Volume 35 Issue 4 April 1985

Six leading historians of science define their discipline.

What made for a good king in the Middle Ages? John Gillingham argues the case for Richard the Lionheart

A.J.G.Cummings explores Scotland's links with Europe from 1600-1800.

The British Empire was the largest in the history of the world. Brian Lapping explains how the end of that Empire was charted for television.

Peter Burke considers the various works dealing with the Renaissance

Readers of Zuleika Dobson will recall the occasion when Mr Pedby, the Junior Fellow, read grace. As they listened to the false quantities of his Latin, the occupants of the high table experienced an unusual pleasure. They knew that they were present at an occasion which was to become an Oxford Legend.

What use can historians make of those diaries which politicians keep for posterity – and rush into print? John Campbell considers two viewpoints of the 1964-1970 Wilson government, those of Richard Crossman and of Barbara Castle.

At the Boston Tea Party the Americans not only flouted the unpopular tax laws on tea imposed on the colony, they also retrieved the image of the Mohawk from the hands of British cartoonists and reinstated him as the symbol of American liberty.

Eric Hobsbawm has recently been honoured with a second Festschrift, The Power of the Past, edited by Pat Thane, Geoffrey Crossick and Roderick Floud, an appropriately unusual distinction for an unusually distinguished historian.

War is prominent among the forms of human experience that have most readily stimulated poetry. In combat both mind and body strain at the end of their tether.

Low birth rates have obsessed the French since their defeat in the Franco-Prussian War, argues Richard Tomlinson.

The building in which I work has a chequered past. One section was once a laboratory of physical chemistry; another, the old Cambridge Free School, whose hall still sports a splendid hammer-beam roof.

Go to a dinner party with unknown academics and you might well come away with the idea that for diversion they read Dostoevsky and Kafka, sparing the occasional sneering glance for the annual recipient of the Booker Prize. When you get to know them better, you are as likely to discover that they really devour thrillers on a massive scale.