The Early Modern Commons

Recent Posts: Book Reviews

Book reviews from the last six months.

Top Honors from the Journal of the American Revolution

The Journal of the American Revolution just announced its 2014 Book of the Year Award. The winning title is Dangerous Guests: Enemy Captives and Revolutionary Communities During the War for Independence,...
From Boston 1775 20 Jan 2015

Book Review: Travail féminin: Retour à l’ordre! L’offensive contre le travail des femmes durant la crise économique des années 1930 [Women’s work: Back to order! The offensive against women’s work during the economic crisis of the 1930s] by Céline Schoeni

This recent book review by Carmen Sarasua will be of interest to everyone researching gender and work. You can read the full review online at Feminist Economics. The book deals with changing female labour-market...

A War of Flowers – Jane Thynne

I’ve already reviewed the first two brilliant books in Jane Thynne’s Clara Vine series and had to come back and let you all know how much I absolutely loved A War of Flowers, the third instalment in...
From Madame Guillotine 14 Jan 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...

William Washington, American Light Dragoon: A Continental Cavalry Leader

Book review: William Washington, American Light Dragoon: A Continental Cavalry Leader in the War of Independence by Daniel Murphy (Westholme Publishing, 2014). William Washington, the Revolutionary War...

Book Reviews

I’ve reviewed a couple of new history books for The History Vault: “A Million Years in a Day” by Greg Jenner – ‘An excellent debut from an exciting new author’ “Deus...
From Restoration London 18 Jan 2015

Review: Life in a 17th Century Coffeehouse

I just read Life in a 17th Century Coffeehouse by David Brandon and, by and large, I enjoyed it. This is a quick read as it is short (8 chapters and 90 pages long), but it is jam-packed with information...

Review and Giveaway: RODIN'S LOVER by Heather Webb

Written with a passion and conviction worthy of the sculptor herself, Heather Webb's new novel RODIN'S LOVER (Plume, January 2015) explores the tumultuous life, troubled psyche, and splendid achievements...
From Writing the Renaissance 23 Jan 2015

EMA Book Reviews: February 2015

The most recent EMA Book Reviews list is available here and under “Research.”

Q&A with Stephen R. Berry, Author of A Path in the Mighty Waters

Jessica Parr follows up her review of Stephen Berry's "A Path in the Mighty Waters," with a Q&A.
From The Junto 24 Feb 2015

A Village and The Man in the Wing Chair

From the U.S. publisher Simon & Schuster:In this #1 international bestseller, a young woman leaves everything behind to work as a librarian in a remote French village, where she finds her outlook on...

Reading the Field from a Book: Some Thoughts on Eric Nelson’s The Royalist Revolution

Michael D. Hattem looks at Eric Nelson's book, "The Royalist Revolution," for what it says about the state of American Revolution political studies.
From The Junto 12 Jan 2015

Reviewing Digital History

"Dive in, pilot projects, and do digital work in small batches." Sara Georgini chats with Jeff McClurken of the Journal of American History about getting started in digital history and the changing scope...
From The Junto 20 Jan 2015

Tempests and Tedium in the Transatlantic: Shipboard Life in the 18th Century

Jessica Parr reviews Stephen R. Berry's new book, "A Path in the Mighty Waters: Shipboard Life in Atlantic Crossings to the New World."
From The Junto 23 Feb 2015

My Review of Alison Weir's "Elizabeth of York"

I read this book on my Kindle, inspired by Elena Maria Vidal's review on her Tea at Trianon blog.Elizabeth of York was like a hinge between the Plantagenets and the Tudors. Henry VII married her to strengthen...

Renegade Revolutionary: The Life of Charles Lee

Book Review: Renegade Revolutionary: The Life of Charles Lee by Phillip Pappas (New York University Press, 2014). Prior to 2013, there had not been a major biography of Charles Lee since 1968. Then, within...

Chesterton is EVERYWHERE!!

There I was, eating lunch and reading a book review in The Wall Street Journal, when I looked up the page and saw:"Christendom has had a series of revolutions and in each one of them Christianity has died....

Behind Gingerbread for Liberty!

Gingerbread for Liberty!: How a German Baker Helped Win the American Revolution is a picture book due to be released next month. Author Mara Rockliff tells the story of the Philadelphia baker Christopher...
From Boston 1775 5 Jan 2015

Review and Giveaway: THE PRICE OF BLOOD by Patricia Bracewell

The second installment of Patricia Bracewell’s Emma of Normandy trilogy, THE PRICE OF BLOOD (Viking, February 5, 2015), expands and deepens the eleventh century world the author so convincingly recreated...

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...

First Book of 2015 Read

When I visited my mother on Friday, I found that her parish had delivered her this book--it's the next selection in their parish reading program. I asked her if I could take it home and read it. She said...

Roxana by Daniel Defoe

After many years of wanting to read Daniel Defoe’s Roxana: The Fortunate Mistress, I have just finished listening to the unabridged Audible audiobook recording of this classic. Daniel Defoe who...

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

Blood of Tyrants: George Washington and the Forging of the Presidency

Book Review: Blood of Tyrants: George Washington and the Forging of the Presidency by Logan Beirne (Encounter Books, 2013) On a May morning in 1754, a young George Washington commanding a handful of Virginia...

Christianity at the Crossroads (16th-and-17th-centuries)

Hi folks! Some of you know how poor my eyesight is, and as a result of this problem, I’ve taken to listening to audiobooks through Audible. Now, when I’m doing the washing-up, the laundry,...

Bernard Bailyn’s Last Act?: An Interview with the Harvard Historian on His New Book

Erich Herschthal talks with Bernard Bailyn about his recent essay collection, "Sometimes an Art."
From The Junto 6 Feb 2015

A Tea at Trianon Review: Elizabeth of York

Elena Maria Vidal reviews Alison Weir's biography of Elizabeth of York, Henry VII's queen. To quote:I found the biography to be inspiring on a spiritual level as well. From earliest child hood, Elizabeth...

James Madison and the Making of America

Book Review: James Madison and the Making of America by Kevin R. C. Gutzman (St. Martin’s Press, 2012) In James Madison and the Making of America Kevin R. C. Gutzman energetically debunks the mythical...

Brandywine: A Military History of the Battle that Lost Philadelphia but Saved America, September 11, 1777

Book Review: Brandywine: A Military History of the Battle that Lost Philadelphia but Saved America, September 11, 1777 by Michael C. Harris (Savas Beatie, 2014). Author Harris was a former Brandywine Battlefield...

Book Review: Many Kinds of Silence

Second book of 2015! This historical novel imagines what William Shakespeare might have been up to during those lost years in the 1580's. Suspenseful tension makes this a real page turner, or screen turner...

A Quick Read: Jean Plaidy's "The Murder in the Tower"

Plaidy (aka Victoria Holt, Philippa Carr, Eleanor Hibbert, etc) tells the story of the Overbury murder in this quick-paced and complex novel. The villainess Frances Howard, later the Countess of Essex...