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Inside the Third Reich
liked it
This book is definitely essential reading if you have any kind of interest at all in either WWII, or the agency which individual people can have withi ...more
Mar 2005
Jun 05, 2007
The Silk Roads A New History of the World
liked it
The Silk Roads is part of the genre of popular history books that purports to tell the history of the world through one particular theme or from one p ...more
Sep 10, 2016
Jun 07, 2016
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
liked it
Henrietta Lacks, a young African-American mother of five children, died in Baltimore in 1951 from a highly aggressive form of cervical cancer—but more ...more
Apr 15, 2011
Apr 14, 2011
Inventing the Middle Ages: The Lives, Works, and Ideas of the Great Medievalists of the Twentieth Century
did not like it
Having finished this book, I've sat and pondered for a while how best to describe Norman Cantor. Bitter? Egotistical? Historiographically wrongheaded? ...more
May 10, 2011
Apr 19, 2011
Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth
really liked it
Zealot has come to most people's attention, I would imagine, because of the kerfuffle over that shockingly ignorant interview which Fox News inflicted ...more
Aug 05, 2013
Aug 03, 2013
History Matters: Patriarchy and the Challenge of Feminism
really liked it
This short book, by a very distinguished medieval historian, argues that the study of the past—particularly the pre-modern past—is vital to the femini ...more
Aug 31, 2017
May 28, 2016
May 04, 2016
Living with Disfigurement in Early Medieval Europe
it was amazing
This fascinating book looks at social and medical responses to acquired facial injuries in the early medieval period. We speak of "the blind", "the de ...more
Jan 16, 2017
Jan 08, 2017
Unfamiliar Fishes
really liked it
This is a brief, quirky and sharp history of Hawaii in the nineteenth century, from the early contact of its people with Europeans and Americans to th ...more
Feb 27, 2011
Feb 20, 2011
Why Can the Dead Do Such Great Things? Saints and Worshippers from the Martyrs to the Reformation
it was amazing
This is without a doubt the most comprehensive and up-to-date overview of the cult of saints from the Roman period through to the Reformation, from Ir ...more
Dec 04, 2016
Jan 18, 2016
Rubicon: The Last Years of the Roman Republic
it was ok
I am of two minds about this book. There is no denying that as an overview of the final years of the Roman Republic, running from roughly the time of ...more
Jul 2005
Jun 05, 2007
Immodest Acts: The Life of a Lesbian Nun in Renaissance Italy
liked it
Immodest Acts is subtitled The Life of a Lesbian Nun in Renaissance Italy—which, while intriguing and liable to make you pick it up in the bookstore, ...more
Jan 03, 2013
Dec 31, 2012
The Secret History
liked it
This is an odd, odd little book. It's probably the strangest ancient work of history you will ever come across. In fact, if it weren't for the fact th ...more
Jul 2005
Jun 05, 2007
Heart of Europe: A History of the Holy Roman Empire
really liked it
Heart of Europe is one of those books which can rightfully be called a tome: a sprawling history of the Holy Roman Empire from its beginnings with Cha ...more
Jul 16, 2017
Jan 25, 2017
Growing Up in Medieval London: The Experience of Childhood in History
really liked it
Barbara Hanawalt draws primarily on legal records in order to recreate what it was like to grow up in late medieval London—how children and adolescent ...more
Nov 06, 2017
Oct 27, 2017
French Rural History: An Essay on its Basic Characteristics
liked it
This is a study of agricultural organisation in France from the early medieval period through to the French Revolution, in which Bloch discusses not j ...more
Jun 2014
Apr 03, 2014
The Secret History of Wonder Woman
really liked it
The title The Secret History of Wonder Woman, together with the vivid cover art, were clearly chosen with an eye more to drawing in the reader than gi ...more
Jan 12, 2016
Jan 11, 2016
Ornament of the World: How Muslims, Jews, and Christians Created a Culture of Tolerance in Medieval Spain
liked it
Menocal's objective is clear from the subtitle of her book: she sets out to demonstrate to a popular audience the culture of convivencia, religious an ...more
May 24, 2013
Apr 28, 2013
Holy Feast and Holy Fast: The Religious Significance of Food to Medieval Women
really liked it
An extremely interesting and absorbing look at female religiosity and food in medieval western Europe from three angles: the religious meaning of food ...more
Mar 2008
Mar 17, 2008
Medieval Misogyny and the Invention of Western Romantic Love
liked it
R. Howard Bloch's central point has something to it—that misogyny and courtly love/romance aren't opposites, or even two sides of the same coin, but t ...more
Aug 10, 2013
Jun 01, 2013
Perpetua's Journey: Faith, Gender, and Power in the Roman Empire
really liked it
In the early third century, two young mothers—a noblewoman, Perpetua, and an enslaved person, Felicity—met their deaths in a gladitorial arena in Roma ...more
Sep 16, 2017
Sep 11, 2017
Fanny and Stella: The Young Men Who Shocked Victorian England
it was ok
In the right hands, this could have been a fascinating work of history, but while the blurb for Fanny and Stella states that it's "meticulously resear ...more
Oct 17, 2013
Oct 16, 2013
Empress Dowager Cixi: The Concubine Who Launched Modern China
liked it
Jung Chang's biography of the Empress Cixi is a fascinating look at a period of history about which I know very little. As I'm not familiar with the e ...more
Feb 06, 2014
Feb 03, 2014
The Return of Martin Guerre
liked it
One of the classic works of microhistory, The Return of Martin Guerre tells the story of a sixteenth century French case of fraud and imposture. A you ...more
Jan 28, 2010
Jan 27, 2010
Chronicle of the Abbey of Bury St. Edmunds
really liked it
Written by a monk of the Abbey of Bury St Edmunds in the 12th century, the cover blurb of this book will tell you that it's a chronicle of various hap ...more
Apr 21, 2010
Apr 14, 2010
Ars Edendi: A Practical Introduction to Editing Medieval Latin Texts
liked it
This is an odd little pamphlet that sort of falls between two stools. Its title proclaims it to be an introduction, but Huygens emphasises quite early ...more
Mar 12, 2017
Mar 11, 2017
Debating Truth: The Barcelona Disputation of 1263, a Graphic History
really liked it
In the mid-thirteenth century, a rabbi—Moses ben Nachman, better known to history as Nachmanides—was summoned to Barcelona. There the king required hi ...more
Mar 30, 2018
not set
Mar 11, 2018
A Hermit's Cookbook: Monks, Food and Fasting in the Middle Ages
liked it
Andrew Jotischky provides a very readable introduction to how food was thought of, used, and prepared by monks from Late Antiquity through to the time ...more
Oct 19, 2017
Oct 13, 2017
The Vinland Sagas
really liked it
I read this in a slim little Penguin Classics edition which brings together The Saga of the Greenlanders and Eirik the Red's Saga (both together are a ...more
Sep 20, 2011
Sep 15, 2011
Holy Anorexia
did not like it
Oh, this was... not good. There are some interesting parallels between modern anorexia nervosa and the disordered eating practices of medieval holy wo ...more
Aug 15, 2010
Aug 12, 2010
Forged: Why Fakes are the Great Art of Our Age
it was ok
The six potted biographies of forgers or "appropriative artists" were interesting, as I mostly had not heard of them before, and many of them fell int ...more
Nov 18, 2012
Nov 08, 2012
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