Six for the Tolpuddle Martyrs
The Epic Struggle for Justice and Freedom
Taking its title from a radical version of the song ‘Green Grow the Rushes, O’, this history explores the lives and politics of the six Dorset farm labourers sentenced to transportation in 1834 for attempting to establish a trade union. It records the struggle against a reduction in agricultural wages that led to their arrest and trial, their experiences in Australia, and the public campaign that brought about their eventual pardon and homecoming.
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.
The People's History of Native Americans
Discovered after the death of the distinguished American historian Page Smith (1917–1995), and published posthumously, this volume was intended as the final part of Smith's People's History of America. The narrative traces the Native American story from the first encounter with Europeans to the end of the Indian Wars at Wounded Knee in 1890, but rather than a comprehensive history, Smith aims to explore the nature of the interchange between white settlers and the indigenous peoples of North America.
Liberalism and Local Government in Early Victorian London
In this study, Weinstein considers the development of London's liberal political culture between the general election of 1832 and the establishment of the Metropolitan Board of Works in 1855. He offers a fresh interpretation of the city's political life, arguing that Whiggery was a potent force, exerting a 'powerful "negative influence" on the construction of early Victorian metropolitan radical identity'.
A Venetian Affair
As the glory of Venice faded, the scion of one of the city's oldest patrician families fell in love with the beautiful, illegitimate 16-year-old daughter of a British father and an Italian mother. Recreated from the lovers' clandestine letters, this true story has all the drama, passion and intrigue of a novel. Against a glittering backdrop of 18th-century salons, casinos and masked balls, it vividly recreates the pain and exhilaration of forbidden love. Off-mint and felt-tip mark on lower trimmed edge.
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'.
Everyday Life in Tudor London
Stephen Porter describes the practicalities and personalities of Tudor London; from 1485, when the victorious Henry Tudor arrived after Bosworth with an army so unruly, the Mayor proclaimed a curfew, to 1600, by which time overcrowding and congestion in the city streets had led to parking restrictions. With a wealth of detail, Porter evokes a bustling trading city, the hub of England's political and cultural life, and home to royalty, rogues, churchmen, tradespeople and, by all accounts, beautiful women.
The Iron Men
The Workers Who Created the New Iron Age
By the early 19th century a second Iron Age had begun, with ships, bridges, trains and industrial machinery being constructed from the newly popular metal. Burton explains the innovations in manufacturing processes that enabled so many advances in technologies using iron and steel, but also focuses on the human cost of this progress, which brought new risks of deadly accident for the workers and ruined the lungs of Sheffield’s knife grinders.
How British Aristocrats Staked a Claim to the American West 1830–1890
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.
Masters and Servants in Tudor England
Life in Tudor England was ordered in a very strict social hierarchy, and the divisions between the classes were firmly maintained: it was understood that everyone, apart from the monarch, served someone, and service was valued rather than denigrated. Drawing on a wealth of contemporary sources, Tudor expert Alison Sim investigates the role of service at every level of society, and provides an informative and entertaining account of the lives of the people who kept the wheels of daily life turning.
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.
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. The book recreates a climate of fear and repression, in which even peaceful reformers risked arrest.
How to Behave Badly in Renaissance Britain
Nothing reveals as much about a society as its bad behaviour, and if Shakespeare’s England is remembered for courtly ceremony, it was also an age of brawling, boozing and badmouthing. Drawing on contemporary behaviour manuals, court cases and sermons, Ruth Goodman, the presenter of Victorian Farm, reveals what most upset and infuriated our forebears. Her entertaining survey dishes the dirt on ninny-hammers, wittols, stinkards and draggletails, and offers practical advice on how to handle yourself in a fight.
In Bed with the Georgians
Sex, Scandal and Satire in the 18th Century
The sex trade flourished openly and profitably in Georgian England, particularly in the area around London’s Covent Garden. This illustrated history considers how the ‘oldest profession’ permeated all classes – from the courtesans who plied their trade within the very highest echelons of society right down to the common prostitutes who walked the streets – and examines how the scene was vividly portrayed by the letter writers, journalists, satirists and caricaturists of the time.
Rakes, Highwaymen, and Pirates
The Making of the Modern Gentlemen in the Eighteenth Century
Discussing the masculine characters in literary works by writers including Richardson, Boswell, John Gay and Rochester, this study explores the emergence of the polite English gentleman during the 18th century and argues that the history of this archetype of modern masculinity is inseparable from that of its outlaw contemporaries, the rake, the highwayman and the pirate. Off-mint.
City of Light, City of Poison
Murder, Magic, and the First Police Chief of Paris
In 1667 the lawyer Nicolas de La Reynie was appointed by Louis XIV as the first lieutenant general of Paris, with far-reaching powers to combat the city’s filth, violence and organized crime. Based on court transcripts and La Reynie’s extensive notes, this account of his work describes not only projects for installing street lighting and cleaning pavements but also his shocking discovery of a cabal of poisoners, witches and renegade priests whose malign influence reached deep into the Sun King’s court.
The Jamestown Brides
The Untold Story of England's 'Maids for Virginia'
In 1621 the near-bankrupt Virginia Company of London made a profit by shipping across the Atlantic 56 young women who had been hand-picked as brides for the planters of its new colony. Using archival sources including the company’s own records, Potter gives voice to these women, asking why they agreed to make the dangerous journey, how they adapted to their new lives, how they chose their husbands and what happened to them in the end.
Bombers, Rioters and Police Killers
Violent Crime and Disorder in Victorian Britain
Simon Webb examines a dark aspect of life in Victorian Britain which is less well-known than the poisoners and serial killers: rioting and disorder, mob violence and terrorism. Among the topics covered are the Clerkenwell Outrage, when explosives detonated in the street killed 15 people and injured 120; the West End riots on Black Monday and Bloody Sunday; and the Aldersgate Underground bombing in 1897.