The Early Modern Commons

Recent Book Reviews

Book reviews from the last 6 months.

“Colonial hijinks, high political drama, and Revolutionary War heroes”

Daniel Ford, author of the upcoming novel Sid Sanford Lives!, wrote a very nice review of my book on the website for the Writers’ Bone podcast. It’s part of a roundup headlined “Books...
From Boston 1775 on 13 Aug 2017

Review: The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton

As I’m no longer bound by deadlines for my own work, I’ve been making progress on my list of books to read for fun. One of these was The Miniaturist, which was published in 2015 and widely...
From The Seventeenth Century Lady on 12 Apr 2017

Looking at Ben’s Revolution

This spring brought us a new book from Nathaniel Philbrick, author of Bunker Hill and Valiant Ambition, and Wendell Minor, jacket designer for John Adams and 1776. Unlike those books, Ben’s...
From Boston 1775 on 14 Jun 2017

The Reintegration of South Carolina Loyalists after the Revolutionary War

Today, Christopher Minty reviews Rebecca Brannon's important FROM REVOLUTION TO REUNION.
From The Junto on 7 Jul 2017

Q&A: Ernesto Bassi, author of An Aqueous Territory

Casey Schmitt interviews Ernesto Bassi, author of "An Aqueous Territory: Sailor Geographies and New Granada’s Transimperial Greater Caribbean World."
From The Junto on 28 Jun 2017

Perpetuating the myths

Since the re-emergence of science in Europe in the High Middle Ages down to the present the relationship between science and religion has been a very complex and multifaceted one that cannot be reduced...
From The Renaissance Mathematicus on 17 May 2017

“Mixing the Sacred Character, With That of the Statesman”: Review of Pulpit and Nation

According to Spencer McBride, "Americans began to think of themselves as members of a new [nation] in large part because their trusted spiritual leaders told them that they were."
From The Junto on 16 Mar 2017

#VastEarlyAmerica(n) Girl Doll Books: Reflections of a Father and Historian

When Sara first pitched the idea of The Junto hosting a roundtable dedicated to children’s and young adult fiction focused on early America, I was excited. But unlike others, I was excited not because...
From The Junto on 7 Jun 2017

American eclipse tourism in the nineteenth century

Steve Ruskin has achieved the history of astronomy equivalent of squaring the circle; he has written a popular history of astronomy book that is informative, enlightening, entertaining and at the same...
From The Renaissance Mathematicus on 10 Aug 2017

Reflection: The Slow Professor

At the end of the fall semester, my colleague gave me a copy of Maggie Berg and Barbara K. Seeber's book The Slow Professor.  I began to read it, but life got in the way, of course. (As you may recall,...
From The Seacoast of Bohemia on 28 May 2017

Book Review of Carla Gardina Pestana’s The English Conquest of Jamaica

It is an exciting time to be a scholar of Caribbean history. From conferences to publications, the past decade has seen historians of early America, Latin America, and the Atlantic world turn to the Caribbean...
From The Junto on 15 Aug 2017

Guest Post: Review of An Aqueous Territory

Today’s review is by James Hill, who received his Ph.D. from the College of William & Mary in 2016 and is currently an Assistant Professor of History at the University of the Bahamas. He has...
From The Junto on 27 Jun 2017

“A good bit of adventure, audacity, and downright Yankee ingenuity”

When I was in Williamsburg last week, George Wildrick kindly alerted me to the fact that Muzzleloader magazine had reviewed The Road to Concord in its September-October 2016 issue.So I really must share...
From Boston 1775 on 5 Apr 2017

Review and Giveaway: THE DARK LADY'S MASK by Mary Sharratt

Once again, Mary Sharratt captivates readers with a compelling tale of an extraordinary woman carving a place for herself in a man's world. THE DARK LADY'S MASK (available in paperback April 11) fictionalizes...
From Writing the Renaissance on 7 Apr 2017

Book Review: “The Art of Law: Three Centuries of Justice Depicted” (2017)

Stefan Huygebaert et al (eds.), The Art of Law: Three Centuries of Justice Depicted (Tielt: Lannoo, 2016), 205pp. ISBN9789401440417 RRP £20. This lavishly illustrated book is related to a recent...

Review: “Pleasing Mr Pepys” by Deborah Swift

Pleasing Mr Pepys is the newest work by Deborah Swift and set to release this September (2017), and I was fortunate to have been given an advance review copy. To me, Swift brought...
From The Seventeenth Century Lady on 31 Jul 2017

Bergman on Zilberstein’s A Temperate Empire

Last month James Bergman reviewed Anya Zilberstein’s A Temperate Empire: Making Climate Change in Early America, published in 2016 by Oxford University Press, for the H-Net.European settlers found...
From Boston 1775 on 10 May 2017

Review: Viper Wine by Hermione Eyre

A few years ago, I went to a classical violin concert at the Wigmore Hall in London. The music selected was the kind you tend to get on Radio 3, slightly weird, postmodern, and lacking any discernible...
From The Seventeenth Century Lady on 29 Apr 2017

Colonial Relations: The Douglas-Connolly Family and the Nineteenth-Century Imperial World: A Review

Ann Little Adele Perry, Colonial Relations: The Douglas-Connolly Family and the Nineteenth-Century Imperial World (Cambridge University Press, 2015), Critical Perspectives on Empire series. If you’re...
From Borealia on 5 Jun 2017

Time and a Place: An Environmental History of Prince Edward Island — A Review

Elizabeth L. Jewett Time and a Place: An Environmental History of Prince Edward Island, edited by Edward MacDonald, Joshua MacFadyen and Irené Novaczek (Montreal and Kingston: McGill-Queen’s...
From Borealia on 24 Jul 2017

Review: The American Revolution Reborn

Christopher Minty reviews "The American Revolution Reborn."
From The Junto on 6 Mar 2017

Review: Tulip Fever by Deborah Moggach

Sophia is the beautiful and much-younger wife of Cornelius, a wealthy merchant in Amsterdam. Her husband is quite likeable and rather amusing, and she is content enough with the life she leads with him....
From The Seventeenth Century Lady on 24 Feb 2017

EMA Book Reviews: June 2017

The most recent EMA list of open-access book reviews is available here and under “Research.”
From Early Modern Architecture on 20 Jun 2017

Review: Sweet Alice by Leelou Cervant

Being as I’m reading absolutely anything set in the seventeenth century at the moment, it’s no surprise that includes a bit of erotica, as Sweet Alice by Leelou Cervant is. I don’t mind...
From The Seventeenth Century Lady on 21 May 2017

Review: Spain: The Centre of the World 1519-1682 by Robert Goodwin

Being as I don’t know as much as I’d like about the history of early modern Spain, I’m currently trying to rectify this at present. Enter Robert Goodwin’s book, Spain: The Centre...
From The Seventeenth Century Lady on 15 May 2017

Review: Autumn of the Black Snake

Today at the Junto, Tom Cutterham reviews William Hogeland's new book on the United States' invasion of the Northwest in the 1790s. It’s fair to say that military history isn’t known for its...
From The Junto on 3 Jul 2017

The Greedy Queen: historic recipes recreated at York Mansion House

We are thrilled to be able to welcome Danielle Bond, Communications officer, for City of York Council to our blog and Dr Annie Gray, food historian and lecturer who has been recreating historic recipes...
From All Things Georgian on 6 Jun 2017

Review: The Devil on the Road by Robert Westall

The Devil on the Road by Robert Westall was published in 1977 and recommended by my husband. Apparently, according to my husband, was a title on a reading list at school and he read it back in the...
From The Seventeenth Century Lady on 19 Jun 2017

EMA Book Reviews: March 2017

The most recent EMA list of open-access book reviews is available here and under “Research.”
From Early Modern Architecture on 7 Mar 2017

Review: Lady on the Coin by Margaret Campbell Barnes

Lady on the Coin, written by Margaret Campbell Barnes and first published in the early 1960s, follows the life of Frances Stuart, the woman who was the model for Britannia. Frances Stuart was related to...
From The Seventeenth Century Lady on 12 May 2017

Guest Review: Thundersticks: Firearms and the Violent Transformation of Native America

David Silverman writes that Native Americans sought European guns to halt the ravages of colonization—but ended up transforming their world.
From The Junto on 3 Mar 2017

In Bed with the Georgians by Mike Rendell

Well, this is a romp — a right rollicking ride through the 18th-century world of courtesans, harlots, bigamists, rapists, pimps, brothels, bagnios, profligates and narcissists. Along the way we meet...
From Naomi Clifford on 20 Mar 2017

Revolutionary Review: Armitage’s Civil Wars: A History in Ideas

Book Review Armitage, David. Civil Wars: A History in Ideas. New York: Knopf, 2017. 349 pp. Reviewed by Bryan Banks In his Reflections on Revolution in France, Edmund Burke, the Irish Whig and...
From Age of Revolutions on 10 Apr 2017

Review of Van Buskirk’s Standing in Their Own Light: African American Patriots in the American Revolution

Judith L. Van Buskirk, Standing in Their Own Light: African American Patriots in the American Revolution (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2017) 312 pp. Review by Rachel Engl In Standing in...
From Age of Revolutions on 22 May 2017

Review: Arbella Stuart – The Uncrowned Queen by Jill Armitage

Arbella Stuart: The Uncrowned Queen by Jill Armitage, published by Amberley Publishing in 2017, (the title on Goodreads is Arbella Stuart: England’s Almost Queen) takes readers back to the reign...
From The Seventeenth Century Lady on 1 Jun 2017

Alchemy related book review – Dragon’s blood and Willow Bark by Toni Mount

So I thought I’d do a partial book review, covering my area of expertise. The victim this time is Toni Mount. Don’t worry, she is far superior to Jonathan Hughes, and her book is worth having...
From distillatio on 6 Mar 2017

“Meditations on Archival Fragments”: Review of Dispossessed Lives

It should go without saying that the historical profession depends on archives. Near or far, we need those repositories to craft historical narratives about past worlds. There is also no shortage of books...
From The Junto on 26 Apr 2017

Review: Adam Jortner, Blood From the Sky

Adam Jortner, Blood from the Sky: Miracles and Politics in the Early American Republic (Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2017). The role of religion in the early republic has received a fair...
From The Junto on 27 Jul 2017