Published online by Cambridge University Press: 23 December 2003
Since the 1960s it has been claimed that diplomatic history is in decline – upstaged over the decades by more fashionable subjects like social, gender, or cultural history. However, Clio's anaemic patient is alive and kicking as the four books to be reviewed here all clearly show. This renaissance is in some ways due to a modernization process which proves the inherent flexibility of the subject. Diplomatic historians have adopted new methods for their work by amalgamating cultural, semiotic, and anthropological ideas as well as by going global through multiarchival research. Admittedly these progressive developments are still at an early stage, yet Johannes Paulmann's thought-provoking Pomp und Politik which analyses the subtext of ceremonies and symbolic behaviour among monarchs, could be used as an excellent guideline for further studies in this field.