The Conquest of Death
Violence and the Birth of the Modern English State
‘By the seventeenth century the detection, conviction, and punishment of illegitimate lethal violence were firmly and irrevocably tied to the central government.’ Matthew Lockwood’s study shows how definitions of legitimate and illegitimate violence were negotiated in coroners’ courts from the late 15th century and gradually gave government the power to enforce a monopoly of violence – a basic prerequisite of a modern state.
The Middle Ages in Modern England
Michael Alexander’s study traces the evolution and course of the Medieval Revival, from the literature of the 1760s through to the writings of Waugh, Auden and the Inklings in the mid-20th century. He considers its influence beyond literature, looking at architecture, art and religion.
The term ‘wasteland’ can refer to land that is unoccupied and unmodified by human civilization, but it is also applied – with increasing frequency – to land left abandoned, polluted or damaged by industrial or military activity. This illustrated cultural history explores that shift in meaning and the concept of landscape underlying it, tracing the change in perception back to ‘a particular convergence of beliefs, technologies, institutions and individuals’ in 17th- and 18th- century Britain.
Discovering Friendly and Fraternal Societies
Their Badges and Regalia
The most successful of the many friendly and fraternal societies that sprung up in Britain from the 18th century was the Freemasons. At one time millions of people belonged to similar clubs such as the Oddfellows and the Ancient Order of Foresters but social changes and the welfare state reduced participation drastically in the 20th century. This illustrated guide uncovers the history of these orders and explores their elaborate regalia. Off-mint.
Ancestors in the Arctic
A Photographic History of Dundee Whaling
Drawn from the collections of Dundee Art Galleries and Museums, this volume of early photographs shows the sailing ships and the highly skilled crews of the Dundee whaling industry, often set against the dramatic ice seas and landscapes of the Arctic. Offering insights into an almost forgotten aspect of Dundee’s history, the book demonstrates the importance of whaling for the city between the mid 18th century and the First World War.
An Illustrated Life of Thomas Telford 1757–1834
The Scottish engineer Thomas Telford was nicknamed the ‘Colossus of Roads’ because of the engineering genius he brought to British roads, bridges, tunnels and canals. This concise biography by a local author tells how he established his reputation in Shropshire before creating landmarks such as the Menai Bridge and the Ellesmere and Caledonian Canals.
Coopers and Coopering
Breweries and pubs today rely on metal containers, but in the past, wooden casks or barrels were prized for their strength and versatility. In this illustrated guide, Ken Kilby, himself a cooper, surveys the history of the craft and describes the complex, physically demanding skills that went into making a barrel.