Passengers

I have just finished reading Ulrich Alexander Boschwitz’ The Passenger, the story of a Jewish businessman trying to escape the Nazis in the wake of Kristallnacht. The novel opens on 9 November with a visit of Nazi officers to the Berlin flat of Otto Silbermann which sees one of his few remaining friends attacked, while the… Continue reading Passengers

Queuing for Knowledge and free Wi-Fi

The queues at the British Library are getting longer again. On this Tuesday morning just before 9.30 the line meanders across the forecourt right through to the gate on the Euston Road. Yet, not everyone understands quite what the fuss is about. A young man in a hoodie turns round to me in amazement and… Continue reading Queuing for Knowledge and free Wi-Fi

Museums are living things that evolve with us

Located at a small distance from the street markets, old factory buildings and designer shops in hipstery Shoreditch there is London’s Museum of the Home. From a distance, the complex looks a bit like an eighteenth-century hospital or a school, set in ample grounds with a well maintained lawn. As a matter of fact, the… Continue reading Museums are living things that evolve with us

Beyond the Old White Men: Women in English Republicanism

‘The history of old white men is on its way out’, a friend of mine and I agreed on a recent Zoom call. He is working on seventeenth-century English royalist thought, I’m working on republicanism. We’re both interested in gender issues and wondering how to make our research more inclusive and relevant. Old-white-men history should… Continue reading Beyond the Old White Men: Women in English Republicanism

Risk and Controversy – The Life of Mary Wortley Montagu

The story of a woman who has her children inoculated against the smallpox at a time when most people, including the medical establishment, were highly sceptical towards such foreign practices certainly makes for timely reading during a pandemic. Sometimes it is worth taking a small risk to avoid a larger one.  Mary Wortley Montagu learnt… Continue reading Risk and Controversy – The Life of Mary Wortley Montagu

Working with Translations in the History of Political Thought

As part of my project on ‘English republican ideas and translation networks in early modern Germany’, I look at the ways in which ideas from the English Revolution spread and were received in the German-speaking areas of Europe through the means of translation, and what potential impact they might have had on the constitutional debates… Continue reading Working with Translations in the History of Political Thought

Ishiguro’s Klara and the Sun takes on the big questions

During the pandemic I have started reading more fiction again, and any new book arriving through the post has been greeted with some excitement. Yet, I had pre-ordered Kazuo Ishiguro’s latest novel with a mix of both eager anticipation and an ever-so-slight fear of disappointment. I had liked Ishiguro long before anybody thought of giving… Continue reading Ishiguro’s Klara and the Sun takes on the big questions

Defending the English Revolution in the German Lands

In his study of the contemporary reception of the English Revolution in the German-speaking lands of continental Europe, Günter Berghaus stresses that a large majority of pamphlets published on the subject in German were biased towards the Stuart monarchy. This is little surprising given that the majority of territories were ruled by princes who were… Continue reading Defending the English Revolution in the German Lands

Workshop: ‘Ideas and translation in early modern Europe’, Newcastle, 22 April

As part of my Marie Sklodowska-Curie Fellowship I am organising my first little workshop at Newcastle University to bring together historians and literary scholars with cognate interests in the area of translation and ideas transfer. It is intended as a rather informal gathering to discuss ideas without pressure – just for the sake of discussing… Continue reading Workshop: ‘Ideas and translation in early modern Europe’, Newcastle, 22 April

Re-reading old history books

Part of the joy of starting a new research project is that you get the chance to read a lot of new literature. I am currently reading about translation and conceptual history, book history and the history of English republicanism. But I am also actively re-reading a lot of older historiography I first came across… Continue reading Re-reading old history books