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Latest reviews – William of Malmesbury, Civil War, Nostradamus and New England


We start today with Discovering William of Malmesbury, edited by Emily Dolmans, Rodney M. Tomson and Emily A. Winkler. Charlie Rozier assesses a wide-ranging re-examination of a leading contributor to the 12th-century Anglo-Norman historiographical turn (no. 2239, with response here).

Then we turn to Robert J. Cook’s Civil War Memories: Contesting the Past in the United States Since 1865. Jack Noe welcomes a book which demonstrates the shifting yet persistent current of war memory (no. 2238).

Next up is Nostradamus: a Healer of Souls in the Renaissance by Denis Crouzet. Jan Machielsen and translator Mark Greengrass have very different takes on Denis Crouzet’s study of the famous astrologer (no. 2237, with response here).

Finally we turn to New England Federalists: Widening the Sectional Divide in Jeffersonian America by Dinah Mayo-Bobee. Stephen Symchych believes this work offers a fresh perspective on a somewhat under-followed area (no. 2236).

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Latest reviews – crusades, workhouses, bishops and Richard the Lionheart


We start today with Reconfiguring the Fifteenth-Century Crusade, edited by Norman Housley. James Doherty reviews an exploration of the interplay of established crusading ideals and practices with the issues that occupied the attention of 15th-century Christendom (no. 2235).

Then we turn to Jacques Carré’s La prison des pauvres: l’expérience des workhouses en Angleterre. Pierre Botcherby tackles a fine example of foreign-language scholarship on British society and history (no. 2234).

Next up is Episcopal Power and Local Society in Medieval Europe, 900-1400, edited by Peter Coss, Chris Dennis, Melissa Julian-Jones and Angelo Silvestri. Philippa Byrne praises a well-judged and timely volume which highlights the excellent work being done on the bishop and his diocese (no. 2233).

Finally Emily Winkler enjoys the Richard the Lionheart Exhibition at the Historisches Museum der Pfalz Speyer, where pageantry, stateliness and effective design help create a compelling narrative (no. 2232).

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Latest reviews – Ottomans, Nazi administrators, Godfrey of Bouillon and reproduction response


We start today with Michael Provence’s The Last Ottoman Generation and the Making of the Modern Middle East. Ramazan Hakkı Öztan and the author debate an exemplary reinterpretation of the history of the inter-war Middle East (no. 2231, with response here).

Then we turn to Female Administrators of the Third Reich by Rachel Century. Kate Docking praises an eye-opening, analytical and highly nuanced book that sheds light on ‘ordinary women’ (no. 2230).

Next up is Simon John’s Godfrey of Bouillon: Duke of Lower Lotharingia, Ruler of Latin Jerusalem, c.1060-1100. Andrew Buck and the author discuss a book which will be read and enjoyed by anyone with an interest in the political world of 11th-century Europe (no. 2229, with response here).

Finally we have a response from author Katherine Paugh to Trevor Burnard’s earlier review of The Politics of Reproduction: Race, Medicine and Fertility in the Age of Abolition (no. 2214, with response here).

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Latest reviews – Punjab, American sectionalism, Angevin England and Muslim conspiracy


We start with Mark Condos’ The Insecurity State: Punjab and the Making of Colonial Power in British India. Michael Brunner and the author discuss a thought-provoking and profound analysis of colonial insecurities, violence and legislation (no. 2228, with response here).

Then we turn to American Sectionalism in the British Mind, 1832-1863 by Peter O’Connor. David Tiedemann recommends a book which does an excellent job linking intellectual history with politics and culture (no. 2227).

Next up is Michael Staunton’s The Historians of Angevin England. Colin Veach believes this book will influence the way we approach medieval English historiography (no. 2226).

Finally we have A Muslim Conspiracy in British India? Politics and Paranoia in the Early Nineteenth-Century Deccan by Chandra Mallampalli. Zak Leonard praises an elucidating and gripping account which will appeal to students of both British and South Asian history (no. 2225).

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India Conquered: Britain’s Raj and the Chaos of Empire – Reviews in History round table special


This week in Reviews in History  we are focussing on a single book, Jon Wilson’s India Conquered: Britain’s Raj and the Chaos of Empire.

We invited five reviewers to contribute to a round table discussion and take up different aspects of the book, with the author then responding to each in turn.

Do let us know what you think, and make sure to send any suggestions for future roundtables to

Read all five reviews here (no. 2224) and Jon Wilson’s response here.

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Latest reviews – Summer Palace, WW2 BBC, early modern memory and climate change


We start this week with Collecting and Displaying China’s “Summer Palace” in the West, edited by Louise Tythacott. Andrew Hillier believes that though its essays are stimulating, this book represents a missed opportunity to explore the wider issues implicit within them and to have brought Chinese scholars into the debate (no. 2223).

Then we turn to Edward Stourton’s Auntie’s War: The BBC during the Second World War by Edward Stourton. Ross Davies finds this paean to ‘Auntie’ as even-handed as can be expected from a BBC veteran (no. 2222).

Next up is Memory in Early Modern Europe, 1500-1800 by Judith Pollmann. Sarah Ward praises a book which refutes a number of fairly entrenched historiographical views, and in doing so carves out a thesis of continuity as well as change (no. 2221).

Finally we have Joshua Howe’s Making Climate Change History: Documents from Global Warming’s Past. Katrin Kleemann enjoys a book which aims to be ‘a series of starting points, wormholes into historical worlds both familiar and strange’ (no. 2220)

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Latest reviews – magic, conversation pieces, Black Panthers and digital humanities


We start this week with Magic as a Political Crime in Medieval and Early Modern England: A History of Sorcery and Treason by Francis Young. Coral Casey-Stoakes thinks this book makes an important contribution to both the historiography of political culture in medieval and early modern England and that of magic (no. 2219).

Then we turn to Kate Retford’s The Conversation Piece: Making Modern Art in 18th-Century Britain. Alexandra MacDonald praises a valuable resource that promises to shift scholarship on the conversation piece by inviting a new generation of scholars to ask innovative questions (no. 2218).

Next up is Out of Oakland: Black Panther Party Internationalism During the Cold War by Sean L. Malloy. Kerry Pimblott enjoys a well-researched and engaging study that successfully conveys the significance of internationalism to the BPP’s evolution (no. 2217).

Finally we have Julianne Nyhan and Andrew Flynn’s Computation and the Humanities: towards an Oral History of Digital Humanities. Christina Kamposiori believes that this book will help us understand not only the history of the field but also aspects of the early era of computing (no. 2216).


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Latest reviews – Holocaust memories, slave reproduction and Irish emigrés


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


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


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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