The Americas in the Age of Revolution
Lester D Langley presents a comparative history of three revolutions – the American Revolution in 1776, the slave revolt in the French colony of Saint Dominique (that became Haiti) and the long Spanish-American struggle for independence – and offers ‘a portrait of hemispherical political culture in an epoch spanning three wars in the Americas, each of which left a powerful legacy for the new states that took form in their aftermath’.
The Savage Shore
Extraordinary Stories of Survival and Tragedy from the Early Voyages of Discovery
Several months after the Dutch yacht Gilt Dragon set sail for the East Indies, it foundered off the coast of ‘Southland’. The ship broke up, but 73 survivors made it ashore, a few of whom would sail 2,500 miles in a shuyt to fetch help. This was 1653, over a century before Cook’s ‘discovery’ of Australia. These maritime tales present many of the early and often fabled encounters with Australia, its perilous coastline and indigenous population.
Against the view of a liberal, commercial Anglo-American empire of the early 18th century, Stephen Saunders Webb argues that the American provinces, on a war footing, became capitalist, coercive and aggressive owing to their leaders: career army officers, trained and nominated to office by the captain general of the allied armies, the first Duke of Marlborough. His influence, according to Webb, prevailed throughout the 18th century in America.
Sex, Money & Personal Character in Eighteenth-Century British Politics
How and why did the Anglo-American world become so obsessed with the private lives and public character of its political leaders? Marilyn Morris finds answers in 18th-century Britain, when a long tradition of court intrigue and gossip spread into a broader and more public political arena with the growth of political parties, extra-parliamentary political activities and a partisan print culture. Her study highlights the contradictions, self-deceptions and inconsistencies inherent in personalized politics.
Great crowds attended public services and ceremonies following the assassination of Abraham Lincoln on 15 April 1865; this study explores personal as opposed to public responses to the president’s death. Using letters, diaries and other contemporary records of people’s reactions and sentiments rather than memoirs written with hindsight, the book gives a human dimension to this crucial event in American history.
The Great Mirror of Folly
Finance, Culture, and the Crash of 1720
Inspired by the world’s first major stock-market crash, the South Sea and Mississippi Bubbles, Het groote tafereel der dwaasheid (‘The Great Mirror of Folly’) was published in Amsterdam in late 1720. The book was a compilation of written and visual documents that had circulated during the ‘bubble’. In the present volume, 16 illustrated essays discuss aspects of the Tafereel and the light it sheds on finance and human folly; while a section of plates reproduces 69 of its original pages.
The Age of Secrecy
Jews, Christians, and the Economy of Secrets, 1400-1800
Descartes’ motto – ‘He who has lived well, has lived in secret’ – epitomizes early modern Europe’s fascination with secrecy, in contrast to our own obsession with openness and disclosure. Showing that people in this period relished secrets because true and important knowledge was considered secret by definition, Jutte examines how Jews and Christians interacted in the exchange of arcane knowledge from the natural sciences, alchemy, magic, the military and politics.
Against War and Empire
Geneva, Britain, and France in the Eighteenth Century
As Britain and France became more powerful during the 18th century, small states such as Geneva could no longer stand militarily against these commercial monarchies; and Genevans were wary of being drawn into a corrupt world dominated by the unprincipled pursuit of wealth. Here, Professor Whatmore presents an intellectual history of republicans who engaged with the ideas of Rousseau, Voltaire and Bentham as they strove to keep Geneva at peace and independent.
A Plague of Informers
Conspiracy and Political Trust in William III's England
Stories of the plots, sham plots, and the citizen informers who discovered – or fabricated – them are at the heart of this compelling study of the decade following the1688 Revolution. Weil examines how the 'discoveries' of plots, debates about their authenticity, and controversies about how the government dealt with them affected the 'securing of their Majesties' Persons and Government' – national security in modern parlance – and public perception of the Williamite regime.
Miracles at the Jesus Oak
Histories of the Supernatural in Reformation Europe
In the musty archive of a Belgian abbey, the historian Craig Harline happened upon a vast collection of 17th-century documents written by people who claimed to have experienced miracles and wonders. This book recasts their accounts into five engaging vignettes, ranging from a miraculous oak tree in a wood near Brussels to the healing of a sick child in Ghent, and opens a window into the minds of the Catholic faithful in Reformation Europe.
The End of Glory
Illuminating the question of why Napoleon chose to gamble on total victory at the risk of utter defeat, this study focuses on the dramatic two years between the retreat from Moscow in 1812 and the Emperor's abdication in 1814. Price shifts away from the usual emphasis on Waterloo, to the conflicts of 1813; he examines the battle of Leipzig in particular; and explores the reasons why Napoleon rejected the offers of a compromise peace extended to him during that year.
The Empire of Necessity
Slavery, Freedom, and Deception in the New World
Greg Grandin's study of slavery begins not on the west coast of Africa but in the South Pacific, off the coast of Chile, where in 1805 Captain Amasa Delano, an anti-slavery American, happened upon a slave rebellion on board the Tryal. The incident, recorded in Delano's memoirs, has inspired many literary works, notably Herman Melville's Benito Cereno; here, it leads to a new account of slavery across continents, and the deceptions inherent in the New World's 'Age of Freedom'.
Conflict in Early Modern England
Described by one reviewer as 'wonderfully mischievous', this study argues against the view that people in early modern England assumed patriarchy to be natural and necessary, and that the 'public man', 'private woman' distinction explained the political subordination of women. Showing how conflict rather than patriarchal accord was pervasive in households as husbands, wives and servants struggled for authority, Herzog conjures up 'a social world full of ornery, funny, sickening, and lethal controversies about gender, misogyny, public and private'.
Post-War Crime and Violence in Britain, 1748–53
When the War of Austrian Succession ended in 1748, rapid demobilization left thousands of soldiers and sailors unemployed, leading to a rise in crime, drinking and rioting on the streets of London. Rogers delves into the interlocking stories of this Hogarthian world; he investigates the reasons for the resulting moral panic and the surprisingly modern varieties of surveillance and social reform which were implemented to combat the perceived threat to 'good order and Government'.
The Children of Henry VIII
Henry VIII fathered four living children, each by a different mother. The relationships between his daughter Mary, the illegitimate son Henry Fitzroy, Duke of Richmond, Edward, who died at the age of 15, and Anne Boleyn's daughter Elizabeth were often scarred by jealously, mutual distrust and even hatred. In this study, John Guy draws on a wide range of sources to tell the stories of these four key figures in the dynastic history of England.
Volume 14. First published in 1936.
Covering the forty-four years from the outbreak of the Franco- Prussian war to the eve of the First World War, Ensor surveys a period which saw the 'conversion of English government into a democracy', great advances in education and literacy, the slump in agriculture, the first threat to manufacturing industry from foreign competition, and world-wide imperial expansion. First published in 1936. Book club reprint.