184 comparative historical studies – with Britain and with other European composite states – would doubtless be revealing.20 In short, the entangled histories of the Nordic states cannot be considered without some reference to colonialism; but likewise the history of colonialism needs to be considered with reference to Nordic history. Uffe Østergård’s observation that “the history of the colonies and the different parts of the realm is the other – more comprehensive – history of Denmark”,21 could with equal justi?ication be applied to Nordic history, or rather to west Nordic history in this case. The Danish missions to Greenland from the 1720s were justi?ied, after all, with reference to histories of Norse expansion and colonisation in the medieval period, a historical memory which was to cause friction between Denmark and Norway in the ?irst half of the twentieth century. It would be interesting to know how Danish and Norwegian identities were shaped through the shared experiences of colonial trade and administration, or indeed even if the distinction was relevant before 1814. And how was Danish colonialism shaped by the rivalry with the kingdom of Sweden, especially over control of the Øresund as a crucial shipping lane and trading route? I should make it clear here that I am not in any way a specialist in colonial history. For me, the volume was interesting for the new perspectives it casts on Da nish and indeed Nordic history more generally, and it is certainly to be hoped that this volume will help to stimulate further comparative work between the different Nordic countries, including for example on the different experiences and legacies of colonialism in the Danish and Swedish realms. But the challenge is also to think beyond the familiar categories of colonial history, Danish history or indeed Nordic history. As Johan Heinsen argues in his review of the West Indies volume of the present series, colonial history must not be allowed to become a specialist niche, but must be part of broader historical debates and historical curricula.22 This raises one further important question: who is this book for? There is a tradition of producing multi-volume series on aspects of national history in Denmark and especially Norway (and interestingly enough, much less so in Sweden). The editors acknowledge this tradition by stating that they regard their series as the successor to Vore gamle tropekolonier (1952-3) and the supplement to Politikens Danmarkshistorie from the early 1980s (p. 5). The volume reviewed here will undoubtedly ful?il the role of an authoritative reference work – but the problem is that it lacks references. The most important works for each chapter are included in a 20 For a recent discussion of the potential and problems of comparing Finnish and Irish histories, see McMahon and Newby: ‘Introduction’, and other articles in the same issue of this journal. 21 ”[k]oloniernes og de forskellige rigsdeles historie… er nemlig den anden – og fyldigere – danmarkshistorie”. (p. 57). 22 Heinsen: ’Caribiske kon?likter’, 198.
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