Folly and Malice book

Reviews

Michel de Montaigne was not just the inventor of a genre, nor merely the author of the Essays, which have gripped readers from Shakespeare to Virginia Woolf and Orson Welles. He also led an extraordinary life. Descended from merchants,...

With In the Name of the Family, Sarah Dunant continues her narrative on the campaigns of the Borgia pope, Alexander VI, to carve out a family possession in Italy. Florence is hanging on to its Republican status, having booted out the...

In The Making of the British Landscape, Nicholas Crane takes us on a remarkable journey through the deep history of these isles. En route, he takes us back to W.G. Hoskins and his Making of the English Landscape (1955). I was...

Since the fall of the Iron Curtain, Berlin has emerged as one of the most historically and culturally fascinating cities. Germans have systematically addressed their Nazi past: the crowds of visitors from around the world touring the city find...

The lives of six Victorian radicals shed light on the struggle to establish feminism, social reform and the Labour movement.

This study of three British women, two men and one American woman – ‘six searchers who tried to...

From a priory hospital in the fields, to the Huguenots, Jack the Ripper and the Kray twins, Spitalfields has always been considered a place apart.

Spitalfields has always been London’s border country, a constellation of...

Famine years – when the grain harvest failed and hunger stalked the land – were an all-too-frequent event in England before the nineteenth-century. This book seeks to show how both the government and ordinary people responded to these recurrent...

The big idea behind this book is that the most important difference between Europe and the rest of the world, which led to the Industrial Revolution and modern economic growth, was the dawning of the Enlightenment, with its favourable...

When the Scottish explorer John Dundas Cochrane visited the town of Tobolsk in the early 1820s, he found ‘very good society … and the strongest features of content … in this hitherto supposed metropolis of barbarism and cruelty’. But few others...

‘The menace is the woman who thinks she ought to be flying in a high-speed bomber when she really has not the intelligence to scrub the floor of a hospital properly’, C.G. Grey, editor of Aeroplane magazine, wrote in 1941. Clearly, he...

Biography is something we associate with ‘great figures’ of history: generals, politicians, writers, artists and reformers. Rarely is the form used for an institution, particularly one which housed many people on the edge of society. Mansions...

Bradford’s hardest-working pensioner, David Hockney, has teamed up with the critic and author Martin Gayford and their collaboration is presented in the form of dialogues about sets of images. These may be cave paintings, Hollywood stills or,...

John Rees’ new work on the Levellers is a different beast from the average academic monograph. While the core argument of Rees’ 2014 doctoral thesis, that the Levellers represented an ‘organised group of political activists’, remains in place, ...

What is most striking about these two histories is the commonality of gay and lesbian experiences across notional divides of time and place and the way in which the challenges facing homosexual men and women have recurred with remarkable...

The Oxford Illustrated History of Modern China

Exuberant celebrations took place across China in 1959 to mark the 10th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic. Of particular national pride were the ‘Ten Great Buildings’ in the capital of Beijing, newly constructed to set in stone...

A Fiery & Furious People: A History of Violence in England

Rarely an evening goes by without a television detective solving a horrific killing; more often than not the victim is an attractive young woman and the killer some kind of paranoid serial murderer. The popular press delights in showing graphic...