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

A coaching inn in Augsburg

Choosing a cover image for a book is tricky, especially on an early modern subject. Ideally, the image should relate both to the title and contents of the book and be available on one of the standard image sites. Since my book is entitled The English Republican Exiles in Europe During the Restoration, I should have… Continue reading A coaching inn in Augsburg

A small workshop shows why I like the EU and Brexit is a bad idea

I have just returned from our annual workshop on Translating Cultures at the Herzog August Bibliothek in Wolfenbüttel (HAB, Germany) which is always a great opportunity to catch up with friends and colleagues while discussing the significance of translation for the dissemination of ideas in early modern Europe. The spread of papers was amazing –… Continue reading A small workshop shows why I like the EU and Brexit is a bad idea

Historical monographs without footnotes?

I have long been irritated by the common practice of academic publishers to ban notes from the page they refer to. Many history publishers consolidate notes either at the end of a journal article or a book chapter or, even worse, relegate all notes and references to the back of a book. There might be… Continue reading Historical monographs without footnotes?

On Misogyny, ancient and modern

Mary Beard’s Women and Power is one of those books that will make you shout: “Yes, she’s so right!” – “Very well put!” – “So glad someone is saying this!” For those of you who haven’t read it yet, the book consists of two essays on ‘The public voice of women’ and ‘Women in power’… Continue reading On Misogyny, ancient and modern

Continental Breakfast

Nothing illustrates the British disdain for Europe like the concept of Continental Breakfast. I have been staying at a mid-ranking London hotel for the past week – just about expensive enough to avoid the bed bugs, but not expensive enough to get your shoes polished – where guests are divided into two classes, depending on… Continue reading Continental Breakfast

The Turkeys have Voted for Christmas

After a large majority of British MPs voted in favour of triggering Article 50 last night, the Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said that “history has been made”. And it’s tragic history indeed. The turkeys voted for Christmas once again – allegedly to uphold the will of the people who voted in a referendum on 23 June… Continue reading The Turkeys have Voted for Christmas

Historians and the Fifth Estate

Historians should get more actively involved in shaping policy, in particular foreign and defence policy. That is the gist of a recent call by Graham Allison and Niall Ferguson in The Atlantic for a Council of Historians to be established in the US. Taking advice from historians, they suggest, could have helped President George W.… Continue reading Historians and the Fifth Estate

Redefining the independent scholar

Three weeks after quitting my job as an academic historian it’s high time I reinvented myself. I might no longer work at a university, but that doesn’t mean I love history any less. On the contrary, maybe I had to leave because I loved my subject too much to see it destroyed by a changing academic culture… Continue reading Redefining the independent scholar

The quickie meeting: what academics can learn from journalists

Among the many new things I have been learning during my stint at the news agency, the way in which meetings are held has probably left the deepest impression on me. Few of them take longer than ten to fifteen minutes, and the reason for that is that they’re held standing up. As soon as… Continue reading The quickie meeting: what academics can learn from journalists