English Writers, Artists and the Imagination from Virginia Woolf to John Piper
Was it a betrayal of the modern movement to be in love, as John Piper was, with old churches? Harris finds the engagement of artists and writers with the English countryside during the interwar years ‘an expression of responsibility – towards places, people and histories too valuable and too vulnerable to go missing from art’. Among the now much-admired figures discussed are Paul Nash, Edward Bawden, Gertrude Hermes, John Betjeman and Daphne du Maurier, and the book features carefully chosen quotations and reproductions of their works.
Houses of History
A Critical Reader in Twentieth-Century History and Theory
A clear, jargon-free introduction to the major theoretical perspectives of 20th-century historians, this reader comprises twelve chapters on major schools of thought, from the empiricists to postmodernists. Each school is represented by a seminal text, including essays by EP Thompson (Marxist), Braudel (Annales), Theda Skocpol (historical sociology) and Catherine Hall (gender and history), accompanied by a substantial introduction and reading list.
The Making of the Modern Christmas
What do we mean by a 'traditional' Christmas? Were old Christmases that much better than modern celebrations? This book traces the history of Christmas from pagan mid-winter festivals to its establishment as a Christian feast in the 4th century, through Puritan disapproval and the Victorian revival and refurbishment of old customs to the present day. En route we find The Times in 1912 already lamenting the separation of 'the secular from the sacred part of Christmas'.
Liber Amicorum et Illustorum Hospitum
Published to mark the 70th birthday of Archbishop Heim, this edition of his Liber Amicorum includes Peter Bander van Duren’s substantial introduction to the Archbishop’s life and his work in heraldry. The Liber Amicorum itself comprises over 150 monochrome plates and blazons, with Heim’s celebrated works of heraldic art covering both European and British armorial bearings.
Shadows of Revolution
Reflections on France, Past and Present
Over the past two centuries, France has experimented with virtually every form of government. This collection of essays and reviews by one of America’s foremost observers of France reflects on the Enlightenment and the Revolution, Robespierre and Napoleon, the Vichy regime and the situation of French Jews, the Arab Spring and the terrorist attacks of 2015. Lively, informed, wide-ranging and highly readable, the book offers a unique insight into ‘the most intense political laboratory the world has ever known’.
What was History?
The Art of History in Early Modern Europe
From the late 15th century onward, scholars across Europe began to write books about how to read and evaluate histories. These pioneering works - which often take surprisingly modern-sounding positions - grew from complex debates about law, religion and classical scholarship. In this book, based on his Trevelyan Lectures in 2005, Grafton explains why so many of these works were written, why they attained so much insight and why, in later centuries, scholars gradually forgot that they had existed.
A Brief Guide to Native American Myths and Legends
The world of Native American mythology is inhabited by such fantastical and capricious characters as the shape-shifting trickster Coyote and the mischievous Blue Jay. The seminal study of these sacred tales was written by the Scottish folklorist Lewis Spence in 1914; this updated edition has a new introductory essay, commentary on Native American culture and stories from tribes not covered by Spence, such as the Inuit.
The Great Moghuls
A Brief History
Bamber Gascoigne's classic book is a history of India during the 16th and 17th centuries, when the country was ruled by an extraordinarily talented dynasty of emperors. With untold wealth and almost limitless power, they were known to European travellers as the 'Great Moghuls'. First published as The Great Moghuls in 1971.
An Adventure History of Paris
Paris is one of the most alluring cities in the world; however well we know it, it never ceases to surprise. Reading this book, which retells its history through the lives of its inhabitants from Balzac to Baudelaire, Sartre to Sarkozy, is like stumbling upon a tiny restaurant frequented by eccentric locals. Robb is both a scholar and an adventurer, and from 250 years of urban history, he weaves a dazzling tapestry of fact and fantasy, memory and myth. Slightly off-mint.
A History of Travellers and Pilgrims
Since the 3rd century CE, the biblical Mount Sinai has been identified with the mountain peak above St Catherine’s Monastery at South Sinai in Egypt. Focusing on six periods of activity at the site, this history traces its evolution through the centuries, from the time of the earliest Christian anchorites to the arrival of intrepid tourists during the 19th century. Manginis also discusses Sinai’s natural environment, the mountain’s importance in Muslim tradition and the topographical investigations of western scholars.
Or and Argent
A supposedly immutable rule of heraldry is that gold (Or) and silver (Argent) should never be placed side-by-side or one upon the other. Heim, the Papal Nuncio who designed four popes’ coats of arms, investigates when and where this rule originated and how it has been observed in different countries. But he also shows how often the rule is broken, identifying more than 360 such coats of arms from across Europe, including his own.