The Battle of Waterloo and the Literary Response

The extensive response in the British press was unprecedented. Abstract Although Europe had celebrated the end of the Napoleonic Wars with the defeat of the French armies and the abdication of the emperor on 11 April 1814, Napoleon escaped and again rallied his troops against the British and Prussian armies. His defeat at Waterloo on[…]

The Napoleonic Wars

The Napoleonic wars illustrate how warfare, seemingly the most conventional object of history, defies history’s most conventional questions. Abstract Trying to locate the Napoleonic Wars as an event, or a constellation of events in time and space, only reveals the historical dislocations produced by war on a global scale. Like many of the wars of[…]

On 1793 and the Aftermath of the French Revolution

Many British radicals interpreted the early events of the French Revolution in mythic terms – akin to the Christian apocalypse. In 1789, many British radicals interpreted the early events of the French Revolution in mythic terms, as signs that a cataclysmic event, akin to the Christian apocalypse (entailing the renovation of the fallen world), was at hand—and that, paradoxically, human beings[…]

‘Murder Map’ Reveals Medieval London’s Meanest Streets

First digital map of the murders recorded by the city’s Coroner in early 1300s shows Cheapside and Cornhill were homicide ‘hot spots’, and Sundays held the highest risk of violent death for medieval Londoners. Stabbed by a lover with a fish-gutting knife. Beaten to death for littering with eel skins. Shot with an arrow during a[…]

Whose Apocalypse? A New Mercantile Meaning of the “The End” in the New World circa 1600

Some argued that Philip IV was destined to rebuild the temple of Jerusalem at the end of time. [LEFT]: From Diego Valades, Rhetorica Christiana, 1579.[RIGHT]: From Gaspar de Escalona Aguero, Gazophilatium regium Perubicum, 1647. It is hard to imagine two images more different than these. The first appeared in Rhetorica Christiana, a book published in Perugia[…]

Calypso’s Island: A Short History of the Apocalypse

The End of History is proclaimed anew by each new generation and each new culture. Mesopotamia, Circa 2000 BCE Orphans of Ur O my flooded, washed awayBrickwork of Ur!My good house, my city,you who have been piled in heaps,As I lay myself down with youin a breach in your good ravaged house,I shall, like a fallen oxnever[…]