Friday, May 02, 2008

Historical Research (May 2008)

The latest issue of Historical Research: The Bulletin of the Institute of Historical Research (volume 81, issue 212) contains the following articles:

R. I. Moore - The war against heresy in medieval Europe pp.189–210

Both the level of clerical anxiety about popular heresy in the century or so after 1140 and the breadth and vigour of measures adopted to suppress it, initially in the Languedoc, were disproportionate to its extent, coherence and support. This article therefore seeks an alternative explanation for the launching of the ‘war against heresy’ in thirteenth-century Europe, and finds it primarily in the developing self-consciousness of the new administrative elite produced by the demographic and cultural transformation of Europe in the eleventh century.

Theron Westervelt - Royal charter witness lists and the politics of the reign of Edward IV pp. 211–223

Historians of medieval England have excelled at getting the most information out of what often seem to be the least giving of sources, yet they have tended to shy away from the witness lists to royal charters. A study of the role and purpose of these charters shows that they deserve a second look, and an examination of the charter witness lists from the reign of Edward IV reveals just how useful they can be in the study of late medieval politics.

Evan T. Jones - Alwyn Ruddock: ‘John Cabot and the Discovery of America’ pp. 224–254

Dr. Alwyn Ruddock was one of the best scholars to work on the North American discovery voyages of John and Sebastian Cabot (1496–1508). For thirty-five years scholars in this field awaited the groundbreaking volume Ruddock was said to be preparing on this subject. Yet, when Dr. Ruddock died in December 2005, aged eighty-nine, she ordered the destruction of all her research. This article examines the research claims she made in her 1992 book proposal to the University of Exeter Press and in her later correspondence with U.E.P. Her findings are so extraordinary that they will, if proved correct, transform our entire conception of the scale, nature and importance of John Cabot's achievements.

This last article is freely available here.