At least until recently, the explosion in study of the history of mental illness has not been mirrored in comparable studies of the history of developmental disability. In the last few years, that has begun to change, with the publications of major works by Mathew Thomson,(1) David Wright,(2) and this work by Mark Jackson.
Birthing the Nation represents history of medicine at its most inclusive. Born itself from the author's doctoral work on the history of midwifery, this book is an insightful and hard-hitting examination of how men-midwives and questions of reproduction more generally intersected with national identities and scientific knowledge.
The literature on the role of the French as ‘other’ in the formation of a British national identity in the eighteenth century is probably not as rich as many readers might think.(1) Indeed, the literature on French Anglophobia seems a little more sustained.(2) Semmel’s work, which looks at the impact of Napoleon on British politi
While reading Michael Fisher's new book, Counterflows to Colonialism: Indian Travellers and Settlers in Britain, 1600–1857, which details the diverse experiences of South Asians in Britain, I often found myself reminded of Tayeb Salih's 1969 novel Season of Migration to the North.(1) Th
How much can old newspapers tell us about what people thought in the past? Did the press reflect shared national perspectives on particular issues, and widely held beliefs and prejudices about other peoples, cultures and countries? How far did it act either to embody or to shape 'public opinion', and thus influence the formation of political positions and government policies?
This Fintan Lane and Donal Ó Drisceoil edited work is a welcome addition to the existing historiography. It concerns the Irish working class and politics over the course of a century. As the introduction points out, the attention of historians has not been directed towards Irish labour to the extent seen in other western European countries.
The standard of pastoral care provided by the 18th-century Church of England received a notoriously bad press both from its contemporary Evangelical critics and from its Victorian successor.
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.
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.
Mark Hampton sets out to analyse 'the way in which British elites conceptualized the press between 1850 and 1950', examining the debates that helped to lead the British press to the point where 'informing readers and toppling governments, and never in boring fashion, could appear as the appropriate function of journalism'.