At first glance, Virginia DeJohn Anderson’s Creatures of Empire is a welcome addition to the growing literature on the environmental history of early America; on closer observation, the work is very much more than this. Indeed, it is more a cultural history than an environmental history.
The historiography of disease and medicine in colonial India has tended to concentrate on epidemic diseases and particularly those that have produced the greatest political upheavals. On the assumption that epidemic crises expose latent social tensions, historians have tended to treat epidemics as ‘windows’ through which to observe broader social and political trends.
While reading Michael Fisher's new book, Counterflows to Colonialism: Indian Travellers and Settlers in Britain, 1600–1857, which details the diverse experiences of South Asians in Britain, I often found myself reminded of Tayeb Salih's 1969 novel Season of Migration to the North.(1) Th
The Australian launch of Hammerton's and Thomson's history of postwar British migrants to Australia took place at the end of a one-day symposium held at the Migration Museum in Melbourne. The speakers' programme for this event boasted the names of most of the significant researchers in this emerging field: Sara Wills, James Jupp and Mark Peel, to name half of them.
The Hanged Man is a fascinating account of a miracle and its context. Robert Bartlett, a medieval historian well known for his earlier work on ordeal, conquest, the expansion of Europe and the lives of saints, combines his many fields of expertise in order to analyse the story of one man's death and alleged resurrection.
Aidan Clarke is a formidable and influential scholar of early modern Ireland. His scholarship has always set a high standard: firmly grounded empirically, challenging of received 'truths' and, in its faithfulness to chronology, sensitive to how contemporaries may have perceived events.
Sir Henry Docwra, first baron Docwra of Culmore (in the Irish peerage), personified those who rose thanks to the opportunities offered by Ireland in the later sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Docwra shows how minor gentlemen of obscure but solid backgrounds prospered thanks particularly to soldiering.
It is disturbing for an Australian to discover that debates about genocide often do not move very far beyond the classic area of study – Europe under the Nazis – before someone mentions the antipodes. Genocide is a crime, in other words, for which Australia is listed among the usual suspects.
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).
The question mark in the book's title is the first indication of the caution which characterises Andrew Thompson's investigation of the impact of empire and imperialism on Britain.