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When it first appeared in hardback in 1994, John Rohl's remarkable collection of essays won the Wolfson History Prize. And clearly it deserved to. This is how history should be written--with lucidity and originality, displaying on every page the workings of an inquiring mind, one that has examined and re-examined all available sources to reach its own, independent conclusions.
Growing out of recent work on gender, scholars are now turning their attention to the history of masculinity. A key aspect of this subject is how masculinity is constructed, since, in the words of Michael Roper and John Tosh, 'masculinity is never fully possessed, but must perpetually be achieved, asserted and renegotiated'.
In April 1616 Hugo Grotius, in his capacity as head of a delegation from the States of Holland to the Amsterdam city council, treated, or subjected, the council to what Jonathan Israel in his 'The Dutch Republic.
In the cities and towns of eighteenth-century Europe many families from all social classes used the resources and powers of the state to forcibly incarcerate their mad, violent, or simply disorderly members. In this volume Lis and Soly analyse the thousands of petitions and supporting depositions created by this process in the towns of the Austrian Netherlands.
George L. Mosse's book exemplifies the best in a new wave of histories focusing on masculinity in Europe since the second half of the eighteenth century.
As even the most casual observer of the British historical scene must know, the 'agricultural revolution' has proved both elusive and highly contentious. French 'immobilism', on the other hand, has become something of a commonplace, although explanations for this supposed failure are less consensual. Philip Hoffman's very welcome new book has two overriding merits.
"Woman manacled before giving birth" and "Battery hen cells being built for women" are only two of the various horror stories about everyday life in British prisons which have recently hit the headlines. Hardly a week seems to go by without new revelations about dire conditions in prisons both here and across the Atlantic.
This book is an English translation by Mark Greengrass of a work first published in French in 1991 and is the companion volume to the author's earlier The Royal French State 1460-1610 (original French edn. 1987). Together the two books comprise the second and third volumes of Blackwell's five volume History of France which covers the period 987 to 1992.
Simon Szreter's remarkable and very important book argues, in effect, that coincidence has deceived the historians of family sexuality in the period 1860 - 1960. The birth-rate per family in England and Wales declined ever more steeply in this hundred yea r period, and it declined with roughly the same timing and speed in most other European countries.
'Much nonsense has been written on this subject', wrote Keith Thomas in a famous and influential footnote to his own pioneering chapter on English witchcraft in Religion and the Decline of Magic (1971).