'Much nonsense has been written on this subject', wrote Keith Thomas in a famous and influential footnote to his own pioneering chapter on English witchcraft in Religion and the Decline of Magic (1971).
With the exception of pioneering work by Clarence Glacken , Keith Thomas and Alfred Crosby , very little has yet been written about early modern environmental thought . This has been partly determined by questions of definition .
When confronted with the term 'Illustrated' in a book title, how many historians, I wonder, would not be tempted to inwardly scoff and mentally store the book on the coffee table of their departmental common room? This review begins with a warning against such sentiments.
This book is an English translation by Mark Greengrass of a work first published in French in 1991 and is the companion volume to the author's earlier The Royal French State 1460-1610 (original French edn. 1987). Together the two books comprise the second and third volumes of Blackwell's five volume History of France which covers the period 987 to 1992.
This new study of the agricultural revolution is clearly the product of many years of study and research. It is closely argued, liberally illustrated with figures and tables, and tersely written and remarkably compressed. Intended primarily for students, it will repay careful reading, and re-reading, by teachers as well as students of the subject.
The dust-jacket of this book defines Diane Purkiss as a Lecturer in English; within its pages she prefers to describe herself as a feminist literary critic. It is a potent combination, and has resulted in a thoroughly individual and very important book.
The only appropriate beginning to this review is to salute a tremendous collective achievement: as a publishing project the book is stupendous and this must owe much to the picture researcher Gill Metcalfe, the OUP production team and the editor; as a parade of high scholarship the book does great credit to its eighteen contributors.
As even the most casual observer of the British historical scene must know, the 'agricultural revolution' has proved both elusive and highly contentious. French 'immobilism', on the other hand, has become something of a commonplace, although explanations for this supposed failure are less consensual. Philip Hoffman's very welcome new book has two overriding merits.
In writing about alien immigrants to England and their reception in the sixteenth century Laura Yungblut has identified a subject that has long cried out for further study, both detailed research into particular features of immigrant communities and broader overviews to incorporate the accumulated wisdom of specialised journal articles, articles often unavailable even in many university li