A detailed biography of George II in English has been needed for some time. His is one of the longer reigns of an early modern British monarch (1727–60), encompassing both the final military defeat of the Stuart cause in 1745, and the high point of the first British Empire.
Jennifer Mori has written a stimulating and engaging study which deserves to find a wide audience. Historians of diplomacy and international relations will learn much from it but it should also be read by those more generally interested in questions of politics and identity in 18th-century Britain.
The rise of the Atlantic world as a framework for understanding early modern and 18th-century Britain has been one of the most significant historiographical developments of the last 25 years.
As a field, diplomatic history is not generally known for its conceptual adventurousness. To resort to stereotypes, if representatives of the historical profession were invited to a party, the diplomatic historian would be the stiff, bespectacled man in a suit examining his host’s bookshelves in the corner while the cultural historians smoked weed in the kitchen.
In the autumn of 2011 the near-simultaneous publication of a number of books on the British Empire promised to add fresh momentum to the debate, if debate is the word, on the memories – or lack of them – that the British people currently carry for their empire.(1) Jeremy Paxman, with Empire: What Ruling the World Did to the British, promised a robust, ‘clear-e
Emanuel Swedenborg (1688–1772) claims an exceptional place in history as a famous scientist, theosopher and visionary.
Tijl Vanneste has written an important book about the functioning of commercial networks during the mid 18th century. The author goes beyond national boundaries, as he carefully analyzes how a cross-cultural, cross-religious, and cross-gender diamond merchant network operated between the cities of Antwerp, London, Amsterdam and Lisbon.
In 1975 Paul Kennedy wrote that ‘yet another survey of the much-traversed field of Anglo-German relations will seem to many historians of modern Europe to border on the realm of superfluity’.(1) Even so, the intervening 37 years has seen no slackening off of the interest of both scholars and the general public in this particular international relationship.
The title of this book, Antarctica: a Biography, might cause some initial confusion but this is rectified by the publisher’s puff on the front inside flap of the dust jacket where it is described as ‘the first major international history of this forbidding continent’.
This is an updated version (December 2014) of a piece originally published in 2013, which extends the coverage of the review to include some more recent works on 1812.