Over the past decade growing numbers of students have undertaken research into the religious dimension of the recent history of the British Isles, and in doing so have expanded its agenda away from the traditional focus on the history of doctrine and ecclesiastical institutions.
Callum Browns excellent book on the historical origins and contemporary significance of Up-helly-aa, Shetlands winter fire festival, has recently won The Frank Watson Prize awarded by the University of Guelph, Canada, for being the best book of its year on Scottish history and no comment here will detract in any way from that impressive achievement; superlatives come to the
As David Nash correctly observes in the opening sentence of his stimulating study of the history of blasphemy in modern Britain, 'In modern British society each successive generation complacently congratulates itself that blasphemy is a curious and even fascinating anachronism.' Yet each generation, including our own, is apt to discover that, far from
Despite a certain academic heaviness, with no fewer than fifty-seven pages of notes, bibliography and index, and despite an occasionally disagreeable academic vocabulary, of which more anon, this book has a pleasantly simple knock-down argument, that Christianity in Britain enjoyed a long nineteenth century of prosperity, between 1800 and 1960, and only began to go into terminal decline in the
Paul Bew has made an extraordinary contribution to Irish historiography over the past 30 years. With Peter Gibbon and Henry Patterson he co-authored a landmark study, The State in Northern Ireland (1979).
Having extensively written on radical republicanism in 20th-century Ireland, Richard English approaches the subject of Irish nationalism with expertise.
Anglo-Jewish history is a growing and arguably important field within the mainstream of British history, although probably much more for what never happened than for what did. The Jews were present in numbers in Medieval England, as money-lenders and tax collectors. The violent and tragic history of this community, and their expulsion in 1290, are well-known.
Two books on druids in two years, and by the same author! If I were either of Ronald Hutton’s publishers I’d be biting my nails over this, but let me reassure them both right at the start that Hutton pulls it off, and in style. The two really do complement each other. So what does Blood and Mistletoe have that The Druids: A History (1) does not?
This volume makes an excellent contribution to the field of religious and gender history, properly marking the revival of interest in religion within British cultural and social history that has been quietly developing over the past decade.
Chocolate, writes Emma Robertson in the introduction to her monograph, ‘has been invested with specific cultural meanings which are in part connected to … conditions of production’ (p. 3). At the heart of this study is a challenge to existing histories: