Saga and penecontemporaneous 'historical sources' are a minefield for interpretation into which archaeologists step at their peril.
This is an ambitious book, history on the grand scale: 1,040 pages of text and 200 pages of references, telling the story of the Rothschild family's business over two centuries and on six continents. Most of the book is devoted to the first century of the family's involvement in international finance.
It is a pleasure to welcome back into print Toby Barnard's detailed study of what the back-cover blurb refers to as 'the constructive side of English policy in Ireland during a formative period'. First published in 1975 and widely praised at the time, it had long been out of print.
If one saw a wrong being committed in public, should one intervene? This basic moral question is at the heart of a significant body of Muslim scholarship, and forms the topic of Michael Cook's eminently learned and comprehensive study.
It is now forty years since Galbraith published the Making of Domesday Book. Since then his thesis has been refined in various ways, but there has been no serious challenge to his central propositions: that the object of the Domesday survey was to produce Domesday Book, and that the purpose of the whole enterprise must be inferred from Domesday Book itself.