It is curious that it should have taken imperial proconsul Lord Cromer (1841–1917, Evelyn Baring until 1892) nearly a century to find a scholarly biographer worthy of his centrality to British, imperial and Egyptian history in the Victorian-Edwardian age.
The Militant Suffrage Movement. Citizenship and Resistance in Britain 1860–1930 / Laura E. Nym Mayhall
Laura E. Nym Mayhall begins her book by re-telling the familiar story of the arrest in 1909 of Marion Wallace Dunlop, a member of the Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU), which led to her imprisonment and notoriety as the ‘first hunger striker’. In doing so, she focuses on the action that led to the arrest.
For aficionados of strong drink and a good story, there are quite a few books published on the subject of absinthe, and most of them have been published in the last ten years.(1) Perhaps it is a function of millennialism that interest has been stimulated in a drink formulated over two hundred years ago and demonised as the ruin of modern French civilis
The cover of C. A. Bayly's new book is stunning. A handsome black man stands poised, next to the bust of a European philosopher. Blazoned across the corner of the cover is 'A Masterpiece', the judgement of Niall Ferguson, current favourite historian of the US media, on Bayly's book.
The central theme of this book can be summed up as ‘neither electoral sociology nor linguistic turn’. Instead, its author emphasises the micro context of politics – how local social and cultural milieux shaped the reception of political ideas, and hence the fortunes of political parties.
Simon Potter’s book is a study of ‘imperial integration’ through the analysis of what he terms ‘an imperial press system’ which emerged in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries (p. 1). It focuses on the Dominions of Britain, or what has in recent historiography been referred to as the ‘British world’, embraced by a common sense of Britishness.
The New Penguin History of Scotland: From the Earliest Times to the Present Day / eds. R. A. Houston, W. W. J. Knox
The cover is a view from Stirling Castle: in the foreground a carved lion rampant, in the background the Wallace Tower, the Scottish national monument, raised by public subscription in 1859; in the valley below, Stirling Bridge somewhere near the site of William Wallace's victory over the forces of Edward I in 1297; just out of the picture, the field of Bannockburn.
Margot Finn’s book The Character of Credit: Personal Debt in English Culture, 1740–1914 is the first volume in a new series published by Cambridge University Press (Cambridge Social and Cultural Histories) which seeks to draw social and cultural history more closely together.
Gender in History is a timely publication. The field of gender history is reaching maturity in two senses. Firstly, numerous studies have been published about the impact of gender at various times and places. Professor Merry Wiesner-Hanks draws on this wealth of scholarship and her own research to provide a welcome overview of gender in global history from prehistory to date.
One of the most difficult, and under-rated, jobs undertaken by the historian is that of the synthesis. Text books covering long periods of historical time demand the exclusion of vast quantities of material.