But let’s be honest, it’s impossible to study the past without feeling something. Confusion, fascination, excitement—this is what motivates historians to spend their days poring over obscure manuscripts.
Hsia’s book on Matteo Ricci expands the traditional narratives of the Age of Expansion and transforms our understanding of them. Beyond the Mediterranean and Atlantic worlds, early modern Europeans, Jesuits among them, also ventured to Asia.
The practice of child abandonment and efforts to manage it have a long history and I recently encountered a series of surviving artifacts from about 250 years ago that provide us with a rare window into the abandoned and the abandoners.
Ever since the beginning of Christianity, the belief has existed that demons can enter the bodies of human beings and take control of their physical movements and mental faculties.
Focusing on seventeenth-century Taiwan, the island east of mainland China populated by aborigines who specialized in deer hunting, Tonio Andrade seeks to explore the theme of early modern colonization in a much larger context as part of his greater effort of analyzing global history.
As I was searching for illustrations for my forthcoming book, The Devil Within: Possession and Exorcism in the Christian West, I came across a reproduction of a detail of the painting shown here.
Acclaimed British historian Antony Beevor’s recently published The Second World War is a masterful account of the worst conflict in human history, when truly the entire world became engulfed in the flames of war. Having written previously on various aspects of the era, Beevor’s work attempts to synthesize his prior research into a detailed narrative of World War II.
In late 1774 or early 1775, a woman named Jeanne Baret became the first woman to have circumnavigated the globe, landing in France after nearly a decade of global travel that took her from provincial France to places like Tierra del Fuego, Tahiti, and Mauritius. Her story, a fellow traveler noted, should “be included in a history of famous women.”
Ligon’s work was the only comprehensive text published about the English Caribbean throughout the entire seventeenth century. His text was widely read and often quoted. There is no indication from Ligon’s text if his account of Yarico is based on actual people or simply an allegory for how the English treated the native Carib people on Barbados.
Radio Luxembourg was a privately-owned radio station; its shows were first produced in Paris and then cabled to and broadcast from Luxembourg. But the program reached deep into France. By 1970, nearly 2.5 million listeners tuned in to listen to Grégoire, and her program displaced the advice-from-experts programs and old-school family radio dramas that Radio Luxembourg had carried since the end of World War Two.