Gender relations in German history: power, agency,
and experience from the sixteenth to the twentieth
century. Edited by Lynn Abrams and Elizabeth Harvey. London: UCL,
Pp. x+262. ISBN 1-85728-485-2. £12.95.
Adultery and divorce in Calvin's Geneva.
By Robert M. Kingdon. Cambridge, Mass., and
London: Harvard UP, 1995. Pp. ix+214. ISBN 0-674-00520-1 (hb). £18.50.
Housecraft and statecraft: domestic service in Renaissance Venice,
1400–1600. By Dennis
Romano. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1996. Pp. xxvi+333.
The European nobility, 1400–1800. By Jonathan Dewald.
New approaches to European history,
ix. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996. Pp. xvii+209.
ISBN 0-521-42528-x (pb). £12.95.
Garden and grove: the Italian Renaissance garden in the
English imagination, 1600–1750. By John
Dixon Hunt. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania, 1996. Pp. xix+268.
0-8122-1604-0 (pb). £23.50.
Like an ancient woodsman or a guide through the Amazonian jungle, the
possesses at least two kinds of expertise: enough familiarity with the
general terrain to
plan successful expeditions and enough experience in the field to make
adjustments to ‘the big picture’ when underway. Of course in
the real world (of both
geography and history) the tasks of exploration and cartography are often
without necessarily disastrous results. The historian who is equally skilled
at both close-up description and large-scale theorizing is consequently celebrated as
a rare and
valued anomaly. Meanwhile, for most of us stumbling scouts, the world beyond
familiar trails remains largely one of learned lore, with connections to
our own limited
forays often vague at best. Unless, of course, we are fortunate enough
to come across
something which provides an almost magical link between the narrow and
the wide, the
micro and the macro.