A History of the French in London: Liberty, Equality, Opportunity / eds. Martyn Cornick, Debra Kelly
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.
A History of the Paper Pattern Industry: The Home Dressmaking Fashion Revolution / Joy Spanabel Emery
Tucked away in museums displaying and storing collections of dress and textiles there is often a subsidiary but significant collection of printed ephemera. This might encompass bills, trade cards, paper carrier bags, fashion plates and dressmaking patterns.
Terence Brown’s history of the Irish Times is one of a number of similar texts published recently which indicates an upsurge of interest in the Irish media landscape – Kevin Rafter’s Irish Journalism Before Independence (1), Ann Andrews’ Newspapers and Newsmakers (2) and Mark O’Brien and Felix Larkin’s edited collect
With the SNP decimation of all other parties in Scotland, in the 2015 General Election, Irene Morra’s engaging study of popular music and Britishness is perhaps more poignant than she might have originally anticipated!
Few cultural commentators would feel brave enough to identify a particular month and year when human character underwent a significant transformation- the novelist Virginia Woolf had no such reservations. According to her, December 1910 marked one of these distinctive turning points.
Popular newspapers in Britain are commonly criticised for providing unsophisticated, distasteful and intrusive journalism, driven by an aggressive pursuit of exclusives and an unscrupulous desire for profit.
Thomas Dixon’s Weeping Britannia is a tour through six centuries of British tears, from ‘extreme weeper’ Margery Kempe to the televised ‘sob-fests’ of Britain’s Got Talent and The X Factor, via tear-stained judges, the emotionally extravagant novel of sensibility, supposedly stiff-upper-lipped politicians, and the bemused disdain of dry-eyed journalists observing the
There can be few social historians who don't sometimes, somehow, have to deal with drinking. Alcohol has featured so centrally in western societies that it must be regarded in many ways as more pivotal than food to social relations, gender identities, domestic life, health and fiscal matters. Drink is far less beneficial of course than food.
Social Opulence and Private Restraint: the Consumer in British Socialist Thought Since 1800 / Noel Thompson
Contemporary punditocracy suggests that the Left has never grasped the joy of shopping, its late 20th–century political katabasis being no clearer indication.
Owen Hatherley’s latest book is a compelling exploration of one way in which the British political establishment and the British public (mis)interpret, (mis)remember, and (fail to) engage with history. The history with which Hatherley is concerned is the Attlee government of 1945–51, set within the wider era described mostly, vaguely, as ‘post-war’.