A word still a little unfamiliar to some historians (although not to those with a social science background) and not yet to be found in every dictionary, prosopography has made its influence felt through the work of a number of historians, notably Andrew Ayton, the recipient of this collection of essays, whose contribution to the development of the possibilities offered by the method’s techniqu
The fate of prisoners of war (POWs) is now established within the mainstream of historical enquiry. As well as a growing literature on the subject, modules dedicated to studying the history of POWs are now a common feature on university history courses. The two books under review focus on British servicemen captured during the Second World War.
There are few historical events with a cultural legacy as enduring as that connected to the Second World War. The conflict occupies an important place within many personal, as well as national, narratives. Those interested in its history and heritage are confronted by an enormous range of writing, on a wide variety of themes.
As is often the case with (in)famous remarks attributed to prominent personages, there is some doubt about whether Winston Churchill ever did describe the traditions of the Royal Navy as comprising ‘nothing but rum, sodomy, prayers and the lash.’ Churchill himself reputedly denied that he had, confiding to his private secretary that ‘I never said it. I wish I had’ (p. 1).
At the end of December 1756, Admiral John Byng was put on trial for breaching the Articles of War, instructions set out by the Royal Navy in 1749 to establish and regulate martial behaviour. Byng, who had commanded a fleet of ships during the Battle of Minorca in the late spring of 1756, was accused of failing to do his utmost during the combat.
With her latest book, Jordanna Bailkin makes a singularly impressive contribution to 20th-century British history. Her focus is on the various sites that were built or, more commonly, re-purposed to hold refugees who reached Britain at various stages in the 20th century.
The British Library’s new exhibition ‘Anglo-Saxon Kingdoms: Art, Word, War’ is a celebration of Anglo-Saxon culture and learning, mainly represented though the texts produced during that period.
Gorrochategui’s book is a revised and updated translation of the Spanish edition (Spanish Ministry of Defence, 2011). It sheds new light on an obscure, but fundamental, episode of the undeclared Anglo-Spanish War (1585-1604) that took place a year after the Spanish Armada.
This interesting book is about heraldic identity which is ‘undeniably military’ In character and use. Several themes stand out.
Chinese history for English readers is a quietly contested field: quiet because discussion and developments take place in the margins of the English-speaking world; and contested both because the market for trade books is growing and, more importantly, because new publications are offering ever more diverse and complex ways of seeing China. Two seminal events, the Opium War (1839-42) and the Cu