- Review of James Hannam. God’s Philosophers: How the Medieval World Laid the Foundations of Modern Science. Icon Books: Cambridge, 2010, hb, 445pp, ₤20
The history of the Long Eighteenth century within the British Isles remains a complicated narrative strewn with the efforts of competing historiographies. Since the 1980s we in the field of British History have had to come to terms with the Clarkite Revolution and its effects on our own scholarship.
Canadian national identity consists of assertions that the nation’s culture comprises both British and French heritages in complex contradistinction to American republicanism. From Samuel De Champlain’s explorations to the Nova Scotia landing of the ship Hector, Canadian settlement became marked by these two legacies.
A significant contributor to literary representation of Anglo-Scottish Unionism was the prolific Andrew Lang (1844-1912) whose historical works valorized the Stuarts and judged the 1707 Union as an inevitable stadialist development necessary for Scotland’s advancement. Born to a petit-bourgeois family in Selkirk, the young Lang experienced a similar Borders upbringing to John Buchan’s formative years.
For early twenty-first century Britons, the political struggles and social morays of early nineteenth century Ultra-Tories seem completely submerged like Dunwich by the tide of history. So much flowed out with the ‘river god’ in Fitzjames Stephen’s famous description so that we now only dimly perceive the intellectual milieu of Colonel Charles De Laet Waldo Sibthorp (1783-1855) and His Grace Henry Pelham-Clinton, Fourth Duke of Newcastle (1785-1851).
In the Twentieth century, the Conservative and Unionist Party proved itself to be an umbrella organization embracing different classes and viewpoints. Rather than narrowly dogmatic, the One Nation vision proved adaptable and broadly appealing to multiple constituencies. Creating this Conservative broad appeal came about through the untiring efforts of loyal parliamentarians and party organizers such as Sir John Eldon Gorst (1835-1916).
This past week, I had the great fortune of visiting Alnwick Castle to examine the personal archives of the Eighth Duke of Northumberland (1880-1930). I am writing a book chapter analyzing the Eighth Duke’s aristocratic critique of liberalism. The published volume will consist of multiple chapters by international experts on aristocratic responses to liberal and socialist political thought.
Earlier this month, I had the great pleasure of delivering a paper at the European Society for the Study of Western Esotericism (ESSWE).
In continuing my dissertation on Scottish Tory and Unionist Intellectual History, I’ve become fascinated by the Member of Parliament Walter Elliot.
Young people so often are confused as to their life’s direction. In 2001, a popular book on charting life directions reached the New York Times bestseller lists. Titled Quarterlife Crisis: The Unique Challenges of Life in your Twenties, it provided advice to young Americans newly graduated from university and unsure of their next step.
Jonathan Paquette currently studies Modern British political and intellectual history at the University of St Andrews, Scotland.