Institute of Historical Research

Ewan Gibbs
February 15, 2021

The flooding and subsequent closure of Scotland’s last deep coal mine in 2002 brought a centuries long saga to an end. Villages and towns across the densely populated Central Belt owe their existence to coal mining’s expansion during the nineteenth century and its maturation in the twentieth. Colliery closures and job losses were not just experienced in economic terms: they had profound implications for what it meant to be a worker, a Scot and a resident of an industrial settlement. Coal Country presents the first book-length account of deindustrialization in the Scottish coalfields. It draws on archival research using records from UK government, the nationalized coal industry and trade unions, as well as the...

Sarah Goldsmith
November 30, 2020

The Grand Tour was a journey to continental Europe undertaken by British nobility and wealthy landed gentry during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. As a rite of passage, the Tour also played an important role in the formation of contemporary notions of elite masculinity.

Examining letters, diaries and other records left by Grand Tourists, tutors and their families, this book demonstrates how the Tour was used to educate elite young men in a wide variety of skills, virtues and masculine behaviours that extended well beyond polite society. Sarah Goldsmith argues that dangerous experiences, in particular, were far more central to the Tour as a means of constructing Britain’s next generation of leaders than has...

Pamela J. Fisher
October 23, 2020

Ibstock is a large village 15 miles north-west of Leicester and the subject of the third VCH Short from Leicestershire. Neighbouring place-names indicate that the parish was once fringed by heathland to its north and west, while Ibstock’s own place-name references an early dairy farm on this land. Garendon Abbey, near Loughborough, received gifts in the 12th century totalling over 500 a. in Ibstock, and created a large sheep farm on their enclosed estate.

Framework-knitting had become important by 1811, when trade and manufacture employed almost as many families in the parish as agriculture. Ibstock’s character changed more dramatically in the later 19th century, when the coal deposits which lay beneath Ibstock’s...

Matthew Kerry
September 30, 2020

In October 1934 the northern Spanish region of Asturias was the scene of the most important outburst of revolution in Europe between the early 1920s and the Spanish Civil War. Thousands of left-wing militants took up arms and fought the Spanish army in the streets of Oviedo while in the rear-guard committees proclaimed a revolutionary dawn. After two weeks, however, the insurrection was crushed and the widespread repression was central to the polarization and fragmentation of Spanish politics prior to the Civil War (1936-9).

Weaving together a range of everyday disputes and arenas of conflict, from tenant activism to strikes, boycotts to political violence, Unite, Proletarian Brothers! reveals how local cleavages...

Edited by Antonia Fitzpatrick and John Sabapathy
July 31, 2020

This volume explores the relationship between individuals and institutions in scholastic thought and practice across the twelfth and fifteenth centuries, setting an agenda for future debates. Written by leading European experts from numerous fields, this theoretically sophisticated collection analyses a wide range of intellectual practices and disciplines. Avoiding narrow approaches to scholasticism, the book addresses ethics, history, heresy, law, inquisition, metaphysics, pastoral care, poetry, religious orders, saints’ cults and theology. A substantial introduction establishes an accessible historiographical context for the volume’s agenda, and a final afterword examines implications for future research.

The history of...

James P. Bowen and Alex Craven and with Jonathan Comber
July 17, 2020

Colwall lies on the western slopes of the Malvern Hills, near the market town of Ledbury. The large village comprises Colwall Stone, Upper Colwall and Colwall Green. On the Herefordshire Beacon, in the south-eastern corner of the parish, is the Iron Age ‘British Camp’. At the time of Domesday Book the bishop of Hereford’s manor covered the whole parish, but shortly afterwards Barton Colwall manor was created to endow a prebend in the cathedral. Between the 15th and 17th centuries resident gentry established themselves on other estates, which came to characterise the pattern of landownership.

Until the 19th century Colwall’s economy was predominantly agricultural, including cultivation of orchards and hops. From the...

Edited by David Bates, Jennifer Wallis, and Jane Winters
July 17, 2020

The Creighton Century, 1907–2007 offers a selection of ten lectures from the first 100 years of the University of London’s prestigious Creighton Lecture series. Each of the chosen lectures, delivered between 1913 and 2004, is introduced and set in context by a historian of the modern-day University. The collection also includes, and is introduced by, Robert Evans’s 2007 centenary lecture, ‘The Creighton century: British historians and Europe, 1907–2007’.

This volume provides a fascinating insight into the development of the discipline of history over the twentieth and early twenty-first century, revealing some significant changes in approach and emphasis as well as some surprising continuities. The Creighton...

Edited by Miri Rubin
July 3, 2020
European Religious Cultures is a set of stimulating essays first written as offerings for Christopher Brooke on his eightieth birthday. They are now gathered for the enjoyment of all those interested in the history of religious cultures. They address a variety of practices in religious life -- among them pilgrimage and the urban cult of saints, the monastic performance of liturgy, the choice to enter the priesthood -- and situate them within the life-cycles and social relations of medieval Europeans. The authors have been inspired by Christopher Brooke's own interests over a long and fruitful career.

First published in 2008, European Religious Cultures is now reissued as an Open Access edition with a...
Christopher Phillips
April 30, 2020

The war of 1914–18 was the first great conflict to be fought between highly industrial societies able to manufacture and transport immense quantities of goods to the field of battle. In Civilian Specialists at War, Christopher Phillips examines the manner in which Britain’s industrial society influenced the character and conduct of industrial warfare. This book analyses the multiple connections between the military, the government and the senior executives of some of pre-war Britain’s largest companies. It illustrates the British army’s evolving response to the First World War and the role to be played by non-military expertise in the prosecution of such a conflict.

This study demonstrates that pre-existing professional...

Sam Manning
March 31, 2020

Cinema-going was the most popular commercial leisure activity in the first half of the twentieth century, peaking in 1946 with 1.6 billion recorded admissions. Though ‘going to the pictures’ remained a popular pastime, the transition to peacetime altered citizens’ leisure habits. During the 1950s increased affluence, the growth of television ownership and the diversification of leisure led to rapid declines in attendance. Cinema attendances fell in all regions, but the speed, nature and extent of decline varied widely across the United Kingdom.

By linking national developments to detailed case studies of Belfast and Sheffield, this book adds nuance to our understanding of regional variations in film exhibition, audience habits and...

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