In Ocean Under Steam Frances Steel explores the impact of the 19th-century sea transport revolution in one of the extremities of the British Empire, the South Pacific Ocean. Published as part of the Manchester University Press ‘Studies in Imperialism’ series, under the general editorship of John MacKenzie, this is a self-consciously ‘de-centred’ imperial history.
Red Brethren: The Brothertown and Stockbridge Indians and the Problem of Race in Early America / David Silverman
David J. Silverman has written a very accessible and compelling book on a little-known subject which sheds much light on race issues in early America. Most readers will probably never have heard of the Brothertown and Stockbridge Indians, two communities which encompassed various Native American tribes and embraced Christianity in the 18th century.
Sovereignty and Social Reform in India: British Colonialism and the Campaign Against Sati, 1830–60 / Andrea Major
The subject of sati – more commonly known to Anglophone readers as ‘suttee’, a term which was used by 18th- and 19th-century writers to signify the self-immolation of Hindu widows on the funeral pyres of their husbands (1) – has long been of interest to historians.
Michel Foucault famously asserted that sexual identity was a modern invention, remarking, ‘The sodomite had been a temporary aberration; the homosexual was now a species’.(1) For Foucault, the vocabulary and specificity of modern sexual identity were largely formulated under the impetus of 19th-century sexology.
The liberal enlightenment idea of progress has promised many benefits over the past 300 years. Liberal progress, we have been told, would provide cures for diseases, remedies for ignorance, alternatives to superstition, and antidotes to poverty. Nothing however has raised higher expectations than liberalism’s claim that it could put an end to war.
The Gordon Riots: Politics, Culture and Insurrection in Late Eighteenth-Century Britain / eds. Ian Haywood, John Seed
For one momentous week, London was convulsed with the most tumultuous series of riots, disorder and arson that its inhabitants had ever experienced. This volume of essays on the Gordon Riots of June 1780 is undoubtedly timely, published in the same month as the report commissioned by the government into the riots that afflicted London and other cities in August 2011.
Child of the Enlightenment: Revolutionary Europe Reflected in a Boyhood Diary / Arianne Baggerman, Rudolf Dekker
Child of the Enlightenment is a captivating book: charming, moving, and richly informative, it melds the intimate and distant, weaving together bodies, emotions and minds, Enlightenment ideas and philosophy, and revolutionary politics.
‘I wish I knew a history was a history,’ remarks Gertrude Stein in A Geographical History of America.
The Americanization of the British Press, 1830s-1914: Speed in the Age of Transatlantic Journalism / Joel H. Wiener
This impressive book brings together two strands of media history to create a new narrative, attempting to explain how and why newspaper journalism in Britain and the United States was transformed between the 1830s and the first decades of the 20th century, establishing the popular style of journalism we know today.
Rosalind Crone’s Violent Victorians is the kind of book that should be on every undergraduate reading list for 19th-century studies.