Studies in History

Nikolaos Gyzis 'Historia' (c.1892)

Founded by Sir Geoffrey Elton in 1975 and re-launched in 1995, the Studies in History Series established itself as one of the principal publishers of monographs by early-career historians across the full breadth of the discipline and launched the careers of many distinguished historians. After forty years of successful publishing in this form, the Series will be drawing to a close, and is not accepting any further proposals. Several volumes already in production will be published as planned, by Boydell and Brewer.

The Series is kindly supported by the Economic History Society and the Past and Present Society.

Alex Walsham square

Alex Walsham

The Studies in History series played a vital part in launching my career, along with those of several of my peers. When my Church Papists (1993) was accepted for publication in the series, I was a very young and diffident scholar, still working on my PhD. The dedicated editorial support and guidance I received in revising and expanding it not only helped to transform it from a thesis into a much better book, but also played an essential role in securing me a research fellowship and then my first academic post.”

Alex Walsham, Professor of Modern History, University of Cambridge


Orthodox religion in pre-Reformation EnglandFor any early career scholar looking to publish their first monograph I can’t recommend Studies in History highly enough. The editorial support was absolutely first rate . . . thorough and efficient, critical in all the best ways and, most importantly of all, deeply sympathetic and encouraging. I learnt an awful lot from the whole process about how to write for publication.” 

Robert Lutton, Senior Lecturer in History, University of Nottingham

Recent Series Publications


Stephen Brogan, The royal touch in early modern England: politics, medicine and sin

Brogan - Royal TouchThe royal touch was the religious healing ceremony at which the monarch stroked the sores on the face and necks of people who had scrofula in order to heal them in imitation of Christ.  The rite was practised by all the Tudor and Stuart sovereigns apart from William iii, reaching its zenith during the Restoration when some 100,000 people were touched by Charles II and James II.   This ground-breaking book, the first devoted to the royal touch for almost a century, integrates political, religious, medical and intellectual history. The practice is analysed from above and below: the royal touch projected monarchical authority, but at the same time the great demand for it created numerous problems for those organising the ceremony. The healing rite is situated in the context of a number of early modern debates, including the cessation of miracles and the nature of the body politic. The book also assesses contemporary attitudes towards the royal touch, from belief through ambivalence to scepticism.  Drawing on a wide range of primary sources including images, coins, medals, and playing cards, as well as manuscripts and printed texts, it provides an important new perspective on the evolving relationship between politics, medicine and sin in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century England.

Elma Brenner, Leprosy and Charity in Medieval RouenBrenner Leprosy and Charity

Between the twelfth and fifteenth centuries, Rouen was one of the greatest cities in western Europe.  The effective capital of the ‘Angevin Empire’ between 1154 and 1204 and thereafter a leading city in the realm of the Capetian kings of France, medieval Rouen experienced periods of growth and stagnation, the emergence of communal government, and the ravages of plague and the Hundred Years’ War.  In this book, Elma Brenner examines the impact of leprosy upon Rouen during this period, and the key role played by charity in the society and religious culture of the city and its hinterland.  Based upon very extensive archival research, the book offers a new understanding of responses to disease and disability in medieval Europe.  It explores the relationship between leprosy, charity and practices of piety, and considers how leprosy featured in growing concerns about public health. This work will be of great interest to historians of urban society, medicine, religious culture and gender in the Middle Ages, as well as those studying medieval France.

Forthcoming Publications

To be announced shortly.