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Professor Dyer’s A Country Merchant represents the development of several emerging themes in late medieval and early modern history: for one, the increasing recognition of the long 15th century, and especially the period roughly framed by the reign of Henry VII, as an important ‘Age of Transition’, most eloquently highlighted in his own book of that title.(1)
Religious solitaries were a feature of the English spiritual landscape ‘from the dawn of Christianity in England until the sixteenth century’ but, since Rotha Clay (who wrote those words) attempted her overarching survey almost a century ago, coverage of their history has been decidedly patchy.(1) It is less so now, thanks to Tom Licence’s important new book.
Passing under a tessellated ply-wood portcullis to enter ‘Revel Grove’ and attend the Maryland Renaissance Festival, held in the Baltimore suburb of Crownsville, crowds of eager 21st–century revelers are greeted by none other than a faux Henry VIII, six feet plus in height, twenty stone, fists at his hips, legs akimbo in colossus fashion, and dressed in as authentic Holbein garb as a theater co
For many, the Cistercian order remains the medieval monastic success story par excellence. With this new history of the White Monks and Nuns, two of the UK’s leading monastic scholars present an engaging and authoritative history of the Cistercian order from its origins to the end of the Middle Ages.
Historians have great cause to be grateful to the precocious bureaucrats of medieval England, whose records they have exploited to shed light on so many aspects of the past. They should be equally thankful for the generations of scholars who have produced printed calendars of such records since the foundation of the Record Commission in 1800.
The History of Parliament is widely recognised as a monumental scholarly achievement. Since its origins in the dreams of Josiah Wedgwood in the early part of the 20th century, and then its establishment as a charitable trust in 1940 (with government funding from 1951), it has produced a voluminous output.
At its most basic level, a market is a locus of exchange, which enables people who need or desire certain things that they themselves do not produce to acquire these goods from others.
Anglo-Saxon historians are in an enviable position when it comes to electronic resources.
The idea of an age of absolutism has lately fallen out of fashion, for several reasons. The word absolutism was coined only in the 19th century and the concept of a generic absolutist model can easily obscure significant differences between various monarchical states.
What is it about Edward III that makes his political personality so elusive? Is it the fact that Shakespeare’s play about him has sat unrecognised for so long and lies outside the canon? That would certainly help to explain why Edward’s mighty victory at Crécy is less well known than Henry V’s at Agincourt, despite, arguably, being of greater historical importance.