One of the most difficult, and under-rated, jobs undertaken by the historian is that of the synthesis. Text books covering long periods of historical time demand the exclusion of vast quantities of material.
Cardinal Richelieu famously claimed in his Testament Politique that 'There is no nation on earth so little suited to war than our own', accusing the French of fickleness and impatience in even the least of tasks.
Among those scholars who write on early modern Europe, Geoffrey Parker occupies a position of well-merited prominence. His books, essays, articles and other publications have greatly extended the understanding of early modern Europe among practising historians, their students and the wider public alike.
Since the 1970s historians have been redressing the longstanding omission of women from virtually all types of history. We now know much more about women’s experiences in the past, both in their own right and as contributors to larger historical events, than had previously been the case.
In recent decades, the fields of women's and gender studies have rapidly expanded. In trying to understand women's roles in past societies, historians have paid particular attention to issues surrounding marriage, family, and the household.
This book in the St Andrews Studies in Reformation History series has the central purpose of expanding the scope of studies of the radical Reformation into the 'confessional age'. It focuses on the implications for Anabaptists of the institutionalization of their religious life in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.
Some years ago, in the introduction to a paper given to the Low Countries Seminar at the Institute of Historical Research, Professor Koenigsberger was described as being probably the only historian who had worked in every major Habsburg archive in Europe.
The editors of this very useful collection of essays boldly state that it is their thesis that 'early modern botany both facilitated and profited from colonisation and long distance trade and that the development of botany and Europe's commercial and territorial expansion are closely associated developments' (p. 3).
Professor Jacob's book is the latest of her several notable contributions to masonic history, which have included The Radical Enlightenment (1981) and Living the Enlightenment (1991). The book's title presumably owes something to my book of the same name (1988), while the subtitle derives from Henry Sadler's remarkable Masonic Facts and Fictions (1887).
Evelyn Welch's Shopping in the Renaissance. Consumer Cultures in Italy 1400–1600 is a fascinating study which turns a common social practice into a compelling subject of research. The author's ability to employ different historical approaches at the same time confirms that cultural, social, economic and art history can enhance each other.