Paris in the Dark: Going to the Movies in the City of Light, 1930–1950. By EricSmoodin. Duke University Press. 2020. xv + 203pp. £19.99

Colleen Kennedy‐Karpat
2021 History: The Journal of the Historical Association  
Press. 2020. x + 193pp . £60.00. Few English monarchs have sparked as much scholarly debate as Edward I. He has been praised as one of England's greatest kings, deplored as a tyrant and a coloniser, and labelled just about everything in between at some stage. He certainly lived a long and event-filled life, and thanks to an abundance of surviving documentation, historians will continue to discuss the life and reign of Edward I for many years hence. One of the latest additions to Edward I
more » ... is this collection of articles from a range of newer scholars, each of them planting their flag in a field that has recently seen the retirement of several of its titans. The book starts strongly with an introduction in which the editors achieve the truly monumental task of clearly summarising a hundred years' worth of shifting reputation and scholarly debate while laying the foundations for the rest of the chapters that follow. This introduction provides a refresher course for any reader venturing into this volume without having done all their homework on the vast corpus of research on Edward I and, as a result, turns what could have been a niche work into something that can be of use to a wider range of scholars. It is no surprise, given the density of scholarship already extant on Edward I, that many of the chapters in this book are the result of a deep dialogue with the work of previous historians. Take for example Caroline Burt's chapter on law and order during Edward I's reign. This chapter, while also somewhat of an expansion of Burt's own book on the subject, is fundamentally a piece in discussion with R. W. Kaeuper's article on the same subject from 1979. Burt frequently references Kaeuper in the text and describes both Kaeuper's original arguments and how she would amend them based on her own research. Similarly, Andy King's concluding chapter on the 1297 civil war that never was is a challenge to a widely accepted historical argument, whose proponents have previously included the co-editor of this book. Each chapter is full of fascinating insights into its subject and is well written enough that readers need not be familiar with the full historiography of the field to still find something valuable in it, but more experienced students of Edward I will get more out of this book than those just entering the fray for the first time. Another advantage of this book is that it does not try to cover every single aspect of Edward I's reign. People looking for new interpretations of Edward's military achievements or his time as a crusader will come away disappointed.
doi:10.1111/1468-229x.13170 fatcat:3f46iny5svb6fmndkearolr3aq