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Latest from Reviews in History – slavery, C19 America, Ancient Greece and factory fire

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We start this week with Alice Rio’s Slavery After Rome, 500-1100. Shami Ghosh and the author discuss one of the central questions in the historiography of early medieval Western Europe: how did the transition from slavery to serfdom take place? (no. 2147, with response here)

Next up is Divided Sovereignties: Race, Nationhood, and Citizenship in Nineteenth-Century America by Rochelle Zuck. Nathan Cardon enjoys a book which puts politics and nation-making back into the conversation on 19th-century race and identity (no. 2146).

Then we turn to Johana Hannink’s The Classical Debt: Greek Antiquity in an Era of Austerity. Helen Roche praises a triumph of popularisation which should provide a fruitful starting-point for more detailed surveys (no. 2145).

Finally we have See You In The Streets: Art, Action, and Remembering the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire by Ruth Sergel. Chloe Ward reviews a book which recounts the author’s attempts to commemorate the fire through a series of interlinked art projects-cum-social interventions (no. 2144).

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Baseball…it’s just not cricket: baseball and British and Irish history

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Baseball and British history – not, you think, a natural pairing. It’s then surprising to learn that there are enough references to baseball in BBIH to warrant a blog.

A woodcut from “A Little Pretty Pocket-Book” (1744) England, showing a reference to baseball

There is little on the development of the sport, unlike the lengthy discussions available on the development of football (the association not the American kind).

Highlights from the collection include the nationalistic and sneering response to the game, such as “That’s your way of playing rounders, isn’t it”? The response of the English press to American baseball tours to England, 1874-1924”. The sporting coverage is also explored in Embracing sporting news in England and America: nineteenth-century cricket and baseball news (a chapter in Anglo-American media interactions, 1850-2000).

There is some material on London including Baseball in East London before the war, British baseball and the West Ham club: history of a 1930s professional team in East London and A very peculiar practice: the London Baseball League, 1906-1911.

Picking up on imperial themes, there’s Why baseball, why cricket? Differing nationalisms, differing challenges which asks why India and Pakistan play cricket and the USA does not. A night at Delmonico’s: the Spalding baseball tour and the imagination of Empire looks at parts of the tour by Albert Spalding, particularly the contrasting results of the visits to Australia and Britain, while Similar economic histories, different industrial structures: transatlantic contrasts in the evolution of professional sports leagues contrasts the histories of the English Football League and the National Baseball League.

The issue of class is raised in “Poor man’s cricket”: baseball, class and community in south Wales c.1880-1950 which documents the origins of the sport in south Wales and its development that was said to be ‘slowly ingratiating itself into the favour of the masses’ and became part of the local popular culture.

Even more unexpected is the history of Irish involvement with baseball. As Jerrold Casway notes in his biography, Ed Delahanty in the emerald age of baseball  – “Baseball for Irish kids was a shortcut to the American dream and to self-indulgent glory and fortune”. The Irish in baseball: an early history surveys the contribution of the Irish to the American pastime and the ways in which Irish immigrants and baseball came of age together. It looks at the role of the Irish in Boston, Chicago and Baltimore. Anti-Irish job discrimination circa 1880 : evidence from major league baseball shows that Irish players outperformed non-Irish players both on average and at the margin and were generally relegated to less central positions in the field but were less likely to be hired as managers. Finally there is the chapter, “Slide, Kelly, slide” : the Irish in American baseball in New perspectives on the Irish diaspora and Glimpses of the Irish contribution to early baseball by John P. Rossi in the journal Éire-Ireland (1988).

However, it was not entirely a one-way road as the chapter by Sara Brady, Playing ‘Irish’ sport on baseball’s hallowed ground: the 1947 All-Ireland Gaelic Football Final makes clear (in After the flood: Irish America 1945-1960).

Recent additions (both due to appear in the October update) include Nine innings for the King: the day wartime London stopped for baseball, July 4, 1918 by Jim Leeke and his article Royal match: the Army-Navy service game, July 4, 1918, based on the same event, in NINE: A Journal of Baseball History and Culture. For historians and baseball fans this journal covers a wide range of topics from racism in the sport (including the Ku Klux Klan), media representation (radio and film) the various baseball tours including Japan and Taiwan and, of course, Babe Ruth.

 

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Latest from Reviews in History – Huguenots, civil wars, communes and medieval Venice

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We start this week with Facing the Revocation: Huguenot Families, Faith and the King’s Will by Carolyn Chapelle Lougee. Raymond Mentzer enjoys a highly original set of insights into the uncertainties and burdens that French Protestants encountered as they confronted the royal proscription of their ancestral religion (no. 2143).

Next up is David Armitage’s Civil Wars: A History in Ideas. John Collins speculates that this new book might cause a revolution within the discipline, possibly preceded by civil war…(no. 2142).

Then we turn to Living the Revolution: Urban Communes and Soviet Socialism 1917-1932 by Andy Willimott. James Ryan believes this to be an excellent book that deserves to be read widely by all those interested in early Soviet history (no. 2141).

Finally Georg Christ reviews two resources which make precious sets of data accessible in a durable, easy and useful way – CIVES: citizenship privileges in Venice, 1180-1500 and ESTIMO: the Venetian fiscal roster of 1379 (no. 2140)

See our full list of reviews here

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New reviews: Cold War, Easter 1916, Ottonian Queenship

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We start this week with Understanding the Imaginary War: Culture, Thought and Nuclear Conflict, 1945-90, edited by Matthew Grant and Benjamin Ziemann.Mattias Eken and the editors discuss a detailed and thorough presentation of the cultural history of the Cold War (no. 2139, with response here).

Next up is Fearghal McGarry’s The Rising: Ireland: Easter 1916. John Borgonovo and the author debate a work which offers a a wealth of thought-provoking material (no. 2138).

Then we turn to Ottonian Queenship by Simon MacLean. Levi Roach praises a thoughtful and original work, a bold and erudite contribution in a field in which conservatism often predominates (no. 2137).

Finally we have a response from editors Simon Avery and Katherine Graham to Harry Cocks’ review of Sex, Time and Place: Queer Histories of London c.1850 to the Present (read response here).

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Jane Austen 200th anniversary

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This year marks the 200th anniversary of Jane Austen, one of Britain’s most well-known literary figures. She died on 18 July 1817, and this year celebrates a variety of different events to commemorate her life (see Jane Austen 200). To tie in with this, we looked at the resources available on the Bibliography of British and Irish History, and have selected some material which highlights the less-explored themes surrounding Austen’s life and her work.

A newly published book titled Jane Austen and the Reformation: Remembering the sacred landscape by Roger E. Moore explores the medieval religious houses that feature in Austen’s novels, noting the nostalgia that people in the Georgian era felt for the England that existed before the Reformation. He pays particular attention to the first-hand experience that Austen had with pre-Reformation buildings, such as being taught at the gatehouse at Reading Abbey and visiting relatives at Stoneleigh Abbey.

Abbey gateway Reading, by Paul Sandby, 1808 (image: Wikipedia)

 

Jane Austen, Dominic Serres, Princess Olive of Cumberland, Graf von Moltke: Unexpected encounters of an interesting kind is an article by Chris Birch in Geneologists’ Magazine (32:4), which charts a surprising family history that traces the author’s heritage from sugar plantations in St Kitts back to James Austen, Jane’s eldest brother. It is thought that the character General Tilney in Northanger Abbey was based on James’ father-in-law, General Edward Mathew.

‘The “Fanny Price Wars”: Jane Austen’s Enlightenment feminist and Mary Wollstonecraft’ is an article in Women’s Studies. Fanny Price from Mansfield Park is generally regarded as Austen’s most unlikeable heroine, and this article discusses how Mary Wollstonecraft’s A Vindication of the Rights of Women may have shaped the development of Austen’s character.

Jane Austen and the state of the nation by Sheryl Craig takes a political view of Austen’s novels, discussing in each chapter a specific novel and relating it to the political and economic climate, such as Poor Law reform, the Speenhamland System and the Restriction Act of 1797. The monograph concludes that Austen maintained a liberal tory outlook throughout her writing life.

Other resources encompassing wider themes in Austen’s work include ‘Jane Austen’s Plots of Prevention’ in Reading for health : Medical narratives and the nineteenth-century novel by Erika Wright and ‘Novel Appetites: Jane Austen and the “Nothing” of Food’ in The food plot in the nineteenth-century British novel by Michael Parrish Lee.

The Bibliography currently has 219 listed resources for Jane Austen, visit the BBIH to explore more:

 

(Click on image to enlarge)

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New reviews: atheism, parishes, Algeria, antibiotics

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We start this week with Becoming Atheist: Humanism and the Secular West by Callum Brown. Russell Blackford and the author discuss a book which raws on the methods of oral history to examine how Western nations became markedly more secular in the long 1960s (no. 2136, with response here).

Next up is Nigel Saul’s Lordship and Faith: the English Gentry and the Parish Church in the Middle Ages. Robert Swanson and the author reflect on a truly ambitious and challenging project, significant for both both ‘gentry studies’ and ‘parish studies’ (no. 2135, with response here).

Then we turn to Mecca of Revolution: Algeria, Decolonization and the Third World Order by Jeffrey James Byrne. Natalya Vince tackles a book which sees the processes of decolonization and the Cold War as enmeshed and mutually dependent (no. 2134).

Finally we have William Rosen’s Miracle Cure: The Creation of Antibiotics and the Birth of Modern Medicine. J. N. Campbell praises an important and highly-readable contribution to the disciplines of medical history and the history of chemistry (no. 2133).

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New reviews: Britain / China, Poland /Lithuania, Russian Hajj & C20 cartography

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We start this week with Britain’s Imperial Retreat from China 1900-1931 by Phoebe Chow. Andrew Hillier and the author discuss a fresh and engaging, if not wholly convincing piece of imperial history (no. 2132, with response here).

Next up is Miia Ijäs’ Res publica Redefined? The Polish-Lithuanian Transition Period of the 1560s and 1570s in the Context of European State Formation Processes. Karin Friedrich finds this an occasionally problematic but thought-provoking book which stimulates new questions (no. 2131).

Then we turn to Russian Hajj: Empire and the Pilgrimage to Mecca by Eileen Kane. Charles Shaw praises a rich and novel picture of an empire with many different faces looking upon its Muslim subjects (no. 2130).

Finally we have William Rankin’s After the Map: Cartography, Navigation, and the Transformation of Territory in the Twentieth Century. Tom Simpson reviews a provocatively enlightening book which invites the reader to further explore the complex webs of power and possibilities that form around spatial technologies (no. 2129).

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New reviews: inter-war Chile, Anglo-Saxon England, women investors and Isabella of Castile

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We start this week with The Cry of the Renegade: Politics and Poetry in Interwar Chile by Raymond Craib. Camila Gatica and the author discuss a microhistory of Chile that allows the reader to make uncomfortable connections with the current situation of the country (no. 2128, with response here).

Next up is Tom Lambert’s Law and Order in Anglo-Saxon England. Philippa Byrne reviews a book which engages with matters of identity and community as much as it does legal and social order (no. 2127).

Then we turn to Silent Partners: Women as Public Investors during Britain’s Financial Revolution, 1690-1750 by Amy Froide. Helen Paul praises a book likely to become a key text, which will make a good addition to reading lists about women’s history and/or the Financial Revolution (no. 2126).

Finally we have Giles Tremlett’s Isabella of Castile: Europe’s First Great Queen. Elena Woodacre enjoys an in-depth and approachable biography which will bring Isabel to a wider audience (no. 2125).

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Bibliography of British and Irish History updated (June 2017) and journal coverage

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An update to the Bibliography of British and Irish History was published on 20 June. 4, 455 new records have been added. Some 612 new records relate to Irish history while 237 deal with the history of London, 354 with the history of Scotland and 125 with the history of Wales. The overall total of records available online is now 588,873.

We regularly search for content relevant to the Bibliography in a large range of journals (over 780 are checked).  We also consider new journals (both in print and open access) and assess whether or not to add a new journal to the list. If any users think we have missed a new journal please contact us via the feedback form.

 

Recent additions have included Manuscript Studies, History of Retailing and Consumption, Cultural History, British Journal for Military History and Early Modern Women.

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you have access to the online Bibliography, you can also see journal coverage by selecting “Coverage” from the main menu on the search page, and then selecting the “Currently searched systematically for relevant material” radio button.  Note that items from journals or series that we have decided to cover only recently may not be included in the published Bibliography yet.

 

We expect the next update to be released in October 2017.

 

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New reviews: Naval impressment, war satire, Mughal culture, Irish charity

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We start this week with Poseidon’s Curse: British Naval Impressment and Atlantic Origins of the American Revolution by Christopher Magra. Paul Gilje and the author discuss a well written, carefully organized, and deeply researched book which perhaps takes the evidence too far (no. 2124, with response here).

Next up is Lesley Milne’s Laughter and War: Humorous-Satirical Magazines in Britain, France, Germany and Russia 1914-1918. Pip Gregory enjoys a book which offers a well written overview of the humour of four nations during the Great War (no. 2123).

Then we turn to Culture of Encounters: Sanskrit at the Mughal Court by Audrey Truschke. dmond Smith praises an evocative, expertly researched book that brings the collaborative, sometimes combative, world of translation to life (no. 2122).

Finally we have Karen Sonnelitter’s Charity Movements in Eighteenth-Century Ireland. Philanthropy and Improvement. James Kelly reviews an engaging study of the improving and charitable impulses of the 18th century (no. 2121).

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