Modern history

Edited by Heidi Egginton and Zoë Thomas
October 15, 2021

Precarious Professionals uncovers the inequalities and insecurities which lay at the heart of professional life in nineteenth- and twentieth-century Britain. The book challenges conventional categories in the history of work, exploring instead the everyday labour of maintaining a professional identity on the margins of the traditional professions. Situating new historical perspectives on gender at the forefront of their research, the contributors explore how professional cultures could not only define themselves against, but often flourished outside of, the confines of patriarchal codes and structures.

Putting the lives of precarious professionals in dialogue with master narratives in modern...

Edited by Siân Pooley and Jonathan Taylor
September 17, 2021

The history of childhood and welfare in Britain through the eyes of children. Children’s Experiences of Welfare in Modern Britain brings together the latest research as provided by the state, charities and families from 1830 to 1980. Demonstrating how the young were integral to the making, interpretation, delivery and impact of welfare services, the chapters consider a wide range of investments in young people’s lives, including residential institutions, emigration schemes, hospitals and clinics, schools, social housing and familial care. Drawing upon thousands of personal testimonies, including a wealth of writing by children themselves, the book shows that we can only understand the history and impact of welfare if we listen to...

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...

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...

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...

Edward Owens
October 15, 2019

The Family Firm presents the first major historical analysis of the transformation of the royal household’s public relations strategy in the period 1932-1953. Beginning with King George V’s first Christmas broadcast, Buckingham Palace worked with the Church of England and the media to initiate a new phase in the House of Windsor’s approach to publicity.

This book also focuses on audience reception by exploring how British readers, listeners, and viewers made sense of royalty’s new media image. It argues that the monarchy’s deliberate elevation of a more informal and vulnerable family-centred image strengthened the emotional connections that members of the public forged with the royals, and that the tightening of these...

Edited by Courtney J. Campbell, Allegra Giovine, and Jennifer Keating
September 2, 2019

How is emptiness made and what historical purpose does it serve? What cultural, material and natural work goes into maintaining ‘nothingness’? Why have a variety of historical actors, from colonial powers to artists and urban dwellers, sought to construct, control and maintain (physically and discursively) empty space, and by which processes is emptiness discovered, visualised and reimagined?

This volume draws together contributions from authors working on landscapes and rurality, along with national and imperial narratives, from Brazil to Russia and Ireland. It considers the visual, including the art of Edward Hopper and the work of the British Empire Marketing Board, while concluding with a section that examines constructions of...

Senia Pašeta
January 1, 2019
Professor Senia Pašeta argues that our understanding of modern Irish and British politics would be enormously enriched if we recognized two things: that the Irish and British suffrage movements were deeply connected; and that the women’s suffrage movement across the United Kingdom was shaped in fundamental ways by the Irish Question from the late nineteenth century and into the twentieth. In other words, the women’s suffrage movement did not exist in a political vacuum. It interacted with, influenced and was influenced by the other main political questions of the day, and with the main political question of the day - Ireland.
Edited by Andreas Kramer and Ritchie Robertson
December 1, 2018
Historical research has dispelled a number of myths surrounding Word War I: whereas the outbreak of war was greeted by the urban middle classes with frenzied enthusiasm, in working-class areas and smaller towns the mood was more of foreboding. Little attention has so far been paid to those who opposed the war and its underlying culture of militarism, though opposition to war and militarism has a distinguished German pedigree. This volume explores opposition to war and militarism among a range of German-language authors in a period roughly defined by two international bestsellers: Suttner’s 'Die Waffen nieder' (1889) and Remarque’s 'Im Westen nichts Neues' (1928). Major figures (Kraus, Schnitzler, Zweig) have...

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