Social & Industrial History
Britain Yesterday & Today
Like their modern counterparts, Britons of the 19th century visited the seaside, ate fish and chips, attended football matches and cheered royal processions, but today these activities look rather different and other aspects of British life have changed beyond recognition. This collection of photographs compares images of similar scenes, a century or more apart, to present a nostalgic look at the changing times and the unchanging traditions of British life.
The Old Boys
The Decline and Rise of the Public School
To many, public schools are an anachronistic bastion of privilege. This book charts a colourful history of schoolboy revolts, eccentric heads, scandal, decline and renewal, to argue that, on balance, their contribution to national life is a positive one. Slightly off-mint.
Secret Histories of Britain's Rebels and Revolutionaries
Alarmed by the French Revolution, the rulers of Georgian Britain established a network of spies and informers to infiltrate and monitor radical groups at home. Drawing on official records and contemporary accounts, this compelling history probes the shadowy world of government agents pitted against Irish rebels, Luddites, the Pentrick uprising of 1817 and the 1820 plot to murder the cabinet. In vivid prose, the book recreates a climate of fear and repression, in which even peaceful reformers risked arrest.
Through the Keyhole
Sex, Scandal and the Secret Life of the Country House
From around 1760 to the 1830s, stories about the sex lives of the rich and powerful were guaranteed to increase the readership of popular printed literature. Papers were so packed with salacious tales of secret sex that there seemed to be an epidemic of adultery among the aristocracy. This study explores the personal stories of men and women involved in adulterous affairs and compares their accounts of infidelity and its sometimes tragic consequences with the stereotypes of dissolute aristocrats in the popular press.
From Pre-Raphaelites to Punk
London has always been home to outsiders, people who can't – or won't – abide by the rules of respectable society. This entertaining, anecdotal history charts two centuries of Bohemianism, including such colourful characters as Oscar Wilde and Aubrey Beardsley, the Bloomsburyites and Bright Young Things, and Dylan Thomas boozing through the Blitz. It is also a guide to the places where Bohemia flourished: the Café Royal, the Colony Room and the Gargoyle Club.
The Servants' Story
Managing a Great Country House
This recreation of what it was like to live and work as a servant in a grand household during the mid 19th century is based on the Sutherland Collection, the papers of the Leveson-Gowers family, once the largest private landlords in the United Kingdom. While Trentham, their house in Staffordshire, stands in ruins, the family archive is extraordinarily intact, affording a detailed picture of the social structure, administration and working conditions within the highly complex community of Trentham.
Jack Tar's Story: The Autobiographies and Memoirs
Examining the autobiographical writings of antebellum American sailors, and how they remembered and interpreted experiences such as the War of 1812 and British impressment, this study explores contested meanings of manhood and nationalism in the early republic.
How British Aristocrats Staked a Claim to the American West
From the 1830s onwards, a succession of British aristocrats headed for the American West, taking with them their valets, their dogs – and their prejudices. This sparkling account describes the newcomers' experiences as they crossed the country to meet Native Americans, hunt buffalo and build cattle empires. Packed with lively incident and colourful personalities, it also charts their reception by Americans often less than pleased at the return of their former colonial overlords.
The Georgian Art of Gambling: Being A Miscellaneous
Collection of Fashionable Card Games and Diverse Pastimes
Claire Cock-Starkey's miscellany of Georgian pastimes – and addictions – covers everything from cards in the drawing room to wagers on cock-fighting and the ruination of gambling-addicted aristocrats.
A Cultural History of Dustmen, 1780–1870
In this first study of the cultural representation of the dust trade during the 19th century, Brian Maidment shows the ways in which London dustmen were associated with ideas of contamination, dirt, noise and violence. He uses literary, dramatic and graphic evidence to explain how the image of the dustman emerged from late 18th-century assumptions about his work and habits, and discusses Dusty Bob's appearance in the work of Victorian caricaturists, social analysts and writers, notably Mayhew and Dickens.
Biographies of Colonialism in the Indian Ocean World, 1790–1920
Clare Anderson's study uses biographical fragments of the lives of convicts, captives, sailors, slaves, indentured labourers and indigenous peoples to build a picture of 19th-century colonial life in the Indian Ocean. Critical Perspectives on Empire series. No jacket.
Beside the Sea
Britain's Lost Seaside Heritage
The building of the railways made seaside holidays a possibility for workers in Britain's industrial cities and transformed a host of small coastal towns into glamorous entertainment centres. Using archive photographs and ephemera and the memories of people who worked and holidayed in places such as Margate, Scarborough and Blackpool, this nostalgic history recalls the culture of donkey rides, lidos and variety shows that was the pleasure of millions until air travel drew people away from the traditional resorts.
The Monster Evil
Policing and Violence in Victorian Liverpool
Victorian Liverpool was an international port and the second city of the British Empire; it also had a notorious reputation as being a place of violence and crime. Archer explores the historical basis of that reputation; how the city was policed; and the reality of crime - as committed by men, women or juveniles - in Liverpool between 1850 and 1900.
The Children History Forgot
Young Workers of The Industrial Age
The dark truth behind the glittering displays of merchandise in the Great Exhibition's Crystal Palace was how those products – the glass, cutlery, lace, candles and cotton – were made by children of all ages labouring in the mines and factories of Georgian and Victorian Britain. This study looks at the various industries and occupations that used child labour, including agriculture and the infamous chimney sweeping, and describes the painfully slow struggle to improve working conditions and educational opportunities for the children.
The Trampled Wife
The Scandalous Life of Mary Eleanor Bowes
Mary Eleanor Bowes (1749-1800), direct ancestor of the Queen, was heiress to 'all the wealth of the north', but her life was anything but smooth and sweet. After an unhappy marriage to the 9th Earl of Strathmore, she fell into the cruel hands of an adventurer who resorted to extreme behaviour to get his hands on her money. Derek Parker tells an extraordinary true story of greed, blackmail, duelling, kidnapping and adultery that is more gripping than an historical novel.
When Schooldays Were Fun
A Lighthearted Look at 'the Best Days of Our Lives'
In spite of the hard benches, stodgy food and iron discipline that feature prominently in people's memories of education in Britain before about 1970, schooldays from this period are nevertheless often fondly remembered. Covering a period from about 1900 up to the 1970s, this nostalgic miscellany of archive photographs, literary references, poems and first-hand accounts recalls the eccentric teachers, interminable lessons, withering school reports and punishing sporting trials that were once the daily lot of British schoolchildren.
The Tide of Democracy
Shipyard Workers and Social Relations in Britain, 1870-1950
Alastair J Reid's study of British shipbuilding in its heyday comprises discussions of the organization of production, the relationship between leaders and members of the industry's key trade union, and the involvement of that union in wider labour politics. It combines a broad account of the period with detailed investigations of the impact of new machinery on skills, the significance of independent rank-and-file movements, and the role of craft unions in the origins and early development of the Labour Party.
Scandal of Colonial Rule
Power and Subversion in the British Atlantic During the Age of Revolution
James Epstein’s study examines the colonial drama that unfolded in 1806, when General Thomas Picton, Britain’s first governor of Trinidad, was tried in England, accused of torturing (by ‘piquet’) a mulatto girl named Louisa Calderon.
Post-War Crime and Violence in Britain, 1748–53
When the War of Austrian Succession ended in 1748, rapid demobilization left thousands of soldiers and sailors unemployed, leading to a rise in crime, drinking and rioting on the streets of London. Rogers delves into the interlocking stories of this Hogarthian world; he investigates the reasons for the resulting moral panic and the surprisingly modern varieties of surveillance and social reform which were implemented to combat the perceived threat to 'good order and Government'.
At the end of the 18th century, Cheshire, like other counties of England, boasted a wealthy and elegant elite whose lifestyle stood in stark contrast to estate and factory workers living in increasingly poor conditions. This history reviews the changing times in Cheshire for all strata of society as the Industrial Revolution gathered pace and rioters and reformers threatened the social order, canal and railway builders transformed the landscape and the Napoleonic wars threatened Britain's place in the world.
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.
Life in the Georgian Court
When Queen Anne died in 1714, George, Elector of Hanover, acceded to the British throne. Organized in four main acts – Childhood, Marriage, Scandal and Death – rather than as a comprehensive history, this is a collection of true stories from the Georgian era. Romantic, tragic, eccentric and sometimes gory, the tales are engagingly told, revealing the real people beneath the wigs and pomp of the period, and complemented by a useful timeline and a section of black-and-white portraits.
Outlaws of the Atlantic
Sailors, Pirates, and Motley Crews in the Age of Sail
Rather than the masters and commanders, Marcus Rediker's history takes a bottom-up approach, looking at the maritime history of the Atlantic from the viewpoint of sailors, slaves, indentured servants, pirates, smugglers and rebels. In the 'age of wooden ships and iron men' he shows how Jack Tar, as sailors were commonly known, influenced the wider histories of political thought, literature and commerce, and how revolutionary ideas were generated among the motley (or multi-ethnic) crews of the Atlantic.
Informal Justice in England and Wales, 1760–1914
The Courts of Popular Opinion
Examining ‘unofficial justice as visited upon malefactors by the collective actions of private citizens’, Stephen Banks gives a scholarly account of public shaming rituals, or ‘rough music’, and the punishments imposed for crimes such as wife-beating or informing.