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.
Moustaches, Whiskers & Beards
The extravagant whiskers of prominent Victorians such as Charles Darwin and WG Grace seemed impossibly archaic until the recent 'hipster' fashion reinvented the wearing of long beards for young men for the first time since the hippies of the 1960s. This book traces the history of fashions in facial hair from the ancients to the present day.
London and the Making of the Permissive Society
Did sex really begin, as Philip Larkin wrote, in 1963? This groundbreaking cultural history challenges the orthodox view and uncovers the first stirrings of the sexual revolution amid the austerity of fifties London. Conducting the reader on a peephole tour from Whitehall to the fleshpots of Soho, it shows how a series of scandals involving murder, espionage, prostitution, blackmail and homosexuality reshaped public and private behaviour, and captures a key moment in the making of modern Britain.
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'.