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Latest reviews – Holocaust memories, slave reproduction and Irish emigrés

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We start this week with Survivor Café: The Legacy of Trauma and the Labyrinth of Memory, an innovative book by Elizabeth Rosner. Ellis Spicer believes this book’s contribution to the field lies in its raw emotionality, personal stories and thematic strengths (no. 2215).

Then we turn to Katherine Paugh’s The Politics of Reproduction: Race, Medicine and Fertility in the Age of Abolition. Trevor Burnard believes this book to be a valuable addition to a venerable literature on slave reproduction in the Caribbean (no. 2214).

Finally we have Irish Nationalists in America: The Politics of Exile, 1798-1998 by David Brundage. David Sim appreciates a sharp and well-written book which forces us to appreciate the ways in which nationalism was perceived as a liberating force by many in the 19th century (no. 2213).

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Latest reviews – C19 consumption, medieval religion, modern magic and 10 commandments revisited

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Happy New Year to all Reviews in History readers! We start 2018 with the latest in our occasional podcast series, a fascinating interview with Joanna Cohen discussing among other things her new book, Luxurious Citizens: The Politics of Consumption in Nineteenth-Century America, and her future research plans (no. 2212).

Then we return to The Reformation of the Decalogue: Religious Identity and the Ten Commandments in England, c. 1485-1625  by Jonathan Willis, with a response by the author to last month’s review (response to no. 2208).

Next up is Medieval Religion and its Anxieties: History and Mystery in the Other Middle Ages by Thomas A. Fudgé. Kieran Creedon praises a fascinating study from a writer that engages, energises and uses sources to put the very idea of the historical Middle Ages on trial (no. 2211).

Finally Francis Young reviews a valuable contribution to the interdisciplinary study of magic, Edward Bever and Randall Styers’ edited collection Magic in the Modern World: Strategies of Repression and Legitimization (no. 2210).

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Latest reviews – secret files, Decalogue, Anschluss and more WW1 trauma

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We start this week with Secret Files from World War to Cold War: British Government and Secret Intelligence and Foreign Policy files. Dan Lomas believes the sheer size and usability of the digital records makes this a worthwhile aid for anyone interested in early 20th-century international, political, military and intelligence history (no. 2209).

Then we turn to The Reformation of the Decalogue: Religious Identity and the Ten Commandments in England, c. 1485-1625  by Jonathan Willis. John Reeks praises a book which puts The Ten Commandments firmly at the centre of post-Reformation scholarship (no. 2208).

Next up is Imagining a Greater Germany: Republican Nationalism and the Idea of Anschluss by Erin R. Hochman. Timothy Schmalz enjoys a book which provides new template for examining Austria and Germany during the inter-war period (no. 2207).

Finally we have a response by editors Jason Crouthamel and Peter Leese to Ryan Ross’s review last week of Psychological Trauma and the Legacies of the First World War and Traumatic Memories of the Second World War and After (response to no. 2205).

 

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Latest Reviews – War, psychological trauma and early modern social history

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We start this week with A. C. Grayling’s War: An Enquiry. In his review of this penetrating and provocative book, James Cronin focuses on its assertion that war is synonymous with the ascent of civilisation (no. 2206).

Next up is a review of two new collections on the history of trauma, Psychological Trauma and the Legacies of the First World War and Traumatic Memories of the Second World War and After, both edited by Jason Crouthamel and Peter Leese. Ryan Ross believes these reflect the extent and speed of the growth of the trauma industry (no. 2205).

Then we turn to Narratives and Representations: a Collection to Honour Paul Slack, edited by Michael Braddick and Joanna Innes. Naomi Pullin praises a fine scholarly collection that represents the rich and vibrant discussions taking place within early modern history (no. 2204).

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Latest Reviews – Ukrainian famine, Louis VIII and Archbishop Randall Davidson

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We start this week with Anne Applebaum’s Red Famine: Stalin’s War on Ukraine. Christopher Gilley finds the treatment of the famine here to be largely convincing – the book’s weakness is its historical framework (no. 2203).

Next up is Louis: The French Prince Who Invaded England by Catherine Hanley. Tom Horler-Underwood enjoys a book highlighting the exploits in this country of this most fascinating of French princes (no. 2202).

Then we turn to Michael Hughes’s Archbishop Randall Davidson. Peter Webster believes this fresh and convincing rendering of an important figure deserves a wide readership (no. 2201).

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Pollard the 3D Penguin in the IHR Library

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To tie in with this year’s Being Human Festival theme of ‘Lost and Found’, the IHR Library recently installed a new exhibition focused on the four points of the compass and the library’s resources for each geographical area. I was tasked with ‘south’ – creating a display around the library’s resources on Antarctica.

The library’s resources and works on the history of Antarctica relate mainly to the expeditions to the continent and the race for the South Pole. Notable works include Sir Clements Markham’s narrative on the British National Antarctic Expedition of 1901-1904, the expedition diaries of Scott and Amundsen, and the journals of Sir Ernest Shackleton during his last expedition to Antarctica from 1914 to 1917. Whilst reading through the library’s volumes, I discovered in The Antarctic Journals of Reginald Skelton, that Skelton’s journal records the first colony of emperor penguins ever to be seen by humans in October 1902.

As a result, to add something a little different to the display I recruited the help of the IHR’s Digital team to create a 3D model of an emperor penguin using the IHR/ICS Digital 3D Printing Lab. As Jonathan Blaney, IHR Digital Projects Manager and Editor of British History Online, explains, “When the IHR Library asked us to 3D-print a penguin for them we were delighted. The idea of the SAS 3D Centre is not that we think of what should be printed, but that we understand what could be printed and then advise (and train) people who come to us with their ideas. We’re not quite at that stage yet, because we are still learning ourselves, but the penguin was an easy request and the Library even sent a link to the file on Thingiverse.

‘Pollard’ being printed in the IHR/ICS Digital 3D Printing Lab

All we had to do was download the file and convert it to the format (called gcode) that our printer uses. We decided to print the penguin using white filament, so that it could more easily be painted later. We set our Ultimaker 3 printing and 30 minutes later … some feet had appeared. It’s a slow process. Although the penguin is only a few inches tall it took about six hours to print the whole thing. While it was printing we put some photos of the lower half on Twitter and asked people to guess what we were printing. A Moomin, a hobbit and Paddington Bear were some of the suggestions.

By the end of the day we handed the white penguin to Siobhan in the IHR Library for painting.”

The painting begins…

The finished model

And so I began the job of painting the model using a combination of acrylic paint, a fine liner paint pen and a highlighter pen. The finished article was then christened ‘Pollard’ by the IHR’s Librarian in homage to the Institute’s founder A. F. Pollard and subsequently installed in the display case situated in the third floor reading room.

More information on resources documenting the discovery and exploration of Antarctica can be found in the library’s Travel Writing collection guide. There are also multiple holdings at the classmark CLE.92.

The exhibition is on display in the third floor reading room until the New Year and is open to all.

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Latest Reviews – Bank of England, shell-shock, Tudor houses and C17 women writers

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We start this week with David Kynaston’s Till Time’s Last Sand: A History of the Bank of England 1694-2013. Geoffrey Wood reviews a gallant attempt at a history of the Bank for the general reader, but one which misses its target (no. 2200).

Next up is Shell-Shock and Medical Culture in First World War Britain by Tracey Loughran. Stefanie Linden largely enjoys a fascinating account of medical discourse in Britain throughout the First World War (no. 2199).

Then we turn to Simon Thurley’s Houses of Power: The Places the Shaped the Tudor World. Audrey Thorstad recommends a refreshing new view into the Tudor dynasty (no. 2198).

Finally we have Women Writing the English Republic 1625-1681 by Katharine Gillespie. Gaby Mahlberg believes this bold and innovative book is an important milestone in challenging the male-dominated republican canon (no. 2197).

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The Food and Drinke of Samuel Pepys

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This week is Being Human, the annual festival of the humanities and the arts – this year on the theme of ‘Lost and Found’. For its contribution, the IHR takes you back to the 1660s, and the loss of Charles II’s warship, The London, which sank in the Thames estuary in March 1665, and was found and excavated from 2005.

On 22 November the IHR hosted an evening of underwater archaeology, sea shanties and Restoration coffee houses. Commemoration of The London now continues into December with an exhibition at the IHR of artefacts recovered from the wreck, including pipes, pots, shoes and musket balls.

IHR Digital’s modest contribution to all things Restoration is the British History Online quiz: 10 questions on the (often wonderful, sometimes bizarre) eating and drinking habits of Samuel Pepys (1633-1703), who worked at the Navy Board in 1665. You’ll find all the answers in British History Online (www.british-history.ac.uk), the IHR’s free digital library of medieval and early modern primary sources. Send us your answers by Friday 2 December.

British History Online ‘Being Human’ 2017 Quiz – The Food and Drinke of Samuel Pepys

British History Online (BHO) is a free digital library of 1200 medieval and early modern primary sources volumes, created by IHR Digital. It includes nearly 500 references to Samuel Pepys, including many to his habits during the 1660s. Use BHO to answer the following 10 questions on Samuel’s tastes in food and drinke.

  1. What did Samuel Pepys acquire ‘by the BARREL’ from Billingsgate market?
  1. What was Pepys’s laxative of choice in 1664?
  1. In the same year, Pepys was recommended what as treatment for the stone?
  1. What did Pepys consider as a ‘very easy, speedy, and cleanly’ alternative to shaving?
  1. What were the ingredients of ‘Plague water’, given to Pepys in 1665?
  1. What fruit did Pepys consider ‘now a great rarity since the war, none to be had’ in 1666?
  1. For what culinary dish did Pepys use a ‘hanging jack’?
  1. What ingredients went to make, in Pepys’ opinion, ‘the best universal sauce in the world’?
  1. In 1668 Pepys purchased ‘a hundred of sparrowgrass’ at 1s. 8d. which he and Mrs Pepys ate with ‘a little bit of salmon’. We still do the same: what is ‘sparrowgrass’?
  1. To what did Pepys refer when he spoke, in 1669, of a ‘very fine drink; but, it being new, I was doubtful whether it might not do me hurt’?

Yemail your answers to danny.millum@sas.ac.uk, marked ‘BHO: Pepys’.

Deadline, Friday 2 December

Winner receives an annual subscription to British History Online.

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Latest Reviews – Labour Party, medieval peacemaking, Irish poverty & crusaders

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We kick off this week with John Gaffney’s Leadership and the Labour Party: Narrative and Performance. Christopher Massey believes this book provides vital reading for all interested in Ed Miliband’s leadership of the Labour Party and the development of political narrative and performance (no. 2196, with response here).

Next up is The Benefits of Peace: Private Peacemaking in Late Medieval Italy by Glenn Kumhera. Alexandra Lee and the author discuss a book which provides a deeper insight into the complicated practices of private peacemaking in medieval Italy (no. 2195, with response here).

Then we turn to Lindsey Earner-Byrne’s Letters of the Catholic Poor: Poverty in Independent Ireland, 1920-1940. David Kilgannon praises a book which challenges other historians of 20th-century Ireland to ‘people their pasts’ (no. 2194).

Finally we have The Uses of the Bible in Crusader Sources, edited by Elizabeth Lapina and Nicholas Morton. Stephen Spencer recommends a book which adds substantially to our understanding of the sources and the intellectual milieu of their authors (no. 2193).

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Latest reviews: William the Conqueror, Stefan Collini, blackface and Indian news

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We begin this week with David Bates’ William the Conqueror. Matthew Bennett and the author debate the extent to which this biography shows sufficient empathy for its subject (no. 2192, with response here).

Next up is Common Writing: Essays on Literary Culture and Public Debate by Stefan Collini. Tim Rogan and the author discuss a collection of pieces which read together for the first time yield a clearer sense of the general preoccupations which unite them (no. 2191, with response here).

Then we turn to Brian Roberts’ Blackface Nation: Race, Reform, and Identity in American Popular Music, 1812-1925. Eran Zelnik highlights the strengths and weaknesses one of the most informative and persuasive recent cultural histories of the 19th century (no. 2190).

Finally we have a response by Amelia Bonea to our previously published review of her book The News of Empire: Telegraphy, Journalism and the Politics of Reporting in Colonial India (response to 2149).

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