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 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.
The question of the nature of allegiance in the English Civil Wars has been a perennial issue for at least three generations of professional academics.
A dimension that has been either obscured or silenced in discussions of the First World War is that of the networks of intellectuals and activists who protested against this global conflagration.
For all historians of this last, most violent, century some concern with matters of war and peace has been unavoidable.