The Early Modern Commons

Recent Posts: Book Reviews

Book reviews from the last six months.

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...

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...

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...

EMA Book Reviews: February 2015

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

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...

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...

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...

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

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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

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

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

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...

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...

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

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