I knew David Hey for 30 years, and it is with great sadness that I offer this review of his last and posthumous book. I recall well how I first met him. It was Easter 1985 and I was on my way to the British Agricultural History Society conference to give a paper. I hadn’t been to that conference before, nor had I ever given a paper to a conference (as opposed to a seminar).
Some monographs feel as if they have slotted themselves – like a puzzle-piece – snugly into the picture presented by our extant historiography. And just like single parts of a complex jig-saw, these works often add brilliantly to the overall image.
People down on their luck fleeing to the colonies on the first available ship is a mainstay of 19th century fiction. It was a convenient way for an author to either get rid of an unnecessary character, or to bring a surprise new person into the narrative mix with dramatic effect.
How did the world of nation-states come about? What happened to the world of empires that preceded it? How did the transition take place and how inevitable was it? These may seem (and indeed are) old questions.
John J. Navin offers a new account of the first half century of settlement in the colony of South Carolina, which he characterizes as The Grim Years.
In Caribbean New Orleans Cécile Vidal has brought together a prodigious volume and range of archival research in what is the most detailed social history of the city during the French period.
Late June 2020 was an extraordinary time to be reading Animal City. COVID-19, a zoonotic disease, had already killed around 130,000 people in the United States, with urban areas suffering the highest death rates. In New York City alone, 30,000 people had died.
Danger, disaster and the loss of life are emblematic features of Britain’s cultural memory of coal mining. Netflix’s hit series, The Crown, prominently reinforced these motifs through its recent portrayal of the 1966 Aberfan disaster in South Wales.
The indefinite article in the subtitle of Pekka Hämäläinen’s new book tells, to those familiar with the author’s first monograph and its professional impact, its own story. Ethnohistorians writing Native North American history in the later 20th century cast Indigenous Americans as heroic underdogs in a long, bitter struggle against Euro-American colonialism.
Early modern Scotland was awash with cheap print. Adam Fox, in the first dedicated study of the phenomenon in Scotland, gives readers some startling figures. Andro Hart, one of Edinburgh’s leading booksellers, died in 1622. In his possession, according to his inventory, were 42,300 unbound copies of English books printed on his own presses.