"Woman manacled before giving birth" and "Battery hen cells being built for women" are only two of the various horror stories about everyday life in British prisons which have recently hit the headlines. Hardly a week seems to go by without new revelations about dire conditions in prisons both here and across the Atlantic.
As even the most casual observer of the British historical scene must know, the 'agricultural revolution' has proved both elusive and highly contentious. French 'immobilism', on the other hand, has become something of a commonplace, although explanations for this supposed failure are less consensual. Philip Hoffman's very welcome new book has two overriding merits.
''Five million barrels of porter'' (p. 140)
George L. Mosse's book exemplifies the best in a new wave of histories focusing on masculinity in Europe since the second half of the eighteenth century.
In the cities and towns of eighteenth-century Europe many families from all social classes used the resources and powers of the state to forcibly incarcerate their mad, violent, or simply disorderly members. In this volume Lis and Soly analyse the thousands of petitions and supporting depositions created by this process in the towns of the Austrian Netherlands.
Re-reading some of the earlier essays in this fine collection was to re-visit the site of previous excitements. Age, in this case, has not withered them. They retain a freshness and originality, and are wonderfully complemented by some of the more recent essays published here for the first time.
Given the efflorescence in the history of psychiatry over the course of the last quarter century, it is surprising that so few of the new generation of psychiatric historians have ventured into biography.
In April 1616 Hugo Grotius, in his capacity as head of a delegation from the States of Holland to the Amsterdam city council, treated, or subjected, the council to what Jonathan Israel in his 'The Dutch Republic.
Philip Lawson died in October 1995 at the comparatively young age of 46. Most of the contents of this volume, which he helped prepare for publication before his death, have been published elsewhere as periodical articles, and a good number will be well known to eighteenth-century scholars.
Local history is beginning to emerge from the shadows in which it has lain for too long. Tainted for decades by its association with antiquarianism, its struggle for academic respectability has been a long one.