Reviews

A self-critical author writing his memoirs sounds like a contradiction in terms. Angus Roxburgh, though, has produced a book that illuminates discerningly the dramatic changes that have occurred in Russia over the past 40 years, many of which he...

Front cover of The Anatomy of Colour: The Story of Heritage Paints and Pigments

Patrick Baty has worked as a historic paint specialist on an impressive array of buildings and monuments, from Hampton Court Palace and Tower Bridge to the National Trust’s Uppark House. In The Anatomy of Colour he takes us on an...

The Atlas of Rome is a landmark in the long history of mapping the Eternal City. It provides a digitally produced contribution to a venerable tradition that reaches back to Rodolfo Lanciani in the 19th century and Giambattista Nolli a...

Front cover of The Industrial Revolution

This exciting new volume, tracing developments in the economy, trade and fiscal policy from the 16th to the 19th century, challenges much of the mainstream literature on Britain’s Industrial Revolution. Its main argument is that, far from being...

Front cover of Joining the Dots: a Woman in her Time.

Every generation feels that it is moving on the uncharted frontier of time and historians, too, are subject to this insecurity. However, it is some comfort to view the life one has led in a wider social context. It is this that forms the...

Front cover of The End of Silence

Not long after my abang [brother] had been taken away, my father and mother heard the sound of gunfire, around 10 pm. Emak, my mother said: ‘Our son is finished now. That sound – must have been them firing
on

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Front cover of Sugar: The World Corrupted from Slavery to Obesity.

Sugar is not a sweet subject, argues James Walvin. His new book offers a convincing, deep history of this (in)famous product. It is also full of fascinating facts, such as the first English encounter with sugar, during the Crusades, where it was...

Front cover of The Cross: History, Art and Controversy

The idea that Christianity is a historical religion is an ambiguous one. Certainly, Christianity is rooted in historical events. Jesus was born in Bethlehem when Quirinius was governor of Syria and was condemned to die on a cross when Pontius...

Front cover of Blood and Faith

Between 1609 and 1614, on royal orders, almost all of the formerly Muslim population of Spain, known as the moriscos, was expelled from the country. The deportation involved several hundred thousand people and, in that sense, dwarfed the...

At first glance, the Ackers and Reid volume comes as a bit of a surprise. First, the cover is a surprise, because a painting of women climbing out of their graves in order to comb each other’s hair and tidy up a bit is not a picture one would...

The Gallipoli campaign of 1915 was one of the great military disasters of the First World War. The initial plan was to send a flotilla of old warships through the Straits of the Dardanelles and into the sea of Marmora. Naval guns would demolish...

Front cover of Four Princes: Henry VIII, Francis I, Charles V, Suleiman the Magnificent and the Obsessions that Forged Modern Europe.

With his Four Princes, John Julius Norwich uses four great rulers, each of whom was outsize in his own way, to cast light on their age and continent: 16th-century Europe. The result is a stimulating book, written in a clear and readable...

Front cover of The Rise and Fall of Adam & Eve.

The stories we tell define who we are as individuals and as a society, without which we struggle to understand ourselves. This is the central message behind Stephen Greenblatt’s impressive new book, In the Beginning was the Story: The Rise...

Postcard celebrating the February Revolution and the overthrow of the tsar, 1917.

‘Oh, the novel jokes of the merry muse of history’, wrote Nikolai Sukhanov to describe the events of October 1917 in Russia. That the Bolsheviks would end the year in power was inconceivable when Tsar Nicholas II was forced from the throne in...

Front cover of The Crucible of Islam.

Glen Bowersock is a historian of estimable range. From Emperor Augustus to Julian the Apostate and from Christian martyrdom narratives to the evolution of mosaics, his interests have taken him far and wide. Arabia has always been a particular...