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This volume arrives with high praise. The book ‘[d]eserves to become another classic’, opines Peter Burke at the top of the front cover. It ‘[c]ompletely overhauls our view’, observes Ronald Hutton somewhat further down. The work itself is not shy of ambition either. Both the title—The Decline of Magic—and the subtitle—Britain in the Enlightenment—promise sweeping panoramas.
Mark Goldie has been one of the most influential interrogators of England in the later 17th and early 18th centuries.
The Birth of Modern Belief is seriously good. It is erudite, insightful, and cogent; but, above all, it enables us to think hard about the relationship between our past and our present.
Studies on loyalty and memory in early modern England have garnered much attention over the last two decades, particularly those on the late seventeenth century, when the post-effects of Civil War and Republicanism saw the monarchy, MPs, and the general public reassess the power of mass petitioning and political engagement.
Although England was just about early modern Europe’s least violent place to live it has, paradoxically, produced far and away the most research on the problem of homicide. The trend shows no sign of abating, as recent works by Lockwood and Sharpe demonstrate.
The Sacred Home in Renaissance Italy presents itself as an important and innovative book in the panorama of the contemporary historical research of the Renaissance.
There is no more exemplary figurehead for the history of legal culture than the late Christopher W. Brooks. As the editors of this volume observe, by the time of his death in 2014 Brooks ‘had established a firm reputation as the most important and influential historian of law and society in early modern England’ (p. 1).
Francis Bacon’s unfinished utopian novel The New Atlantis is often invoked in scholarship about early modern scientific projects.
The history of religious toleration during the early modern period has been revitalised over the past decade. Scholars such as Alexandra Walsham and Benjamin Kaplan have shown that early modern society did not view toleration as the social virtue that was later espoused by enlightenment thinkers.
France is a land of roadside crosses. Most of these date from the 19th and 20th centuries, ‘planted’ during Roman Catholic revival missions, or as thanksgivings and memorials for liberation from war or adversity. Planting crosses is a very old tradition.