European History

The Spanish Monarchy in the Mediterranean Theater

Christopher Storrs— Between the peace of Utrecht that marked the end of the War of Spanish Succession in 1713 and the close of the War of the Austrian Succession in 1748, King Philip V (1700-46), the first Spanish Bourbon, represented a greater threat to peace in Europe than any other state or

Continue reading…

Writing Children’s Stories in Wartime

The following entries are excerpted from War Diaries, 1939-1945 (Yale University Press, 2016), a transcription of the personal diaries of Astrid Lindgren, author of the Pippi Longstocking books. Illustrated with family photographs, newspaper clippings, and facsimile pages, Lindgren’s diaries provide an intensely personal and vivid account of Europe during the Second World War. ∞

Continue reading…

The St. Brice’s Day Massacre: Then and Now

Levi Roach— “And in this year the king ordered all the Danish men who were in England to be slain; this was done on St. Brice’s feast day [13 November], because it was made known to the king that they treacherously wanted to deprive him and then all his counsellors

Continue reading…

Indigenous Peoples in the Heart of Empire

Coll Thrush— London might seem like a strange place to find Indigenous history. When most people think of Indigenous history, they think of traditional homelands, reservations, and perhaps urban communities. But the center of empire? As it turns out, London saw hundreds of Indigenous people visit from territories that became

Continue reading…

Lowlands Travelogue: Utrecht

In Elisabeth de Bièvre’s book Dutch Art and Urban Culture, 1200-1700, the author explains how distinct geographical circumstances and histories shaped unique urban developments in different locations in the Netherlands and, in turn, fundamentally informed the art and visual culture of individual cities. In seven chapters, each devoted to a city, the book

Continue reading…

Catholic Anxiety and Jewish Protest in the Age of Revolutions

Kenneth Stow— In 1749, a young Jewish girl of Rome, the eighteen-year-old Anna del Monte, was kidnapped and taken to the Catecumeni, the Roman House of Converts. She had been accused of expressing a desire to convert to Catholicism by one Sabato Cohen, who had himself converted in the hopes of

Continue reading…

To Sleep or Not to Sleep?

Sasha Handley— Large swathes of the modern industrialized world are in the grip of a sleep-deprivation crisis. So say Jonathan Crary and Ariana Huffington, who represent just two voices in a chorus of recent critical commentaries highlighting the corrosive effects of our globalized 24/7 culture on sleep’s duration and quality.

Continue reading…

Was There a Spartan Mirage?

Paul A. Rahe— It has always been hard for outsiders to get their minds around classical Lacedaemon, or Sparta as it is more commonly called today. Even in antiquity—as a glance at Xenophon’s Regime of the Lacedaemonians, at Plato’s Republic and Laws, and at Aristotle’s Politics will make clear—the Spartans

Continue reading…

The Future of European Muslims

From our London office: In recent months, the rise of far-right parties in different European countries and events such as the UK’s vote for Brexit have prompted heated debates about immigration and cultural integration across Europe and the world. Tarek Osman, author of Islamism: What it Means for the Middle East and the

Continue reading…

The Invention of the Modern Soldier

Libby Murphy— During the Great War, French soldiers struggled to make sense of their experience, both for themselves and for their compatriots. Soldier-writers used fiction to recalibrate civilians’ expectations about the war and to teach them to see through the “skull-stuffing” of the mainstream media—exaggeration, euphemisms, and outright lies. Many of

Continue reading…