Volume 5

During the month of August we will be sharing summer reading lists, experiences, and suggestions from the IHR community. If you’d like to share your own, please Tweet (X) us @ihr_history.

In this blog, we hear from Neil Stewart, Head of the IHR Library.

Willa Cather – Death Comes for the Archbishop

I was lucky enough to attend a conference in Santa Fe, New Mexico this summer. Cather’s book is set there in the mid-19th century (before New Mexico became part of the USA), and relates the struggles and triumphs of a group of French Catholic priests. It really captures the unique atmosphere and landscape of New Mexico.

Ian Kershaw – Roller-Coaster: Europe 1950-2017

I’m about a third of the way through this one, and so far Kershaw gives a cogent and well-written account of the second half of Europe’s 20th century that makes judicious judgements about issues of historical controversy. Inevitably it will be compared to Tony Judt’s more expansive and eccentric masterpiece Postwar.

Katherine Rundell – Super-Infinite: The Transformations of John Donne

I’ve heard good things about this, and have even seen someone read it on the Underground, a sign that this book has had an impact!

Various authors – golden era detective fiction

If I’m being honest, when I’m on the beach in Swanage in August what I will actually be reading is some early 20th century detective fiction. Current favourite authors include John Dickson Carr and Ngaio Marsh.