After two substantial volumes of biography, and numerous shorter and related studies, Richard Shannon has again returned to the life of William Ewart Gladstone. This new work is not apparently intended as a simple distillation of his Gladstone: Peel’s Inheritor (1982) and Gladstone: Heroic Minister (1999).
At the centre of David Worrall’s Theatric Revolution a striking tableau is unveiled. It is around 1800, and we are at a private party in London, attended by leading Whigs including the playwright-politician Sheridan.
The campaign for the ‘People’s Charter’, a democratic movement which thrived in the decade after 1838, was probably the most important mass movement in British history. Chartism captivated contemporaries and has had a magnetic attraction for historians, generating over 100 books and articles in the last decade alone.
In Women in Business, 1700–1850, Nicola Phillips has produced a dense and absorbing study of (British) women in business. In line with contemporary usage she employs a capacious definition of ‘business’ to consider the range, nature, and discursive representations of women’s economic activities.
Having extensively written on radical republicanism in 20th-century Ireland, Richard English approaches the subject of Irish nationalism with expertise.
This examination of economic and urban linkages, networks, and patterns of development in the industrial districts of Northumberland, Durham, and the Middlesbrough district of North Yorkshire, or in the territories surrounding the estuaries of the Tyne, Wear, and Tees, is more convincing as an exercise in ‘maritime-industrial’ history than as an analysi
The nineteenth century saw the coming together of a coherent body of people who regarded themselves as workers, and whose attitudes towards culture and politics followed accordingly. The process is well documented and by no means restricted to Britain. But what was its significance, why did it happen, and what does it tell us about our society today?
James M. Smith’s book, Ireland’s Magdalen Laundries and the Nation’s Architecture of Containment (2007) fills a significant gap in research about the Magdalen laundries and their impact on Irish society. Frances Finnegan’s Do Penance or Perish (2001) has also tackled the subject, but her study is confined to the Good Shepherd asylums that operated in Ireland.
Duncan Bell’s book comes with an intriguing picture on its front cover: Gustave Doré’s famous 1860 depiction of a New Zealander perched on a broken arch of London Bridge sketching the ruins of St Paul’s and its environs. The image, derived from an essay by Thomas Babington Macaulay, captures much of the Victorian premonition and anxiety about empire.
Professor Abrams has written a profound and illuminating study of a relatively-isolated, but not inward-looking, community which has been perceived by outsiders as a quintessentially masculine society and yet which was, at least until the 1960s, very much ‘a woman’s world’.