The Early Modern Commons

Recent Posts: Book Reviews

Book reviews from the last six months.

Review: BLADE OF THE SAMURAI: A Shinobi Mystery by Susan Spann

Last summer, Susan Spann took the historical mystery world by storm with the publication of her first Shinobi Mystery, CLAWS OF THE CAT. Tomorrow she celebrates the release of the series's second installment,...
From Writing the Renaissance 14 Jul 2014

The Song at the Scaffold on CatholicFiction.net

This is my week for book reviews. Catholic Fiction.net published my review of Gertrud von Le Fort's The Song at the Scaffold. As you might recall from my writing about the French Revolution and my article...

Book Review: Romantic Catholics

 From the publisher, Cornell University Press: In this well-written and imaginatively structured book, Carol E. Harrison brings to life a cohort of nineteenth-century French men and women who...

Our Declarations

Yet another new book of Revolutionary history that’s been getting a lot of press lately is Danielle Allen’s Our Declaration: A Reading of the Declaration of Independence in Defense of Equality. And...
From Boston 1775 8 Jul 2014

Book Review: Persecution without Martyrdom

From the publisher, Gracewing:Persecution Without Martyrdom: The Catholics of North-East England in the Age of the Vicars Apostolic 1688-1850by Leo Gooch978 0 85244 819 9  -  488 pages...

Digging for “Heretical” Roots

Matthew Stewart’s new book Nature’s God: The Heretical Origins of the American Republic is getting a lot of attention now. Here are interviews with Stewart in: The Boston GlobeChurch & State And...
From Boston 1775 6 Jul 2014

Spies, Patriots, and Traitors: American Intelligence in the Revolutionary War

Book Review: Spies, Patriots, and Traitors: American Intelligence in the Revolutionary War, Kenneth A. Daigler, Georgetown University Press, 2014, ISBN-10: 1626160503, ISBN-13: 978-1626160507, 9.1” x...

"Tudors v. Stuarts" or "Crown of Thistles"

Deep as I am in Jessie Childs' God's Traitors, reading about the Babington Plot and the Vaux family connections to the eponymous plotter, and Mary Stuart's role in the plot to depose "the usurper" so she...

Queen Christina Abdicates to Become Catholic

Queen Christina of Sweden abdicated the throne on June 6, 1654. I read Veronica Buckley's 2005 biography of Queen Christina when it came out in paperback.You may read an excerpt on line here:Not unlike...

Book Review: The Oxford Movement Beyond Oxford

Table of ContentsNotes on contributorsAbbreviationsIntroduction; Stewart J. Brown and Peter NocklesPrelude1. The Oxford Movement in an Oxford college: Oriel as the cradle of Tractarianism; Peter NocklesPart...

Meanwhile, to the West

Another new book on Revolutionary-era America actually looks at what else was happening on the continent while Britain’s thirteen colonies along the middle Atlantic coast fought for independence. Claudio...
From Boston 1775 7 Jul 2014

Book-a-Day Challenge: Week 2 Recap

Here are my Book-a-Day Challenge responses for the week of June 8.June 8. Have more than one copy: Clément Marot's OEUVRES COMPLETES. Marot was court poet to François I and penned the "Canticle to the...
From Writing the Renaissance 15 Jun 2014

Book-a-Day Challenge: Week 3 Recap

June 15. Favorite fictional father: The unnamed father in Cormac McCarthy's THE ROAD. With complete devotion, this man struggles to protect his son from starvation, attack, and exposure as they travel...
From Writing the Renaissance 23 Jun 2014

A Novel of Talk and Ideology: "The Leaves are Falling"

This is the fourth book by Lucy Beckett I've read, all published by Ignatius Press (she has also written about Wagnerian opera and Wallace Stevens). Her Light of Christ: Writings in the Western Tradition...

Book Review: "God's Traitors"

Rather like Adrian Tinniswood with The Verneys: A True Story of Love, War, and Madness in Seventeenth Century England, which focused on that family's reactions to events like the English Civil War and...

Review: PILGRIMAGE by Lucy Pick

For centuries, Christian pilgrims have plied the roads of Europe towards the magnificent cathedral of Saint James the Greater in Compostela, Spain. Streams of nameless pilgrims walked the Way of St. James...
From Writing the Renaissance 22 Jul 2014

Interview with Susan Spann, Author of BLADE OF THE SAMURAI

Congratulations to author Susan Spann, whose second Shinobi Mystery, BLADE OF THE SAMURAI (Minotaur) releases today. Even though Susan is a member of my writing group, I had plenty of questions to ask...
From Writing the Renaissance 15 Jul 2014

EMA News: EMA Book Reviews, July 2014

The EMA book review list for July 2014 is available here and in “Research.”

Rodney Stark on Modernity

Reviewed at Catholic World Report by Gregory J. Sullivan:As with such earlier and well-received works as The Victory of Reason: How Christianity Let to Freedom, Capitalism, and Western Success (2005) and...

Book Review: Sister Queens--Katherine and Juana

I found a bargain book at Barnes & Noble on the 4th of July: Sister Queens: The Noble, Tragic Lives of Katherine of Aragon and Juana, Queen of Castile by Julia Fox. According to the publisher:The history...

Book Review: Father Ray Ryland's Memoir

Father Ray Ryland died on March 20th this year after a fall on the steps on his way to Perpetual Adoration before the Blessed Sacrament. The Coming Home network honored him, their chaplain, in their June...

The First American Declaration of Independence? The Disputed History of the Mecklenburg Declaration of May 20, 1775

Book Review: The First American Declaration of Independence? The Disputed History of the Mecklenburg Declaration of May 20, 1775 By Scott Syfert. Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2014. Paperback. $35.00. ISBN...

Book-a-Day Challenge: Week 1 Recap

June is the month of the Book-a-Day challenge. Thank goodness one is not required to read a book a day, but to name a book that corresponds to that day's prompt. I've been doing the challenge on Facebook....

Book-a-Day Challenge: Week 4 Recap

Here is the final installment of my June Book-a-Day responses. The challenge was a lot of work, but a lot of fun, too. I hope some of the books I've mentioned over the last month have found their way into...

Book Review: Blessed John Henry Newman in Fiction

Ignatius Press has a sale on this summer as always and I bought two books last week: Meriol Trevor's Shadows and Light: A Novel and Evelyn Waugh's A Bitter Trial, which I'll read and review soon. Meriol...

Book Review: A Journey Through Tudor England

While my husband and I visited Columbus, Ohio last week we went to The Book Loft of German Village where I purchased Suzannah Lipscomb's A Journey Through Tudor England even though Hilary Mantel endorsed...

Literary Criticism: Plato vs. Aristotle

From The Wall Street Journal, Barton Swaim reviews James Seaton's Literary Criticism from Plato to Postmodernism:James Seaton, in his short but deeply perceptive book "Literary Criticism From Plato to...

Protecting the Empire’s Frontier

Book Review: Protecting the Empire’s Frontier: Officers of the 18th (Royal Irish) Regiment of Foot during Its North American Service, 1767-1776. Steven M. Baule. Ohio University Press, 2014. PDF:...

Review: The Making of New World Slavery by Robin Blackburn

I've been known to overuse the word 'magisterial,' mostly because I like the sound of it, but this work comes closer than perhaps any I have ever read to deserving the title. This expansive study of Castilian...
From The Molinist 30 Jun 2014

“Light Horse Harry” Lee in the War for Independence

Book Review: “Light Horse Harry” Lee in the War for Independence by Jim Piecuch and John Beakes. Charleston, SC: The Nautical and Aviation Publishing Co. of America, 2013. Hardback: $26.95....