Category Archives: BOOK REVIEW

Book review: The Pleasures of the Imagination by John Brewer

Book review: The Pleasures of the Imagination by John Brewer


John Brewer’s The Pleasures of the Imagination: English Culture in the Eighteenth Century documents the 18th century creating of “high culture”.  However, this creation is not reported as a formal aesthetic decision, supervised by an aloof elite of aristocrats and dilettantes.

The American War for Independence

The American War for Independence

Britain’s victory in the Seven Years’ War (1756 – 1763) seemed to confirm its position as the dominant imperial power. The Union Jack flew from Lake Superior to Calcutta, and English merchantmen and men-of-war ruled the waves. However, in just over a decade, the 13 American colonies were in revolt, and Britain fond itself confronting the rebels and a hostile Europe in the North Atlantic’s last great colonial war.

Book review: Poxed and Scurvied by Kevin Brown

Book review: Poxed and Scurvied by Kevin Brown
Author: Kevin Brown
Publisher: Seaforth Publishing
Reviewed by: Glyn Williams
Price (RRP): £25

Despite its gimcrack title this is a serious work by an author well qualified in medical matters.
The first half describes health problems in the Royal Navy during the sailing ship era; there is little on the mercantile marine or on foreign seafarers. It is a story of gradual improvement, but from a low base.

Book review: The Popes: A History by John Julius Norwich

Book review: The Popes: A History by John Julius Norwich

It takes a brave soul to write a history of the papacy – a famously vast and confusing subject. If anyone is up to the task it is John Julius Norwich (born 1929) whose reputation as a fine narrative historian will only be enhanced by this charming and learned book.

Book review: Pashas by James Mather

Book review: Pashas  by James Mather
Author: James Mather
Publisher: Yale University Press
Reviewed by: Jerry Brotton
Price (RRP): £12.99

The colonial rule of the British Raj from the 19th century is only one story of England’s relations with the east, as James Mather argues in this impressive history of the forgotten Levant Company.