Sir Walter Scott, masquerading both as ‘The Author’, as well as his pompous alter-ego, the historian ‘Dr Jonas Dryasdust’, inserted the following dialogue into the beginning of his historical novel of the Restoration period, Peveril of the Peak (1823):
Viscount Castlereagh’s reputation had a very bad 19th century. Irish nationalists called him a turncoat and a tyrant for the role he played in suppressing the 1798 Rising as Chief Secretary at Dublin Castle. An indifferent public speaker in the heroic age of parliamentary oratory, the Whig opposition twitted him for his malapropisms.
Histories of British socialism are nothing new, with classic studies in the field going back to G. D. H. Cole.(1) Mark Bevir’s new book, however, comes from a slightly different perspective, in that it focuses on the ‘making’ of British socialism in, broadly, the final quarter of the 19th century.
At a time when the book as a physical object is apparently under threat, one point about Jules Stewart’s Albert is that it forms part of the counter-attack. It is beautifully produced. Its front cover shows a photograph of Albert of stunning reality, revealing in particular the much-noted clarity of the Prince’s eyes.
In seminar rooms from Dornoch to St Andrews, in Dublin, and around Europe, early modern history informed by social network theory is promoted with an almost religious fervour. Those of us who continue to take a deep interest in ‘bureaucratic structures and administrative measures’ (p. 179), here ridiculed by Keith Brown, can find its popularity as baffling as that of Twitter.
Michael Hicks’s new book on the Wars of the Roses seeks to offer a general explanation of the civil wars that dominated English political life in the second half of the 15th century. Declaring that ‘many textbooks on Late Medieval England have been written by the best academic historians and survey what happened, and yet they still do not explain the Wars’ (p.
The Ages of Voluntarism is one of the outcomes of the ’Non-Governmental Organisations in Britain 1945–1997’ project, and emerged out of a British Academy workshop held in March 2009. The main aim of the book is to challenge narratives which have argued, in various ways, that voluntary action has been in decline since the perceived Victorian ‘golden age’ (pp.
What is it about Edward III that makes his political personality so elusive? Is it the fact that Shakespeare’s play about him has sat unrecognised for so long and lies outside the canon? That would certainly help to explain why Edward’s mighty victory at Crécy is less well known than Henry V’s at Agincourt, despite, arguably, being of greater historical importance.
This book will give heart to anyone who has ever confronted the staggering number of works published between 1500 and 1800 devoted to ecclesiology and the nature and role of episcopacy in the English church.