The title was inspired by the birth, during the writing of this volume, of a child named after the author. A second volume will bring the survey to the present and to some glimpses of that young woman's prospects. The prospect presented here is that of the sleepy young knitter of the 18th century pictured on the cover and of generations before her.
Edmund Dell has moved from his highly praised account of the early years of the Callaghan administration, which he observed and in which he participated as a government minister, to the last years of the Attlee administration.
'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).
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.
This is, by my count, the third collection of articles by Giles Constable published by Variorum; and it is a very welcome addition to the first two. Reprinted here are twelve essays, produced between 1982 and 1994. Several are easily available from other sources, but some would be harder to track down.
When confronted with the term 'Illustrated' in a book title, how many historians, I wonder, would not be tempted to inwardly scoff and mentally store the book on the coffee table of their departmental common room? This review begins with a warning against such sentiments.
Agricultural Revolution in England: the Transformation of the Agrarian Economy 1500- 1850. / Mark Overton
This new study of the agricultural revolution is clearly the product of many years of study and research. It is closely argued, liberally illustrated with figures and tables, and tersely written and remarkably compressed. Intended primarily for students, it will repay careful reading, and re-reading, by teachers as well as students of the subject.
Oxford History of the Prison: the Practice of Punishment in Western Society / eds. David Rothman, Norval Morris
"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.
Professor Fryde's new study represents a substantive - and substantial - contribution to the history of land tenure, economic change and social development in later medieval England.
The dust-jacket of this book defines Diane Purkiss as a Lecturer in English; within its pages she prefers to describe herself as a feminist literary critic. It is a potent combination, and has resulted in a thoroughly individual and very important book.