It has been fashionable to downplay the importance of battles in medieval military history. 'Most campaigns did not end in battle largely because both commanders were reluctant to risk battle', was John Gillingham's verdict. He pointed out that Henry II never fought a battle, yet had a great military reputation.
It is now forty years since Galbraith published the Making of Domesday Book. Since then his thesis has been refined in various ways, but there has been no serious challenge to his central propositions: that the object of the Domesday survey was to produce Domesday Book, and that the purpose of the whole enterprise must be inferred from Domesday Book itself.
A new series under the general editorship of Keith Robbins, with the laudable aim of locating British history firmly within its European context, has been launched at what it regards as the beginning - not with Britain moving out of primitive isolation to become part of Europe, but rather with Britain emerging gradually from prehistory.
This title will doubtless be welcomed by those who offer undergraduate classes on the history of the family.
The reign of Edward IV, as Jonathan Hughes points out, is unique in English history; it was the first – and last – time a king of England lost his throne, went into exile, invaded his own kingdom and regained his crown, enabling him to destroy his rivals and to reign in relative peace and tranquillity for another thirteen years.
I find this an extremely difficult book to review fairly. McLaren has an enormous and infectious enthusiasm for her texts. And her work is important; she takes the discussion of a widespread form of historical writing well beyond the point at which it was left by a fine scholar, C. L. Kingsford.
This volume is dedicated to Barrie Dobson, whose work over four decades on the peculiar clerical institutions and communities of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries has been a model of scholarship, broad vision and human sympathy.
Professor Orme's new and lavishly illustrated work on medieval children presents the lives and activities of children in England from the Anglo-Saxon to the late Medieval periods. Although many aspects of childhood in the medieval period have been covered by other writers, Professor Orme is the first historian to attempt to discuss the topic from before the Norman Conquest to the 16th century.
Margaret of Anjou, unlike most medieval queens, has been the subject of many biographies over the centuries but Helen E. Maurer's feminist approach to the queen's political life offers a substantially new presentation of Henry VI's queen.
The two works under review are on broadly the same subject - writing by women in later medieval England - but could not be more different and are therefore difficult to compare directly. One author is an historian, the other a literary scholar.