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A European businessman and his Malayan wife have a daughter, Nina. A Malayan prince comes to do trade with the businessman and falls in love with the daughter. Conflict arises when other influences cause distrust in the business partnership and the daughter runs off to be with the prince. (Summary by Kristel Tretter)
 
Jack the Giant-Killer, Tom Thumb, Goldilocks and The Three Bears, Henny Penny, Dick Whittington, The Three Little Pigs, Red Riding Hood and a host of immortal characters are found in this delightful collection of English Fairy Tales by Joseph Jacobs. The book made its first appearance in 1890 and has remained a firm favorite with both young and old ever since. Fairy tales have traditionally emanated from France and Germany. The famous compilations by La Fontaine and the Brothers Grimm have o ...
 
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“The Europeans raise all the cattle, but the Chinese get all the milk.” This joke, told in colonial Singapore, was indicative of the importance of the Chinese diaspora throughout Southeast Asia. Chinese migrants were miners, laborers, merchants and traders: the foundation of many colonial cities throughout Asia--while also making sure that their ow…
 
Sovereignty is the vital organizing principle of modern international law. Daniel Lee's book The Right of Sovereignty: Jean Bodin on the Sovereign State and the Law of Nations (Oxford UP, 2021) examines the origins of that principle in the legal and political thought of its most influential theorist, Jean Bodin (1529/30-1596). As the author argues …
 
Today Crawford Gribben joins us to talk about his new book, The Rise and Fall of Christian Ireland (Oxford UP, 2021). Ireland has long been regarded as a 'land of saints and scholars'. Yet the Irish experience of Christianity has never been simple or uncomplicated. The Rise and Fall of Christian Ireland describes the emergence, long dominance, sudd…
 
How did it happen that, in the 13th century, Europe's largest library owned fewer than 2,000 volumes while Baghdad alone boasted of several libraries holding from 200,000 to 1,000,000 books each? In The Rise of the Arabic Book (Harvard UP, 2020), Beatrice Gruendler traces the story of the beginning of the revolution in book culture that happened in…
 
When Americans conjure the image of the signing of the Constitution of the United States, they often think about the various paintings that depict the Founders looking to George Washington on the dais at the convention. It is this snapshot of history that embodies Americans’ perceptions of the Founders and their conviction in the creation of the gr…
 
By studying the history and sources of the Thomas Christians of India, a community of pre-colonial Christian heritage, this book revisits the assumption that Christianity is Western and colonial and that Christians in the non-West are products of colonial and post-colonial missionaries. Christians in the East have had a difficult time getting heard…
 
In Emergent Masculinities: Gendered Power and Social Change in the Biafran Atlantic Age (Ohio University Press, 2019), Ndubueze L. Mbah argues that the Bight of Biafra region’s Atlanticization—or the interaction between regional processes and Atlantic forces such as the slave trade, colonialism, and Christianization—between 1750 and 1920 transforme…
 
Today we speak with Eva Del Soldato about her new book on how the authority of Aristotle was reinscribed and challenged during the early modern period. In his Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle affirms that despite his friendship with Plato, he was a better friend of the truth. With this statement, he rejected his teacher's authority, implying that the …
 
Who is the most fascinating historical figure that you have never heard of? David Lester and Marcus Rediker make a good case that it was Benjamin Lay. Based on Rediker’s 2017 The Fearless Benjamin Lay: The Quaker Dwarf Who Became the First Revolutionary Abolitionist, Lester has created a moving, engaging, and eye-opening graphic novel. Lay embodied…
 
Today we talk to Vincent Evener of United Theological Seminary about his new book, Enemies of the Cross: Suffering, Truth, and Mysticism in the Early Reformation (Oxford UP, 2020). Enemies of the Cross examines how suffering and truth were aligned in the divisive debates of the early Reformation. Vincent Evener explores how Martin Luther, along wit…
 
Islam's contributions to the natural sciences has long been recognized within the Euro-American academy, however, such studies tend to include one of a number of narrative tropes, either emphasizing the "Golden Age" model, focusing on scientific productions in Baghdad and other centers around the first millennium CE; emphasizing Islam's role in tra…
 
Quest for Freedom is based on an in-depth filmed conversation between Howard Burton and intellectual historian Quentin Skinner, Barber Beaumont Professor of the Humanities at Queen Mary University of London. Quentin Skinner is considered to be one of the founders of the Cambridge School of the history of political thought. This thoughtful, detailed…
 
Long before Kabbalah books lined multiple books shelves in bookstores, Jewish educators in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, thought of copious ways of making Kabbalah more accessible for readers who were not acquainted with this lore. The book, Kabbalah in Print: The Study and Popularization of Jewish Mysticism in Early Modernity (SUNY Pres…
 
In the early eighteenth century, the noblewoman Ōgimachi Machiko composed a memoir of Yanagisawa Yoshiyasu, the powerful samurai for whom she had served as a concubine for twenty years. Machiko assisted Yoshiyasu in his ascent to the rank of chief adjutant to the Tokugawa shogun. She kept him in good graces with the imperial court, enabled him to s…
 
Marking the third centenary of the office of Prime Minister, The Impossible Office?: The History of the British Prime Minister (Cambridge UP, 2021) tells its extraordinary story, explaining how and why it has endured longer than any other democratic political office in world history. Sir Anthony Seldon, historian of Number 10 Downing Street, explor…
 
The Consolations of History is based on an in-depth filmed conversation between Howard Burton and Teofilo Ruiz, Professor Emeritus of History at UCLA. Teo Ruiz is a scholar of the social and popular cultures of late medieval and early modern Spain and the Western Mediterranean. He received the University’s Distinguished Teaching Award and was award…
 
When inspiration struck Robert McCrum to write a book about the Bard, it came while watching one of the playwright’s plays in Central Park, New York. Here, McCrum realized that we, today, are undoubtedly living in Shakespearean times. Joe Krulder, a British Historian, interviews Robert about his latest book, Shakespearean: On Life and Language in T…
 
Eileen Hunt Botting is a Professor political science at the University of Notre Dame. Dr. Botting is a widely published and cited scholar on the thought of Mary Wollstonecraft, the eighteenth-century author of A Vindication of the Rights of Woman. As editor of a two-volume collection, Portraits of Wollstonecraft (Bloomsbury Academic,2021), she offe…
 
In the Qing dynasty (1644-1911), China experienced far greater access to political information than suggested by the blunt measures of control and censorship employed by modern Chinese regimes. A tenuous partnership between the court and the dynamic commercial publishing enterprises of late imperial China enabled the publication of gazettes in a wi…
 
Dr. Leonidas Mylonakis (PhD in History from the University of California, San Diego) is the author of Piracy in the Eastern Mediterranean: Maritime Marauders in the Greek and Ottoman Aegean (Bloomsbury, 2021). This captivating book is based on rich sets of Ottoman, Greek, and other archival sources. Dr. Mylonakis shows that far from ending with the…
 
Counting Dreams: The Life and Writings of the Loyalist Nun Nomura Bōtō (Cornell UP, 2021) tells the story of Nomura Bōtō, a Buddhist nun, writer, poet, and activist who joined the movement to oppose the Tokugawa Shogunate and restore imperial rule. Banished for her political activities, Bōtō was imprisoned on a remote island until her comrades resc…
 
The image of the Ottoman Turks and their interaction with the Christian West, has undergone many changes in the past: from William Gladstone's famous comment that: “[The Turks] one and all, bag and baggage, shall, I hope, clear out from the province they have desolated and profaned.” To the more recent revisionist views of the 'cultural exchange' s…
 
Imaginaries of Connectivity: The Creation of Novel Spaces of Governance (Rowman & Littlefield, 2019) addresses the problem of how the creation of novel spaces of governance relates to imaginaries of connectivity in time. While connectivity seems almost ubiquitous today, it has been imagined and practiced in various ways and to varying political eff…
 
The fashionable and decorous men whom we recognize in portraits and letters from the Italian Renaissance penned some of the most scathing critiques of the courts in which they served. Such anti-courtly discourse furnished a platform for discussing pressing questions of early modern Italian society. The court was the space that witnessed a new form …
 
The phrase, “state of nature”, has been used over centuries to describe the uncultivated state of lands and animals, nudity, innocence, heaven and hell, interstate relations, and the locus of pre- and supra-political rights, such as the right to resistance, to property, to create and leave polities, and the freedom of religion, speech, and opinion,…
 
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