• Ideals, Reality and Meaning: Homemaking in England in the First Half of the Nineteenth Century

      Ponsonby, Margaret (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003)
      Advice books in the first half of the nineteenth century offered homemakers instructions for creating the ideal home. The problem for the design historian is to ascertain with what results the homemaker mediated these instructions. This article suggests using lists of house contents, which survive in a variety of forms, and adopting a qualitative approach to their analysis. Evidence for a number of middle-class homes is used to explore the variations. The symbolic value of individual objects and their role within the material culture of the home is examined - in particular, the use of textiles to articulate the practical and symbolic functions of living rooms. Although all the examples followed the general tendencies of the period as described in advice books, they also showed distinct differences according to social status,age. sex and occupation. A qualitative approach to the evedence permits exploration of the differences between homes and the possible social and cultural meaning that they conveyed. (Oxford University Press)
    • Public Policy and Normative Language: Utility, Community and Nation in the Debate over the Construction of Tryweryn Reservoir

      Cunningham, Mike (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007)
      The flooding of the community of Capel Celyn in North Wales to create a reservoir in the early 1960s to provide water for Liverpool provoked much opposition in Wales and among Welsh representatives. This article examines the competing normative language, including the concepts utility, community and nation, which was used to justify and to attack the policy. In conclusion, it is argued that the policy can be held to have been unjust because of the inadequacy of Welsh representative institutions and the lack of recognition of the Welsh language in this period.
    • The internment of Cahir Healy MP, Brixton Prison 1941-42

      Norton, Christopher (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007)
      The arrest and internment in Brixton prison of the leading Northern Ireland nationalist politician and Stormont MP, Cahir Healy, in 1941 has long remained something of an historical enigma. Contemporaneous accounts that his arrest amounted to little more than an unwarranted act of anti-nationalist persecution or was the result of his alleged involvement in ‘acts prejudicial’ during time of war both benefited from the blanket of secrecy that surrounded the case. This article casts light on this affair. It offers an insight into the strategic considerations of Northern nationalist politicians at a time when British victory in the war was uncertain. It argues that some senior nationalist activists, including Healy, did envisage a situation in which British defeat and German victory could bring closer the prospect of Irish unity, did contemplate a policy of cooperation with Germany and did take steps to make this known to the German Legation in Dublin. The article also examines Healy's relationship with fellow internees in Brixton prison and his continued post-war association with figures on the British far-right, particularly Sir Oswald Mosley. (Oxford University Press)