Anglo-Jewish history is a growing and arguably important field within the mainstream of British history, although probably much more for what never happened than for what did. The Jews were present in numbers in Medieval England, as money-lenders and tax collectors. The violent and tragic history of this community, and their expulsion in 1290, are well-known.
The civil wars that engulfed the three kingdoms of England, Ireland and Scotland in the mid-17th century remain a battlefield, and generation after generation they retain a capacity to provoke passionate debate and heated historical controversy.
Michael Graham’s work is the first book length study of the life and unfortunate death of Edinburgh university student Thomas Aikenhead.
If quincentenaries are anything to go by, then 1492 is now commemorated principally for Christopher Columbus’s transatlantic voyage of exploration rather than either the conclusion of Ferdinand’s and Isabella’s eleven year conquest of Islamic Granada – which completed the Reconquista – or the expulsion of Jews from Castile and Aragon.
On 4 December 1655, following the arrival in London of Rabbi Menasseh ben Israel from Amsterdam and his petition to the Council of State on behalf of the ‘Hebrew Nation’, a conference was begun at Whitehall to discuss the readmission of Jews to England after a supposed absence of 365 years.
For scholars of early modern church music, monographs are rather like the proverbial bus; one waits a decade or more for one, and then two come along together; in this case, in the same year, and in the same series. The editors of the St Andrews Studies in Reformation History are to be commended for publishing two substantial studies in what has hitherto been a neglected area.
At the conclusion of her history of Marian devotion, Mother of God, Miri Rubin states, ‘For in woman’s capacity to act as a generous host, to contain a body in her body, there is an act of tremendous hospitality’ (p. 424).
The subject of Glenn Burgess’ new book is an exciting one, and its author is well qualified to tackle it. Political thought is a lively and flourishing field within history, and Glenn Burgess has done much to promote it.
The publication of Jonathan Clark's English Society in 1985 marked the appearance of a new and original revisionist historiography of the long eighteenth century.
Two books on druids in two years, and by the same author! If I were either of Ronald Hutton’s publishers I’d be biting my nails over this, but let me reassure them both right at the start that Hutton pulls it off, and in style. The two really do complement each other. So what does Blood and Mistletoe have that The Druids: A History (1) does not?