Britain’s role in the refugee crisis created by the rise of fascism has been examined from many angles, and not always critically. Early works did little more than extol British humanitarianism and celebrate refugee successes.
The Victoria History of the Counties of England, more commonly known as the ‘Victoria County History’ or simply the ‘VCH’, founded in 1899, is without doubt the greatest publishing project in English local history.
How fortunate are historians of that broad band of southern Somerset covered by seven topographical volumes of the Victoria County History (VCH) compared with those of most of the historic county for whom no such resource yet exists. It is the distant ideal of the complete set for Somerset that is most urgently required.
Joseph Chamberlain exercises more interest among historians than any other politician who did not either hold one of the major offices of state or introduce a major legislative reform. He has been the subject of numerous biographies and monographs.
This impressively researched and finely written study is an ambitious attempt to use the history of specific regions and localities to explore wider themes of national identity and attitudes to landscape and the environment across the long 19th century, from around 1780 to 1914.