By any standards. Ehrman's Pitt is a major achievement. The third volume, covering the years 1797 until Pitt's death in 1806, is no exhausted sequel, no plodding postscript. Pitt died in office, commanding and interesting until the end. Ehrman conclude s in full command of his biographical skills: searching in analysis, judicious in judgement and apposite in style.
A coherent narrative political history of early-modern Europe could be constructed around disputes over the right of succession to sovereign thrones. The very nomenclature of the history of armed conflict during this period underscores the importance of succession in a society in which the family stood at the centre of power-holding.
At the Gladstone Centenary Conference, held at Chester in the summer of 1998, one speaker pointed out that at that point in time there were ten or eleven new biographies of 'WEG' under contract.
For at least the first half of the twentieth century, Scottish history could be said to have stopped in 1707. The history of the Scottish nation was the history of Bruce, Wallace and the Douglases; of knights in armour, cross-border warfare and corrupt priests.
In a recent article on the relationship between Sir Alexander Malet, Britain's minister plenipotentiary to the German Confederation at Frankfurt from 1852 to 1866, and Otto von Bismarck, Prussia's delegate to this assembly for much of that period, W. A.
'The Oratory of Triumph'
It is one of those quirky features of our ancient, but constantly changing, Constitution that one particular Cabinet Office document may warrant such an extensive enquiry. However, Amy Baker's Prime Ministers and the Rule Book rises to the challenge and produces a convincing and illuminating study.
It is now forty years since Galbraith published the Making of Domesday Book. Since then his thesis has been refined in various ways, but there has been no serious challenge to his central propositions: that the object of the Domesday survey was to produce Domesday Book, and that the purpose of the whole enterprise must be inferred from Domesday Book itself.
In 1960 I published an article on the leather industry using the probate inventories of 55 leather workers. I am reminded of this piece of almost forgotten biography by a contributor to this volume. I remember only two things about the article.
This publication in a convenient and user-friendly format of fifteen essays written by Professor Guy over the past quarter century is to be welcomed.