From my list on how parliaments worked.
Who am I?
I am a historian of early modern law and parliaments in Ireland and Britain, having written several books and articles on the topic, and am also a criminologist. I have had an interest in the history of parliaments for many years, in particular the manner in how they operate, how they were staffed, and how they worked (or in some cases didn’t work). Although political histories are interesting and sometimes important, parliamentary political history does not interest me as much. I love the practical application of how institutions operated and what they can tell us that conventional histories of political development and parliamentary politics can not.
Coleman's book list on how parliaments worked
Why did Coleman love this book?
Although it sometimes changes, if I were forced to choose, this is probably my most favourite history book. Even though it is now seventy years old, it still reads remarkably up-to-date. Like many of the other books on this list, it eschews the political history of parliament in order to focus on the institutional and developmental history of the medieval Irish assembly. Whilst a book with chapters on medieval taxation and the feudal state might not seem to many as being as fascinating, the passion and drive that is clearly evident in the authors is something that immediately infects the reader. The argument is jumping off the page and slapping you across the face. More than proficient in English medieval history too, they are somewhat of a rarity in written history of the islands in that they seamlessly slide from one to the other. The fact that it was a…