Bradbury’s text is a delightful read. His text discusses the Capetian dynasty of kings, from the events that brought the family to power in the tenth century up to the death of Charles IV in 1328. Charles died without male heirs, and so the kingship passed to a collateral line, the Valois.
In October 1283, Edward I stood in a unique position. He had achieved a goal which had eluded his predecessors back to the time of the Conquest: the subjection of Wales. His military campaigns to assert his overlordship had begun six years previously, but now his dominance was final. This in itself was unique, but the episode had a more significant aspect.
“Justice being taken away, then, what are kingdoms but great robberies?” – Augustine, City of God, IV.4.
A Man and an Institution is in reality three books combined into one. It is, first, a contribution to a biography of Sir Maurice Hankey, the first Cabinet Secretary; second, a history of the origins of the Cabinet Office and its development until Hankey’s retirement in 1938; and third, an account of how the Cabinet Office came to be the guardian of official secrecy.
The Blackwell Companions to British History enjoy a reputation for quality of scholarship, clarity of text and range.
In December 1916 the new British prime minister, David Lloyd George, sought to overcome the problems of waging the First World War through an unwieldy Cabinet by establishing a smaller, streamlined mechanism, the War Cabinet. He also set up a secretariat, the cabinet office, which would be overseen by the cabinet secretary, Maurice Hankey, and his deputy, Tom Jones.
The publication of what is often known simply as The Structure of Politics transformed the perceived political landscape of eighteenth-century Britain.
Helen Lacey’s excellent book appears at a time when the exercise of executive and judicial clemency has become a topical talking point.
David Rollison has written a remarkable work of social and political history: vertiginously ambitious, A Commonwealth of the People showcases England’s constitutional and economic development from the 11th to the 17th century within world histories of nationalism, democratization, and globalization. ‘My subject’, he writes, ‘is the emergence of a “civilization”’ (p. 16).
Though these volumes cover just 12 years of parliamentary history, they are the most substantial yet to be published in the great series that will eventually make up the History of Parliament project. Seven stout volumes contain well over five million words, making their immediate predecessor, the volumes covering 1790–1820 edited by R. G. Thorne, look comparatively svelte.