A new book in one’s specialist area, in this case the historical and cultural study of popular song, is a reason for both excitement and anticipation. Excitement because one wonders what new insights the work will disclose, what new sources will be revealed and in what ways the area of study will be moved forward.
The title of Susan Whyman’s The Pen and the People: English Letter Writers 1660-1800 suggests two potentialities at once: The Pen and the People indicates a comprehensive study of popular letters and letter-writing practices during the long 18th century (1660–1800); yet the subtitle, English Letter Writers, implies focused and discrete analyses of specific letter
Celebrity is becoming a hot topic for academics of all kinds, witnessed by the launch of the journal Celebrity Studies earlier this year.
In 1886 the Glasgow Prayer Union (GPU) remembered in their customary prayers a woman across whom one of its ‘ladies’ had come. She had been ‘found lying very drunk near Cattle Market with young infant’. Concerned for the infant’s life, the unnamed philanthropist (not a word Smitley uses) takes the child to the nearby police station, ‘where the woman was also taken’ (p. 44).
If the debut of the Illustrated London News (ILN) in May 1842 signalled ‘a revolution in journalism and news reporting’, as the introduction to this remarkable on-line collection contends, there can be little doubt that an equally revolutionary transformation has occurred over the c
There is a long-standing tradition of joint-authored works that seek to understand the economics of British imperialism from the perspective of its underlying cultural assumptions and practices.
The centrality of Punch to the study of Victorian politics and culture is well-established.
Tudor scholars and enthusiasts alike marked a significant anniversary on 21 April 2009: the quincentenary of Henry VIII’s accession to the English throne.(1) While this historical milestone highlights Henry VIII’s seemingly unassailable position in England’s national consciousness and its romantic imagination, it also marked the conclusion of an equally important – but
The term ‘early modern’ was introduced into mainstream historical analysis during the 1940s as a catch-all description for the changes that had occurred between the 16th and 18th centuries.
Bernard Capp has made an outstanding contribution to the social and cultural history of early modern England. This volume of 13 essays, by leading scholars Capp has inspired, is a fitting tribute. It is, at one level, a cabinet of curiosities, with studies of jokes, memories, miracles, insults, fairies, witches and bodily functions, each enticingly strange.