Since the 1960s, popular leisure has been studied by successive generations of British social historians. Questions of class, of culture and of identity have been central to the development of this literature. Celebrations of distinctively plebeian customs have contended with pessimistic analyses of mass culture as a form of social control.
Anyone who has been researching or simply been interested in female monasticism in medieval England must have noticed a frustrating scarcity of primary sources which has resulted result in relatively meagre secondary literature. Paradoxically, we know more about the spiritual life of medieval nuns than we know about more mundane areas of their life.
Eighteenth-century motherhood is a subject often neglected by historians. Literary scholars have contributed fascinating commentaries on the development of ideals of motherhood and their deployment in empire and state-building narratives and class formation.
That the history of sexuality has come of age is clear. The most recent Journal of the History of Sexuality is a self-reflexive special issue on 'Theory, Methods, Praxis'.
In Georgian England, 'manly independence' was the most important qualification for political virtue and thus for electoral citizenship. Connoting a particularly English libertarianism, this 'independence' infused a man's political, social and gendered being, and manifested itself in sincere and straightforward forms of bodily presentation and behaviour.
Studies of the National Portrait Gallery have analysed its history as an institution, as an architectural space, or as instrumental in the development of portraiture (1).
This study connects the experience of domestic abuse to the historical development of family life from the Restoration until the passage of the Divorce Act 1857.
The introduction to this collection of twelve essays promises a taste of the 'sophisticated interdisciplinarity of recent work on material culture', a promise on which the volume certainly delivers.
Pacifists, Patriots and the Vote offers fresh and insightful answers to questions about the British women's movement during the Great War that Jo Vellacott was instrumental in reopening exactly thirty years ago.
In the introductory chapter to her engaging book, Ruth Watts remarks on the 'dissonance' between women and science and the seeming paucity of scholarly literature on the subject. Upon deeper investigation, however, Watts soon discovers that she is mistaken.