Briony McDonagh estimates that over 10 per cent of land in Georgian Britain was owned by female landowners. Assuming her sample of 250,000 acres to be representative of broader patterns and trends, McDonagh surmises that ‘somewhere in excess of 3 million acres in England were owned by women in the later eighteenth century and more than 6 million acres in Great Britain as a whole’ (p. 27).
It is difficult to believe now that generations of scholars in the 20th century argued with insistence that the indigenous cultures of the Americas were destroyed by European imperial expansion.
The British Library’s new exhibition ‘Anglo-Saxon Kingdoms: Art, Word, War’ is a celebration of Anglo-Saxon culture and learning, mainly represented though the texts produced during that period.
Catriona Murray’s Imaging Stuart Family Politics is an impressive book, both for its high level of original research, and for its balance of academic sophistication with accessibility.
Daniel Livesay’s first monograph comes at an opportune moment. With the recent release of digital projects such as the University of Glasgow’s Runaway Slaves in Britain database, historical attention has focused in on the lives of people of colour in early modern Britain.
As is often the case with (in)famous remarks attributed to prominent personages, there is some doubt about whether Winston Churchill ever did describe the traditions of the Royal Navy as comprising ‘nothing but rum, sodomy, prayers and the lash.’ Churchill himself reputedly denied that he had, confiding to his private secretary that ‘I never said it. I wish I had’ (p. 1).
Lindy Grant’s long awaited and magisterial (although here one particularly laments the lack of a gender-appropriate adjective) book offers us a biography of Blanche of Castile, the Iberian princess famously chosen by her grandmother, Eleanor of Aquitaine, to marry the son of Philip II of France, Lord Louis, the future Louis VIII.
In one memorable incident related in Keith Thomas’s In Pursuit of Civility: Manners and Civilization in Early Modern England, an unfortunate diner fell victim to poor table manners.