Over the past decade growing numbers of students have undertaken research into the religious dimension of the recent history of the British Isles, and in doing so have expanded its agenda away from the traditional focus on the history of doctrine and ecclesiastical institutions.
Christopher Durston has produced here the sort of history which my generation of school students was brought up to regard as the norm, taking a celebrated episode of political and constitutional history and setting out to re-evaluate it by reading a broader and deeper collection of sources for it than ever before, in both local and national archives.
The reign of Edward IV, as Jonathan Hughes points out, is unique in English history; it was the first – and last – time a king of England lost his throne, went into exile, invaded his own kingdom and regained his crown, enabling him to destroy his rivals and to reign in relative peace and tranquillity for another thirteen years.
The 1990s in Ireland witnessed intense popular and academic interest in the events of two centuries before, culminating with the bicentennial commemorations of the United Irish Rebellion of 1798.
This study sets itself the task of restoring ‘the tarnished reputation that Henry VIII’s bishops have earned from contemporaries and historians alike’.(p. 7) From Francis Bacon, through David Hume, and into the twentieth century, historians have condemned the occupants of Henry’s episcopal bench as mediocrities and time-servers.
On 28 January 1648 Thomas Edwards (c.1599–1648), Presbyterian controversialist and 'true hammer of the heretics', died in exile at Amsterdam.
For the first fifteen years after the end of the Second World War, the Nazi persecution and mass murder of the Jews of Europe was rarely the subject of public debate or historical analysis. Only after the Eichmann trial did the term ‘Holocaust’ gain widespread acceptance.
The 1715 rebellion has never really sparkled in the heroic iconography of the Jacobite cause. Within the old received narrative of doomed chivalry and defeated virtue, it inhabits a melancholic role, untouched by the colour and charisma of Charles Edward Stuart and the ’45, or the epic afterglow of Viscount Dundee’s earlier stand at Killecrankie.
Paul Bew has made an extraordinary contribution to Irish historiography over the past 30 years. With Peter Gibbon and Henry Patterson he co-authored a landmark study, The State in Northern Ireland (1979).
This is an excellent book which does everything it proclaims and more. Anthony Milton is to be congratulated for his hard work, brilliant synthesis, and excellent and accessible presentation. This book is not a biography of Peter Heylyn, but we obviously learn a lot about the man as well as the writer. Nor is it an arid history of ideas divorced from context.