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Ancient Wisdom in the Age of the New Science: Histories of Philosophy in England, c1640-1700 / Dmitri Levitin
While the title of this book might give the impression that it is a 700-page tome on a peripheral genre of late 17th-century English literature, the non-specialist readership of Reviews in History ought not to be misled.
Frances Yates’ seminal book Giordano Bruno and the Hermetic Tradition (1964), which established a longstanding scholarly orthodoxy that Renaissance magic derived from interpretations of the Hermetic Corpus, has been challenged in its details by Bruno scholars and others.
Thomas Ahnert’s The Moral Culture of the Scottish Enlightenment is an unusual work. Little more than an extended essay, its brevity and lucidity belie the complexity and force of its central thesis. Whilst there is no doubt that the book represents an important historiographical intervention, it is rather harder to explain why or where it does so.
And so began the Irish Nation: Nationality, Nationalism and National Consciousness in Pre-Modern Ireland /
The commemorations for the 100th anniversary of the 1916 Easter Rising in the Republic of Ireland have thrown the issue of nationalism and independence into sharp relief once again.
Scholar, courtier, magician: the lost library of John Dee (Royal College of Physicians, 18 January - 29 July 2016) /
John Dee is a name that often conjures up images of shady spells muttered in dark rooms with bubbling potions, but the exhibition at the Royal College of Physicians, titled Scholar, Courtier, Magician: the Lost Library of John Dee seeks to offer a view of Dee as an articulate, extremely well-read, educated man.
We are now a generation into an ‘Atlantic turn’ in writing early American history. Jordan Landes and Abram C. Van Engen make welcome, but different, contributions through their arguments about emotions in Puritan New England and networking by London Quakers.
Samuel Pepys is not a man who requires an introduction, but this new book by Kate Loveman provides a fresh look into Pepys’s social life, by pointing out how this was shaped and expanded by Pepys’s love for books.
In the latest of our occasional Reviews in History podcast series, Daniel Snowman talks to Peter Burke about his background, career, influences and forthcoming book.
Peter Burke is Professor Emeritus of Cultural History at the University of Cambridge.
Daniel Snowman is a writer, lecturer and broadcaster on social and cultural history.
The Crisis of British Protestantism: Church Power in the Puritan Revolution, 1638–44 / Hunter Powell
These are exciting times in which to be a scholar of the dynamics of religious reformation in mid-17th century England (and in the wider British Isles).
This is a deeply flawed book, although it is not completely without merit. Mayer, who died (in January 2014) as this book went to press, may have been an accomplished scholar of ecclesiastical history (1), but was a relative novice in Galilean scholarship.