In the last two decades the history of modern British politics has been the subject of fierce debate as its long cherished narratives and explanatory models have been questioned from a variety of 'revisionist' perspectives.
At the Gladstone Centenary Conference, held at Chester in the summer of 1998, one speaker pointed out that at that point in time there were ten or eleven new biographies of 'WEG' under contract.
Callum Browns excellent book on the historical origins and contemporary significance of Up-helly-aa, Shetlands winter fire festival, has recently won The Frank Watson Prize awarded by the University of Guelph, Canada, for being the best book of its year on Scottish history and no comment here will detract in any way from that impressive achievement; superlatives come to the
'He probably knows more naval history than any English speaking man living. Pity he don't produce a great work instead of piddling about in the byways of naval history'. So wrote Alfred Thayer Mahan to Stephen Luce in 1890 about John Knox Laughton.
For at least the first half of the twentieth century, Scottish history could be said to have stopped in 1707. The history of the Scottish nation was the history of Bruce, Wallace and the Douglases; of knights in armour, cross-border warfare and corrupt priests.
I come to Paula Bartley's book as someone who has for a number of years, been examining the extent and nature of prostitution in Ireland. Attitudes towards prostitutes and prostitution within Irish culture were in many ways similar to those that prevailed in England. They were also distinctly different.
"Hannah Elliett, aged about 18 years, the wife of George Elliet, upon oath says that on 31 May last, was twelve month, she, this examinant, was married to her said husband in the liberty of the Fleet, London, by whom she has a child living (named Mary), an infant aged near 3 months.
In a recent article on the relationship between Sir Alexander Malet, Britain's minister plenipotentiary to the German Confederation at Frankfurt from 1852 to 1866, and Otto von Bismarck, Prussia's delegate to this assembly for much of that period, W. A.
Professor Alvin Jackson's fine book was probably just about ready to hit the bookshops in the summer of 1999 when I was reminded, in a particularly personal way, about the intertwining of Irish and British history.
In the last 25 years or so the social history of crime, and more recently of juvenile delinquency, has taken enormous strides both in Britain and elsewhere. The book under review is a well-crafted example of the outpouring of studies on English nineteenth-century crime.