book by Dominic Erdozain, Lecturer in the History of Christianity at King’s College, London, is an exploration of how the churches came to terms with their powerful rival.
The ‘shock city’ of the 18th century , London was always interesting to onlookers, but between 1763 and 1776 it was particularly interesting. It was the capital city of one of the most successful Great Powers, one that had just emerged the winner in the war with France.
A new book in one’s specialist area, in this case the historical and cultural study of popular song, is a reason for both excitement and anticipation. Excitement because one wonders what new insights the work will disclose, what new sources will be revealed and in what ways the area of study will be moved forward.
The title of Susan Whyman’s The Pen and the People: English Letter Writers 1660-1800 suggests two potentialities at once: The Pen and the People indicates a comprehensive study of popular letters and letter-writing practices during the long 18th century (1660–1800); yet the subtitle, English Letter Writers, implies focused and discrete analyses of specific letter