• Baudelaire, Degeneration Theory, and Literary Criticism in Fin de siècle Spain

      Hambrook, Glyn (Modern Humanities Research Association, 2006)
      This article seeks, through an analysis of the response of `psychologist critics' inspired by degeneration theory to the work of Charles Baudelaire in fin de siècle Spain, to determine the originality of the application of this theory to literary history and criticism of the Fin de siècle; to argue that this period of literary history cannot be studied meaningfully other than by reference to an international context; and to challenge the assumption that cultures considered at that time and subsequently to be peripheral were indeed cultural backwaters unreceptive to the literary developments of the day. (Ingenta)
    • Clad in Iron: The American Civil War and the Challenge of British Naval Power

      Fuller, Howard (Praeger Publishers Inc., 2007)
      This work addresses many persistent misconceptions of what the monitors were for, and why they failed in other roles associated with naval operations of the Civil War (such as the repulse at Charleston, April 7, 1863). Monitors were 'ironclads'- not fort-killers. Their ultimate success is to be measured not in terms of spearheading attacks on fortified Southern ports but in the quieter, much more profound, strategic deterrence of Lord Palmerston's ministry in London, and the British Royal Navy's potential intervention. During the American Civil War, one of the greatest fears of the Union government was that the United Kingdom might intervene on the side of the Confederacy. This book is a unique study that combines a lively and colourful narrative with a fresh interpretation of the American effort to avoid a naval war with Great Britain. The author chronicles the growth and development of the Union "Ironclads," beginning with U.S.S. Monitor, during the American Civil War.Unlike other similar histories, however, the author does not simply recount the battle actions of these metal monsters. Instead, he crafts a fast-paced narrative that focuses on the military men and government officials who drove the decision-making processes, and outlines the international ramifications of the revolution in naval affairs that took place in the 1860s. He demonstrates that Federal ironclads were not constructed solely in response to their Confederate counterparts, but, even more importantly, to counter the ocean-going iron ships of the Royal Navy. The author places the naval developments of the Civil War within the broader context of Anglo-American relations and the rapidly developing international rivalry between the United States and Britain. The wide reaching implications of the technological advances, and the unprecedented expansion of the U.S. Navy are usually depicted as a sidebar to the main events of the Civil War. This work, however, brings a new perspective to this important yet overlooked aspect of diplomacy during this time.
    • Coalminers, Coalowners and Collaboration: The Miners' Permanent Relief Fund Movement in England, 1860-1895.

      Benson, John (Maney Publishing, 2003)
      British coal-mining history has long been influenced by the classic, conflictual view of industrial relations, according to which the history of the industry is best understood in terms of a courageous trade union leadership inspiring a united workforce in an unending struggle against self-interested and intransigent employers. Accordingly, it is the purpose of the paper to argue that the miners' permanent relief fund movement repays more serious attention than the conventional perspective allows. It will be shown that the movement attracted a large membership, and provided the mining community with a major source of compensation for industrial accidents. It will be suggested that the permanent relief funds owed their success not just to their administrative efficiency but to the collaborationist foundations upon which they were predicated. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]
    • Coalowners, Coalminers and Compulsion: Pit Clubs in England, 1860-80

      Benson, John (Taylor & Francis, 2002)
      It is suggested that, insofar as coalowner stereotyping rests upon the denigration of pit clubs, it stands in need of substantial modification. It is true that many coalowners organised pit clubs for their own purposes, and that the assistance they provided was seriously and sometimes scandalously deficient. However, it is shown that many owners offered their pit clubs significant financial support, and that the clubs provided their members with benefits in a form, and on a scale, which both contributed towards the relief of coalfield suffering and compared well with the assistance provided by the other agencies to which coalminers and their dependants had access.
    • Correction in the Countryside: Convict Labour in Rural Germany 1871-1914

      Constantine, Simon (London: Sage Publications, 2006)
      Over the course of the Empire demand for labour in the countryside and penal reform together created the conditions for a greater deployment of prisoners, workhouse inmates and young offenders in agriculture. Farming on site, and especially leasing offenders, were the most cost-efficient ways of detaining men. Agricultural work was also regarded as key to their rehabilitation. It served to equip inmates upon release for the sector of the economy most in need of workers. ‘Outside work’ away from the institution was also seen as an intermediate stage in the prisoner's sentence before release. Two developments in the charitable sector complemented this correctional strategy: the emergence of a network of workers’ farming colonies which acted as half-way houses for ex-prisoners after release, and ex-offender employment programmes run by prisoner welfare societies, channelling ex-offenders towards agricultural employment. Despite these efforts to reintegrate offenders, re-offending rates remained high. Penal authorities either attributed this to the incorrigibility of some inmates, or pushed for longer sentences. In some cases penal and medical authorities were inclined to re-interpret the criminal behaviour of repeat offenders as behaviour symptomatic of mental illness, and some inmates were transferred to asylums. In the discourse surrounding the failure of reform the argument that the exclusionary and punitive nature of the prison and workhouse régime actually worked against rehabilitation held little sway, nor the argument that high re-offending rates could be attributed to the vagrancy and begging laws which criminalized systemic poverty and homelessness. Absent here was any understanding that the life offered following release, working as ancillary workers or hands on the estates, bore too striking a resemblance to work in agriculture during detention. This in itself was one major reason why many ex-offenders directed into agricultural employment after release refused to stay and work.
    • Dictionary of Traded Goods and Commodities, 1550-1820

      Cox, Nancy; Dannehl, Karin (Wolverhampton: University of Wolverhampton, 2007)
      A dictionary of nearly 4,000 terms found used in documents relating to trade and retail in early modern Britain. It represents part of a larger dataset produced by the Dictionary Project at the University of Wolverhampton. The team of Cox and Dannehl is responsible for the concept, development and delivery of the Dictionary Project, including identification and digitising of sources, recruitment of specialist contributors, writing the majority of the entries, the editing and refinement process, and the formulation and design of the delivery platform.
    • Forming a new concept of home: how consumption of textiles contributed to homemaking between 1760 and 1850

      Ponsonby, Margaret (Middlesex University Press, 2002)
      THIS BOOK: Textiles form the largest group of designed objects available for study, whether as objects in their own rights, as constituents parts of fashion, furniture and interiors, or as industry - the latter embracing production, trade and working environments and experiences. This anthology demonstrates the range of textile studies through eighteen essays that consider the process of designing and making, the makers and manufacturers, the product itself, or how it is sold, used and perceived. Tackling subjects from prehistory to the 1990s, each has been ed to be of particular interest to students and professionals in design, cultural history, fashion and textiles, but also will be of use to anyone who is interested in the study of objects. Set within the context of interdisciplinary techniques in the study of designed objects, the contributors have been drawn from diverse professional backgrounds in both the United Kingdom and the United States. Their experience encompasses the history of textiles and dress, design and economics, museology, social history, psychoanalytical therapy, artchitecture, sociology and textile practice. Divided into four sections, this volume both demonstrates and explores cross-disciplinary research, while enriching and making acccessible the myriad of ways in which textiles - and objects in general - can be interpreted. The editors are the freelance historian, Mary Schoeser, and Dr Christine Boydell, Senior Lecturer in the Department of History of Art and Material Culture, De Montfort University. Published widely, they previously collaborated on the exhibition and publication The Architect of Floors: modernism, art and Marion Dorn designs (1996). (Middlesex University Press)
    • 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)
    • Legal tender, l'égale tendre: Poet-prostitute transactions in European symbolist poetry

      Hambrook, Glyn (British Comparative Literature Association, 2003)
    • Migrant Labour in the German Countryside: Agency and Protest, 1890-1923

      Constantine, Simon (London: Routledge, 2006)
      This article concerns social relations in the estate villages of northern Germany between 1890 and 1923. It focuses primarily on the strategies adopted by seasonal labourers from Russian Poland in their relations with estate managements. Using police and union reports, and the letters and accounts of the migrants themselves, it argues that seasonal workers cannot simply be viewed as exploited, passive victims of this phase of agricultural modernization. This is evident, above all, in the practice of job-switching, which, although criminalized, was a widespread phenomenon both before 1914 and during the war, when the Poles were kept back as forced labour. Escaping estates to which they had been contracted, many workers outsmarted the system of registration by carrying multiple sets of identity papers. But such `contract breaking' was also greatly facilitated by the endemic shortage of labour in the countryside; there were always some owners prepared to hire illegal fugitives. Examining the post-war years, the article also argues for a more nuanced understanding of relations between foreign and local workers. While most contemporary and historical accounts concentrate on social distance and mutual hostility between Germans and Poles, evidence from a number of different villages in the Mecklenburgs indicate that amicable relations and mutual cooperation were not uncommon.
    • National and International Trade and the Midlands Economy

      Wanklyn, Malcolm (Manchester University Press - Melland Schill Studies, 2005)
      This book: In recent years, traditional interpretations of the processes of industrialisation in Britain have been superceded by a more subtle, macro-economic, gradualist understanding of industrialisation. In particular, commentators have now come to consider the importance of geography and the notion that historical change occurs in space as well as time. Concentrating on the Midlands, this book, drawing on a wealth of original research by an eminent collection of scholars, seeks to develop a fresh understanding of the complex range of urban industrial activity taking place in England during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Focusing on the concomitant urbanisation, it explains how regional urban systems both shaped and responded to processes of industrialisation and how urban systems influenced growth and raised the potential for development in particular locales. (Manchester University Press)
    • New Wars, New Press, New Country? The British Army, the Expansion of the Empire and the Mass Media 1870-1918

      Badsey, Stephen; Beckett, Ian F. (The Society for Army Historical Research, 2007)
    • Social Relations in the Estate Villages of Mecklenburg c.1880-1924

      Constantine, Simon (Aldershot: Ashgate Publishing, 2008)
      Research on late nineteenth and early twentieth century German society has concentrated overwhelmingly on life in the cities. By contrast, and despite the fact that almost one third of Germans were still working in agriculture as late as 1914, Germany's rural society remains relatively unexplored. Although historians have begun to correct this imbalance, very few full-length studies of social relations east of the Elba in this period have been published. This book concentrates on social relations in the 1,500 estate villages (Gutsdörfer) of Mecklenburg-Schwerin and Mecklenburg-Strelitz. 'Social relations' include the chains of command and obedience, the relative legal positions of owner and workers, contractual-relations, economic relations; the mutual economic dependency of estate owners and workforce, as well as the value systems of owners and labourers which informed these relationships. With its focus on both rural elites and workers, this study differs from much other work on rural Germany. For while a number of historians have examined the rural elites, few have chosen to investigate the lower strata of rural society. This book makes use of overlooked autobiographical accounts, statements given by workers at labour exchanges and before military authorities, as well as confiscated letters, jokes and anecdotes to provide greater insight into the perspective of rural workers. (Ashgate Publishing)
    • Stories from Home: English Domestic Interiors, 1750-1850

      Ponsonby, Margaret (Aldershot: Ashgate Publishing, 2006)
      Most homes in the past were not elite, wealthy interiors complete with high fashion furnishings, designed by well-known architects and designers, as many domestic histories often seem to have assumed. As this book makes clear, there were in fact an enormous variety of house interiors in England during the period 1750–1850, reflecting the location, status and gender of particular householders, as well as their changing attitudes, tastes and aspirations. By focusing on non-metropolitan homes, which represented the majority of households in England, this study highlights the need for historians to look beyond prevailing attitudes that often reduce interiors to generic descriptions based on high fashions of the decorative arts. Instead it shows how numerous social and cultural influences affected the manner in which homes were furnished and decorated. Issues such as the availability of goods, gender, regional taste, income, the second-hand market, changing notions of privacy and household hierarchies and print culture, could all have a significant impact on domestic furnishing. The study ends with a discussion of how domestic interiors of historic properties have been presented and displayed in modern times, highlighting how competing notions of the past can cloud as well as illuminate the issue. Combining cultural history and qualitative analysis of evidence, this book presents a new way of looking at 'ordinary' and 'provincial' homes that enriches our understanding of English domestic life of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. (Ashgate Publishing)
    • The Franco-Prussian War 1870–1871

      Badsey, Stephen (Osprey Publishing, 2003)
      The Franco-Prussian War broke out in 1870 when Bismarck engineered a war with the French Second Empire under Napoleon III. This was part of his wider political strategy of uniting Prussia with the southern German states, excluding Austria. The war was an overwhelming Prussian victory, and King Wilhelm I was proclaimed Emperor of the new united Germany. The Second Empire collapsed and Napoleon III became an exile in Britain. In the peace settlement with the French Third Republic in 1871 Germany gained the eastern French provinces of Alsace and Lorraine, areas that were to provide a bone of contention for years to come.
    • Towards an Interpretation of Textiles in the Provincial Domestic Interior: Three Homes in the West Midlands, 1780-1848

      Ponsonby, Margaret (Maney Publishing, 2007)
      This article explores the role of textiles in the home in the later eighteenth to the mid-nineteenth centuries. The methodology adopted is a response to the difficulties of researching homes in this period when probate inventories had largely ceased to be made. Instead of using quantitative analysis, this essay focuses on three case studies of homes where detailed lists allow speculation on the uses of furnishing textiles in these homes. Three themes are identified: conspicuous consumption, domestic ideology and the possible meanings of stored textiles. These themes are explored using recent cultural theories to provide a framework for analysis. (Ingenta)