Social & Industrial History
The Society Doctor Who Held Victorian London Spellbound
Physician John Elliotson and his friend Thomas Wakley, founding editor of The Lancet, were well-known medical pioneers in Victorian London. Yet when Elliotson championed the new ‘science’ of mesmerism, which purported to dull surgical pain, their friendship – and Elliotson’s credibility – were severely tested. Against a backdrop of Victorian lecture theatres and hospital wards, the two distinguished men publicly clashed over a technique which, for all its successes and failures, is still little understood.
The Secret Lives of Hair
As well as wigs, toupees and extensions, there are many uses for and beliefs about human hair. Indian traders call it ‘black gold’; in China a protein derived from it was once used in soy sauce; and in 1920s America there was a craze for using it to make ‘invisible’ hairnets. Anthropologist Emma Tarlo travelled the world to search out the facts and here presents the many remarkable hair-related stories she uncovered.
Dole Queues and Demons
British Election Posters from the Conservative Party Archive
A unique blend of graphic design, bold artwork and cunning psychology, election posters are an unsung art form. Drawing on the Conservative Party archive at the Bodleian Library, this lavishly illustrated book charts 100 years of political advertising, lampooning opponents from Lloyd George to Tony Blair. Its ten chronological chapters chart the political history of Britain, changing ideologies and social attitudes, and fashions in advertising. A foreword by communications guru Maurice Saatchi discusses the posters from a design perspective.
Tyranny and The Lash
Prisoners and Punishment in British History
Medieval people gave little thought to prisoners or to the conditions in which they were kept, but by Victorian times troubling questions were being asked about the purpose and effectiveness of incarceration. Wade traces the evolving nature, use and management of British prisons over the centuries, asks whether changes in practices such as hard labour and solitary confinement have made the prison system more humane and investigates how social changes led to new definitions of criminality.
Conflict in Early Modern England
Described by one reviewer as 'wonderfully mischievous', this study argues against the view that people in early modern England assumed patriarchy to be natural and necessary, and that the 'public man', 'private woman' distinction explained the political subordination of women. Showing how conflict rather than patriarchal accord was pervasive in households as husbands, wives and servants struggled for authority, Herzog conjures up 'a social world full of ornery, funny, sickening, and lethal controversies about gender, misogyny, public and private'.
The Books of Assumption of the Thirds of Benefices
Scottish Ecclesiastical Rentals at the Reformation
The late medieval church was the wealthiest single landowner in Scotland, with an annual income ten times that of the crown. Compiled for the crown – and the tax-gatherer – the Books of Assumption surveys the incomes of church properties in Scotland (except Argyll and the Isles) in the 1560s. Presented here in calendared form, it provides an enormous amount of data on the church's income and expenditure and the society in which it played such an important part.
An Intimate History
Surveillance of our habits through CCTV and computer spyware has reached epidemic proportions and social media and TV allow us to fully indulge our passion for eavesdropping on other people, an impulse that John Locke argues is hard-wired into our make-up. This study investigates the deep-seated desire to know what's going on in the private lives of others, uncovering the biological drive behind it and its consequences across history and culture, from 16th-century voyeurism to Facebook and Twitter.
The Remarkable Story of The Public Benefit Boot Company
Throughout much of the 20th century, Benefit Footwear was a nationwide brand with retail stores, repair shops and factories stretching from Newcastle to Cornwall. Illustrated with period advertisements and archive photographs of Benefit shops and factories, this history traces the company's rise, from a single shop opened in Hull in 1875, and its ultimate fall as it was absorbed into the British Shoe Corporation in the 1960s and the name disappeared from British high streets.
The Summer of '45
Stories and Voices from VE Day to VJ Day
The events of the months between the fall of Germany in May 1945 and the surrender of Japan in August would dictate the world order for generations. Combining archive material and original interviews with eyewitnesses, this people's history tells the story of civilians, soldiers, victors and vanquished across the globe during a fateful summer – from the VE celebrations in London and the continued fighting in the Pacific to the elation of VJ Day and the terrible aftermath of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Britain's Great War Experience
Life at Home and Abroad 1914–1918
Beyond the horrors of the Western Front, the First World War sent Britons to the far corners of the globe and affected all aspects of life on the home front. This portfolio of contemporary photographs, documents, letters and ephemera (first published as The Worst Ordeal in 1994) takes the broadest view of the conflict – from the experiences of soldiers, sailors and airmen and their families to dealing with strikes, volunteer work, rationing, conscientious objectors and the Irish rebellion at home.
A Photographic History
South Asians coming to Victorian Britain tended to be soldiers or domestics serving the Empire or the elite seeking education, but later mass migrations from the subcontinent, East Africa and the Caribbean started to forge a uniquely British Asian culture. Mixing images of ordinary people facing the challenges of living and working in their new home with political figures, activists, pioneers and celebrities, this photographic collection charts the experiences of Asians in Britain from the late 19th century to the present day.
The Workers' War
British Industry and the First World War
Despite early optimism that the First World War would be swiftly concluded and cause little disruption to British life, the long struggle in fact turned British industry on its head, encouraging technological and organizational advances and a rethinking of traditional gender roles as women took the place of men in the factories. This book examines how different industries coped with the demands of the war and the heroic efforts made by ordinary men and women to keep industry moving.
North East England 1945–2000
Natasha Vall considers how new post-war cultural institutions, such as the regional arts boards and local broadcasting, presented challenges to the hegemony of vernacular traditions in north-eastern England, which metropolitan officials considered a 'cultural desert'. She also discusses the part played by new galleries, music venues and theatres in urban riversides' renewal, focusing on Gateshead, which was long overshadowed by Newcastle but by the end of the millennium was widely acknowledged as a successful culture-led regeneration.
A Surprising History
This book seeks to show that throughout history royal prayers have had a place at the heart of a nation's life, and that monarchs continue to play a pivotal role in protecting the interests of their people today. Chapters discuss royal prayers at times of national tragedy or emergency, prayers to launch ships, prayers of remembrance, of patronage, and of support for endeavours of science or exploration. An appendix contains the Collects of each branch of the Armed Forces.
South African Pioneer, Poet and Abolitionist
The remarkable career of Thomas Pringle (1789–1834) began in Enlightenment Edinburgh, where he established himself as a poet and founding editor of Blackwood’s Magazine. This lively, authoritative biography tells how, in 1820, he led a party of settlers to South Africa, where he co-edited the Cape’s first independent newspaper and became a staunch champion of the rights of both settlers and dispossessed indigenous people, before returning to Britain to become Secretary of the Anti-Slavery Society.
Peacock or Enigma?
Philosopher or poseur, aristocrat or democrat, austere classicist or flamboyant eccentric? More than 200 years after Beau Brummell dazzled London with his elegance, the dandy remains an enigma. This entertaining, richly anecdotal history charts the evolution of dandyism from London to Paris, St Petersburg to Hollywood. Along the way, we meet a long line of men – Byron, Disraeli, Oscar Wilde, F Scott Fitzgerald, and Noël Coward among them – who dedicated their lives to making a stand against drab conformity.