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There are few historical events with a cultural legacy as enduring as that connected to the Second World War. The conflict occupies an important place within many personal, as well as national, narratives. Those interested in its history and heritage are confronted by an enormous range of writing, on a wide variety of themes.
At the end of December 1756, Admiral John Byng was put on trial for breaching the Articles of War, instructions set out by the Royal Navy in 1749 to establish and regulate martial behaviour. Byng, who had commanded a fleet of ships during the Battle of Minorca in the late spring of 1756, was accused of failing to do his utmost during the combat.
The fate of prisoners of war (POWs) is now established within the mainstream of historical enquiry. As well as a growing literature on the subject, modules dedicated to studying the history of POWs are now a common feature on university history courses. The two books under review focus on British servicemen captured during the Second World War.
As is often the case with (in)famous remarks attributed to prominent personages, there is some doubt about whether Winston Churchill ever did describe the traditions of the Royal Navy as comprising ‘nothing but rum, sodomy, prayers and the lash.’ Churchill himself reputedly denied that he had, confiding to his private secretary that ‘I never said it. I wish I had’ (p. 1).
The British Library’s new exhibition ‘Anglo-Saxon Kingdoms: Art, Word, War’ is a celebration of Anglo-Saxon culture and learning, mainly represented though the texts produced during that period.
The relief and resettlement of Europe’s unaccompanied and displaced children in the immediate aftermath of the Second World War has recently received considerable scholarly scrutiny. The two books reviewed here, while different in scope and methodology, are both welcome additions to the growing literature on the topic.
A word still a little unfamiliar to some historians (although not to those with a social science background) and not yet to be found in every dictionary, prosopography has made its influence felt through the work of a number of historians, notably Andrew Ayton, the recipient of this collection of essays, whose contribution to the development of the possibilities offered by the method’s techniqu
As a scholar of Grant, I have come to view the news of the publication of each new Grant biography with trepidation. As almost every biographer of Grant has explained at the beginning of their magnum opus, Grant was an extremely complex man whose abilities bemused even his closest friends and allies.
After the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi/Te Tiriti o Waitangi on 6 February 1840, competing British and Maori sovereignties were established in New Zealand due to the contradictory English and Maori translations of the agreement.
History has not been kind to the reputation of Pope Honorius III (1216–27).