• Humanities & Social Sciences
      June 2018

      Why China did not have a Renaissance – and why that matters

      An interdisciplinary Dialogue

      by Thomas Maissen, Barbara Mittler

      Concepts of historical progress or decline and the idea of a cycle of historical movement have existed in many civilizations. In spite of claims that they be transnational or even universal, periodization schemes invariably reveal specific social and cultural predispositions.Our dialogue, which brings together a Sinologist and a scholar of early modern History in Europe, considers periodization as a historical phenomenon, studying the case of the “Renaissance.” Understood in the tradition of J. Burckhardt, who referred back to ideas voiced by the humanists of the 14th and 15th centuries, and focusing on the particularities of humanist dialogue which informed the making of the “Renaissance” in Italy, our discussion highlights elements that distinguish it from other movements that have proclaimed themselves as “r/Renaissances,” studying, in particular, the Chinese Renaissance in the early 20th century.While disagreeing on several fundamental issues, we suggest that interdisciplinary and interregional dialogue is a format useful to addressing some of the more far-reaching questions in global history, e.g. whether and when a periodization scheme such as “Renaissance” can fruitfully be applied to describe non-European experiences.

    • History
      November 2018

      Soul-Health

      Therapeutic Reading in Later Medieval England

      by Daniel McCann

      This is a book about reading and healing. It shows how literature that makes us feel sad, horrified, or fearful was understood to bring about health of the soul in the Middle Ages. Over five chapters, it considers a specific set of negative emotions and demonstrates precisely how words can evoke strong feelings.

    • General & world history

      Y Diwygiad Mawr

      by Derec Llwyd Morgan

    • Geographical discovery & exploration

      Coronado Expedition to Tierra Nueva

      The 1540-1542 Route Across the Southwest

      by Richard Flint , Shirley Cushing Flint

      The Coronado Expedition to Tierra Nueva is an engaging record of key research by archaeologists, ethnographers, historians, and geographers concerning the first organised European entrance into what is now the American Southwest and northwestern Mexico. In search of where the expedition went and what peoples it encountered, this volume explores the fertile valleys of Sonora, the basins and ranges of southern Arizona, the Zuni pueblos and the Rio Grande Valley of New Mexico, and the Llano Estacado of the Texas panhandle. The twenty-one contributors to the volume have pursued some of the most significant lines of research in the field in the last fifty years; their techniques range from documentary analysis and recording traditional stories to detailed examination of the landscape and excavation of campsites and Indian towns. With more confidence than ever before, researchers are closing in on the route of the conquistadors.

    • History of the Americas

      Unfortunate Emigrants

      by Kristin Johnson

    • Archaeology

      Topiltzin Quetzalcoatl

      The Once & Future Lord of the Toltecs

      by H B Nicholson

      This is the most comprehensive survey and discussion of the primary documentary sources and the relevant archaeological evidence concerning the most enigmatic figure of ancient Mesoamerica. Probably no indigenous New World personage has aroused more interest or more controversy than this Lord of Tollan, capital of the Toltec Empire, who was merged with the prominent Feathered Serpent god, Quetzalcoatl. Professor Nicholson sorts through this wealth of material, classifying, summarising, and analysing all known primary accounts of the career of Topiltzin Quetzalcoatl, in the Spanish, Nahuatl, and Mayan languages, which Spanish missionaries and Spanish-educated natives recorded after the Conquest. In a new Introduction, he updates the original source material presently available to scholars concerned with this figure. After careful consideration of the evidence, he concludes that, in spite of the obvious myth surrounding this renowned Toltec priest-ruler, at least some of Topiltzin Quetzalcoatl's recorded life and deeds are drawn from historical fact. Nicholson also contends that the tradition of his expected return probably played a role in the peaceable reception of Cortés by Moctezuma II in Mexico's Tenochtitlan in the fall of 1519. Includes new illustrations and an index.

    • Prose: non-fiction

      Scottish Covenanter Stories

      Tales from the Killing Times

      by Dane. Love

    • Biography: historical, political & military

      Union of Crowns

      The Forging of Europe's Most Independent State

      by Crawford. Little

      Today, when many are asking if it's time to end the 400-year-old union and look increasingly to a united Europe, this books prompts a greater understanding of the warts-and-all origins of Scotland's ancestral legacy. Did the Scots really cower in the shadow of their powerful, aggressive English neighbour? This book reveals a very different picture.;Scottish armies repeatedly invaded English-held territory, defying generations of Anglo-Norman kings, and it took many centuries to finally decide the fluid Border frontier. The author spells out the financial and military factors that helped to ensure Scotland's independence from the time of the Romans in Britain through Saxon, Norse and Norman invasions, the ravages of Edward Longshanks and the savagery of Henry VIII's "rough wooing".;How did the English people react to the Union of Crowns? Were the Scots incorporated against their will? This book explodes the myth that the crowns of England and Scotland were united in some sort of constitutional coincidence. It uncovers associations between many Scots and the English court and its secret service - lifting the lid on a murky underworld of collaborators, spies and assassins.;Did the French love the Scots as much as they hated the English? The author reveals the implications of the Auld Alliance between Scotland and France, and the legacy of England's foreign wars. The mutually sacrificial and loveless marriage of England and Scotland, arranged by Protestant pragmatists, secured independence for both countries which might otherwise have become Catholic dominions of France or Spain.;Who gained most from Britain's independence? Britain was just a small corner in a huge power struggle raging throughout Europe. The author reveals the ruthless, secular and political nature of religions that tortured and massacred men, women and children in their hundreds of thousands. Divided they might have fallen or been pushed into obscurity, but united the two countries stood as Europe's foremost independent Protestant state, the seat of democratic government and the foundation stone of much social and legal reform.

    • Early modern history: c 1450/1500 to c 1700

      The Jacobite Dictionary

      by Mairead. McKerracher

    • Biography: historical, political & military

      Rob Roy Macgregor

      by Nigel Tranter

      Rob Roy MacGregor’s name and reputation strides through late-17th- and early 18th-century Scottish history and he is probably the nation’s best-known historical figure next to Robert the Bruce, William Wallace and Bonnie Prince Charlie. Along with those three, Rob Roy’s portrayal in book and film has created a figure that does not really tally with the man that Nigel Tranter believes was much more than a mere Trossachs-based cattle thief, blackmailer, outlaw and protection racketeer. That he stole cattle, forced lairds to pay money to ensure their cattle were safe and lived on the wrong side of the law is not in dispute, but there are two sides to every story, and Rob’s is one of the most fascinating in Scottish history. In this comprehensible portrait of Rob Roy, master storyteller Nigel Tranter reveals a strange man who always had to stay one step ahead of everyone around him, be it in the business of cattle, his financial and political dealings with the dukes of Montrose and Argyll, his endeavours in support of the Jacobite cause, or his continual struggle with Montrose’s factor, Graham of Killearn. When he failed to manage this complex set of activities, the repercussions were dire, not only for himself and his clan, but most importantly for his relationship with his remarkable wife, Mary. That he managed to survive in the political cauldron that was Jacobite Scotland, reconcile himself with his wife, maintain his nephew’s clan lands and somehow survive into relative old age to die in peace in his bed is wholly remarkable. This is Rob Roy’s story, warts and all.

    • Politics & government

      Networks of Power

      Political Relations in the Late Postclassic Naco Valley, Honduras

      by Edward Schortman , Patricia Urban

      Little is known about how Late Post-classic populations in south-east Mesoamerica organised their political relations. Networks of Power fills gaps in the knowledge of this little-studied area, reconstructing the course of political history in the Naco Valley from the fourteenth through early sixteenth centuries. Describing the material and behavioural patterns pertaining to the Late Post-classic period using components of three settlements in the Naco Valley of north-western Honduras, the book focuses on how contests for power shaped political structures. Power-seeking individuals, including but not restricted to ruling elites, depended on networks of allies to support their political objectives. Ongoing and partially successful competitions waged within networks led to the incorporation of exotic ideas and imported items into the daily practices of all Naco Valley occupants. The result was a fragile hierarchical structure forever vulnerable to the initiatives of agents operating on local and distant stages. This book describes who was involved in these competitions and in which networks they participated; what resources were mustered within these webs; which projects were fuelled by these assets; and how, and to what extent, they contributed to the achievement of political aims.

    • Early modern history: c 1450/1500 to c 1700

      The Renaissance

      by Walter Pater (author)

      Text difficulty between popular and professional readers For English major and learners at intermediate and advanced levels Based on classic works, involving various fields of social sciences, adopting a bilingual format, providing cultural annotations Selected works of various subjects and styles, some being witty and humorous and some being sarcastic and heuristic

    • Early modern history: c 1450/1500 to c 1700
      November 2015

      The anxiety of sameness in early modern Spain

      by Christina H. Lee

      This book explores the Spanish elite's fixation on social and racial 'passing' and 'passers', as represented in a wide range of texts. It examines literary and non-literary works produced in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries that express the dominant Spaniards' anxiety that socially mobile lowborns, Conversos (converted Jews), and Moriscos (converted Muslims) could impersonate and pass for 'pure' Christians like themselves. Ultimately, this book argues that while conspicuous sociocultural and ethnic difference was certainly perturbing and unsettling, in some ways it was not as threatening to the dominant Spanish identity as the potential discovery of the arbitrariness that separated them from the undesirables of society - and therefore the recognition of fundamental sameness. This fascinating and accessible work will appeal to students of Hispanic studies, European history, cultural studies, Spanish literature and Spanish history.

    • History
      November 2015

      Indispensable immigrants

      The wine porters of northern Italy and their saint, 1200–1800

      by Lester Little

      Indispensable immigrants recreates the world of peasants who streamed into the cities of late medieval and early modern northern Italy to carry crushingly heavy containers of wine. Written in an easily accessible and unassuming style, it is solidly grounded in previously untapped archival and visual sources. In this first-ever reconstruction of the forgotten metier of wine porter, topography plays a key role in forming the labour market; in the scramble to distinguish professionals from manual labourers the term artist gets divorced from lowly artisan, and wretched diet is invoked to explain why workers are so unintelligent; the wine porters make one of their own their patron saint in thirteenth-century Cremona and other interest groups scheme successfully to get him canonised in Rome five centuries later; and when enlightened despots abolish the guilds, the wine porters' trade fades away just as the candles on their patron's altars sputter and die out.

    • History
      November 2015

      Indispensable immigrants

      The wine porters of northern Italy and their saint, 1200–1800

      by Lester Little

      Indispensable immigrants recreates the world of peasants who streamed into the cities of late medieval and early modern northern Italy to carry crushingly heavy containers of wine. Written in an easily accessible and unassuming style, it is solidly grounded in previously untapped archival and visual sources. In this first-ever reconstruction of the forgotten metier of wine porter, topography plays a key role in forming the labour market; in the scramble to distinguish professionals from manual labourers the term artist gets divorced from lowly artisan, and wretched diet is invoked to explain why workers are so unintelligent; the wine porters make one of their own their patron saint in thirteenth-century Cremona and other interest groups scheme successfully to get him canonised in Rome five centuries later; and when enlightened despots abolish the guilds, the wine porters' trade fades away just as the candles on their patron's altars sputter and die out.

    • Early modern history: c 1450/1500 to c 1700
      August 2015

      Sir Robert Filmer (1588–1653) and the patriotic monarch

      Patriarchalism in seventeenth-century political thought

      by Cesare Cuttica

      This book, now available in paperback, studies the patriarchalist theories of Sir Robert Filmer (1588-1653) in the context of early modern English and European political cultures. Making use of unexplored primary material and adopting an innovative contextual approach, Cuttica provides a long-overdue account of an often referred-to but largely misunderstood thinker. By focusing on Filmer's most important writing, Patriarcha (written in the 1620s-30s but published in 1680), this monograph rethinks some crucial issues in the reading of political history in the seventeenth century. Most importantly, it invites new reflections on the theory of patriarchalism and gives novel insights into the place of patriotism in the development of English political discourse and identity. Thanks to its originality in both approach and content, this volume will be of interest to historians of early modern England as well as scholars of political thought.

    • Early modern history: c 1450/1500 to c 1700
      July 2013

      Black Bartholomew's Day

      Preaching, polemic and Restoration nonconformity

      by David J. Appleby

      Black Bartholomew's Day explores the religious, political and cultural implications of a collision of highly-charged polemic prompted by the mass ejection of Puritan ministers from the Church of England in 1662. It is the first in-depth study of this heated exchange, centres centring on the departing ministers' farewell sermons. Many of these valedictions, delivered by hundreds of dissenting preachers in the weeks before Bartholomew's Day, would be illegally printed and widely distributed, provoking a furious response from government officials, magistrates and bishops. Black Bartholomew's Day re-interprets the political significance of ostensibly moderate Puritan clergy, arguing that their preaching posed a credible threat to the restored political order This book is aimed at readers interested in historicism, religion, nonconformity, print culture and the political potential of preaching in Restoration England.

    • Early modern history: c 1450/1500 to c 1700
      July 2013

      Brave community

      The Digger Movement in the English Revolution

      by John Gurney

      Newly available in paperback, this is a full-length, modern study of the Diggers or 'True Levellers', who were among the most remarkable of the radical groups to emerge during the English Revolution of 1640-60. It was in April 1649 that the Diggers, inspired by the teachings and writings of Gerrard Winstanley, began their occupation of waste land at St George's Hill in Surrey and called on all poor people to join them or follow their example. Acting at a time of unparalleled political change and heightened millenarian expectation, the Diggers believed that the establishment of an egalitarian, property-less society was imminent. This book should be of interest to all those interested in England's mid-seventeenth-century revolution and in the history of radical movements.

    • Early modern history: c 1450/1500 to c 1700
      July 2013

      Brave community

      The Digger Movement in the English Revolution

      by John Gurney

      Newly available in paperback, this is a full-length, modern study of the Diggers or 'True Levellers', who were among the most remarkable of the radical groups to emerge during the English Revolution of 1640-60. It was in April 1649 that the Diggers, inspired by the teachings and writings of Gerrard Winstanley, began their occupation of waste land at St George's Hill in Surrey and called on all poor people to join them or follow their example. Acting at a time of unparalleled political change and heightened millenarian expectation, the Diggers believed that the establishment of an egalitarian, property-less society was imminent. This book should be of interest to all those interested in England's mid-seventeenth-century revolution and in the history of radical movements.

    Subscribe to our newsletter