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In 1979 Pete Wrong of the art collective and Punk band Crass was being interviewed by New Society about his graffiti operation on the London Underground: ‘We don’t just rip the posters down or spray them. We use stencils, neatly, to qualify them.
The age of lesbian and gay, in which those were the dominant terms for homoeroticism and other things that seemed (sometimes arbitrarily) to be related to it, appears to be over.
Towards the end of this fascinating study, Heather Shore reflects on the difficulty of ‘trying to uncover or reconstruct something that does not exist in a concrete form’ (p. 192). For Shore, the ‘underworld’ is a ‘cipher’, through which the press, the police, the government, and the wider society represents, and tries to understand, crime as a social problem.
This formidable and scholarly volume, a major contribution to urban, social and cultural history, is first and foremost a tribute to one of its co-authors, Charles McKean, the distinguished architectural historian, who sadly died when the book was being written.
What a great idea! The only wonder is why no publishing house thought of commissioning a book on the topic before. The reader’s delight starts straight from looking at the cover illustration – a ‘translation’ of Harry Beck’s celebrated London Tube Map, in which Waterloo Station becomes Gare de Napoléon.
Cultural conflict, religious reform, social change and commercial growth all simultaneously proliferated in early modern England, a development that has inspired more than a century of heated scholarly debate.
Jonathan Jeffrey Wright’s The ‘Natural Leaders’ and their World is an important contribution to the history of Belfast as well as to the broader subjects of Ulster liberalism and Presbyterianism.
Bordered by Oxford Street to the North, Regent Street to the West, Charing Cross Road to the East and Leicester Square to the South, the area of Soho can be depicted as an exotic island within the oceanic sprawl of London.
Britain’s role in the refugee crisis created by the rise of fascism has been examined from many angles, and not always critically. Early works did little more than extol British humanitarianism and celebrate refugee successes.
Over the past generation of scholarship, the history of consumption and material culture has emerged as a rich subfield of European history.