The Making of the Modern Christmas
What do we mean by a 'traditional' Christmas? Were old Christmases that much better than modern celebrations? This book traces the history of Christmas from pagan mid-winter festivals to its establishment as a Christian feast in the 4th century, through Puritan disapproval and the Victorian revival and refurbishment of old customs to the present day. En route we find The Times in 1912 already lamenting the separation of 'the secular from the sacred part of Christmas'.
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.
Women's Writing in Stuart England: The Mothers' Legacies of
Dorothy Leigh, Elizabeth Joscelin and Elizabeth Richardson
The form in which 17th century women chose to give maternal advice, the 'mother's legacy' reflects the Stuart preoccupation with meditating upon death and the significance with which deathbed blessings or pronouncements were imbued. The three presented here, with introductions and notes, include Elizabeth Joscelin's legacy, written shortly before her death in childbirth and published, with certain changes, by a chaplain in 1624. This edition reproduces Joscelin's own manuscript for the first time.
So Idle a Rogue
The Life and Death of Lord Rochester
Rake, libertine, satirist and poetic genius, John Wilmot, 2nd Earl of Rochester was one of the brightest luminaries at the court of Charles II. A man of extraordinary contradictions, he was notorious for the obscenity of his amorous verses yet also wrote some of the most moving and lyrical love poetry in the language. This biography reveals the truth beneath the brilliant facade of an unhappy, immensely talented man who eventually wanted no part of the world, or himself.