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Professor Spence is described on the dust-cover of this book as 'perhaps now the leading historian of China in the English-speaking world'. Without doubt he is the most imaginative and the most versatile scholar working in that field. The Gate of Heavenly Peace, first published in 1981, was a history of modern China as seen through the lives of Chinese writers and intellectuals.
Historians of sixteenth-century Germany, especially those writing in the English language, owe a considerable debt to the work of Lewis W. Spitz.
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'.
Joseph Canning's preface acknowledges a debt to his research supervisor Walter Ullmann, whose Penguin History of Political Thought: the Middle Ages, published in 1965 (revised edition 1970) has remained a standard introduction for anglophone readers. A new short guide is timely, and the ex-student's will bid fair to replace the master's.
After leaving Balliol, Sir Richard Southern had the compensation of daily contact with the early seventeenth- century collection of medieval scholastic writings which William Laud had built up at St. Johns. Presumably Laud was concerned to recover religious and intellectual values with which he felt in sympathy, although he could not he could not wholly share them.