Penelope Fitzgerald’s historical novel The Beginning of Spring, set in Moscow in 1913 but written at the height of perestroika, conveys an ambivalence familiar to those of us who spent time there during the Gorbachev years.
France is a land of roadside crosses. Most of these date from the 19th and 20th centuries, ‘planted’ during Roman Catholic revival missions, or as thanksgivings and memorials for liberation from war or adversity. Planting crosses is a very old tradition.
In the summer of 1948 Alexander Fleming, known around the world as the discoverer of penicillin, visited Spain. Fleming had published his famous paper on the antimicrobial effect of the Penicillium notatum mould in 1929.
This short book deals with urban panegyric in the 12th and 13th centuries. It takes ‘urban panegyric’ to mean the ‘praise of cities’, whether expressed in (quite often poetical) texts written with the express purpose of praising cities, or as parts of texts whose titles do not necessarily suggest that praise of a city might be found there.
Chinese history for English readers is a quietly contested field: quiet because discussion and developments take place in the margins of the English-speaking world; and contested both because the market for trade books is growing and, more importantly, because new publications are offering ever more diverse and complex ways of seeing China. Two seminal events, the Opium War (1839-42) and the Cu
The Sacred Home in Renaissance Italy presents itself as an important and innovative book in the panorama of the contemporary historical research of the Renaissance.
In The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State (1884), Friedrich Engels posited a fundamental relationship between women’s property rights, on the one hand, and changes in the social and political spheres, on the other.
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.
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.
The Birth of Modern Belief is seriously good. It is erudite, insightful, and cogent; but, above all, it enables us to think hard about the relationship between our past and our present.