The Early Modern Commons

Recent Posts: Book Reviews

Book reviews from the last six months.

Review: THE TAPESTRY by Nancy Bilyeau

Ever since her Dominican priory was closed by order of Henry VIII, Joanna Stafford has tried to live a quiet life weaving tapestries in the small town of Dartford. Yet fate refuses to allow her respite....
From Writing the Renaissance 18 Mar 2015

Spies in Revolutionary Rhode Island

Book Review: Spies in Revolutionary Rhode Island by Christian M. McBurney. History Press, 2014. ISBN 978-1626197244, softcover, 158 pages, illustrated. The last few years have seen a surge of interest...

From astronomy to literature – Bridging the gap

Recent years have seen more and more people proclaiming a crisis in the humanities. In an age where politicians seem to have mutated into one-track worshippers of the Gods of Mammon anything, which can’t...

William Shakespeare: A Very Short Introduction by Stanley Wells

This month, Oxford University Press publishes William Shakespeare: A Very Short Introduction by one of the most esteemed living authors on Shakespeare, Stanley Wells. Wells, in addition to being one of...
From The Bardathon 5 Apr 2015

Book Review – Breast Cancer in the Eighteenth Century

Breast Cancer in the Eighteenth-Century by Marjo Kaartinen (London: Pickering Chatto, 2013), 256 pp Print: £60  eBook: £24    Breast Cancer in the Eighteenth Century is a compelling...
From Deviant Maternity 15 Mar 2015

Shelby M. Balik’s Rally the Scattered Believers

At the beginning of February, Wake Forest University hosted a symposium marking the 25th anniversary of the publication of Nathan Hatch’s The Democratization of American Christianity (Yale University...
From The Junto 27 Feb 2015

Review: REBEL QUEEN by Michelle Moran

Fictional accounts of India published in English usually take the perspective of a British transplant encountering a foreign culture for the first time: think E.M. Forster’s A PASSAGE TO INDIA or M....
From Writing the Renaissance 10 Mar 2015

Review and Giveaway: MADEMOISELLE CHANEL by C. W. Gortner

MADEMOISELLE CHANEL by C. W. GortnerWilliam Morrow/HarperCollins, March 2015384 pagesISBN: 978-0062356406What happens when an author known for his convincing, dramatically compelling depictions of the...
From Writing the Renaissance 26 Mar 2015

The Great Courses: The Birth of the Modern Mind: the Intellectual History of the 17th and 18th Centuries

Once again, Audible delivered the goods. I thoroughly enjoyed listening to this excellent lecture series by Professor Alan Charles Kors. For those of you who study philosophy, the content may...

Review: Andrew Beaumont, Colonial America & the Earl of Halifax, 1748-1761

Frequent guest poster Christopher F. Minty reviews Andrew Beaumont's new book, "Colonial America & the Earl of Halifax, 1748–1761" (OUP, 2015).
From The Junto 21 Apr 2015

Review: By the Sword by Alison Stuart

By the Sword is Alison Stuart’s first novel and is set for a re-release in March of this year. Although I have known Alison for some time (Hoydens and Firebrands), I had never before read any of...

“Your Most Affectionate Friend…”

Tom Cutterham reviews Cassandra Good's debut book, "Founding Friendships: Friendships between Men and Women in the Early American Republic" (New York: Oxford University Press, 2015).
From The Junto 13 Apr 2015

The Royalist Revolution: Monarchy and the American Founding

Book Review: The Royalist Revolution: Monarchy and the American Founding, by Eric Nelson (Cambridge: Belknap Press, 2014) The Royalist Revolution, by Eric Nelson, provides a fresh take on the American...

Blenheim: The Battle for Europe by Charles Spencer

Although the Battle of Blenheim took place in the 18th Century, the historical persons involved were extremely important in Late 17th-century European history. This was the second book by historian Charles...

Saints and Beauty: Pope Benedict XVI's "Holy Men and Women"

Father Benedict, the former Pope Benedict XVI and Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, expressed the link between beauty and holiness often, for example, in this message to a gathering of Communion and Liberation...

Father Rutler on the Parables

Father Rutler originally wrote these essays on the parables of Jesus in Crisis Magazine 13 years ago, so a diligent web researcher (like me) could find them on-line. In each of the 24 chapters of...

Belloc's Strengths and Weaknesses

There is much that Belloc gets wrong in his Characters of the Reformation--details like Henry VIII having syphilis and Anne Boleyn having an extra finger--but his analysis of politics and personalities...