Recent Submissions

  • Japan 1868-1945: From Isolation to Occupation

    Benson, John; Matsumura, Takao (London: Longman/Pearson, 2001)
    The history of Imperial Japan, from the Meiji Restoration through to defeat and occupation at the end of the Second World War, is central to any understanding of the way in which modern Japan has developed and will continue to develop in the future. This wide-ranging accessible and up-to-date interpretation of Japanese history between 1868 and 1945 provides both a narrative and analysis. Describing the major changes that took place in Japanese political, economic and social life during this period, it challenges widely-held views about the uniqueness of Japanese history and the homogeneity of Japanese society. (Longman)
  • We must stand by our own bairns: ILP men and suffrage militancy, 1905-1914

    Ugolini, Laura (Maney Publishing, 2002)
    The Independent Labour Party (ILP) has long enjoyed a reputation as the pre-First World War political party most sympathetic both to feminism in general, and to the suffrage movement in particular. Indeed, it is only recently that such a reputation has been placed under scrutiny. Ironically, considering the amount of attention devoted to it by Edwardian ILPers, the party's relationship with suffrage militancy is also an area that has as yet received little close attention, and it is on this relationship that the present article focuses. More specifically, this article concentrates on male ILP members, in order to shed light both on their attitudes towards women's role in society and in politics, and on their own identities as socialists and as men, providing an important insight into male ILPer's gendered politics. Suffrage militancy's role in jolting ILP men out of a purely formal advocacy of suffrage, forcing them to question the nature of their socialist beliefs and the place of women's enfranchisement in their practical programme, is explored. Further, the article considers how ideas about women's role in politics had to be re-thought as militancy developed and changed in the decade before the outbreak of the First World War. It questions how far ILP men were able to adapt their ideas of 'political womanhood' to accommodate women who not only made an uncompromising entrance into the political arena, but also undertook both illegal and violent activities. Underlying the whole discussion, finally, is the question of how far the suffrage movement in general and militancy in particular forced ILP men to re-think their own masculine identities, and to make changes to their own personal relationships with women. And perhaps more fundamentally, the article questions how far notions of socialist manliness based on chivalrousness and protectiveness towards women were modified, in the light of militants' growing determination to do without male protection and patronage. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR] (Ebsco)
  • Men, masculinities and menswear advertising, c.1890-1914

    Ugolini, Laura (London: I. B. Tauris & Co. Ltd., 2002)
    "A Nation of Shopkeepers" reflects research on retail history and cultures of consumption. The contributors challenge existing ideas about retail development, showing how, for example, large-scale retailers played a far lesser role in the development of the modern city that is generally thought, and how the success of department stores was determined less by "entrepreneurial" spirit and more by the unforseen consequences of legislation. With the growing interest in cultures of consumption, this book should be useful to specialists and students in retail history, human geography and social and cultural history. (I.B. Taurus publishers)
  • A Nation of Shopkeepers: Retailing in Britain 1550-2000

    Benson, John; Ugolini, Laura (London: I. B. Tauris & Co. Ltd., 2002)
    "A Nation of Shopkeepers" reflects research on retail history and cultures of consumption. The contributors challenge existing ideas about retail development, showing how, for example, large-scale retailers played a far lesser role in the development of the modern city that is generally thought, and how the success of department stores was determined less by "entrepreneurial" spirit and more by the unforseen consequences of legislation. With the growing interest in cultures of consumption, this book should be useful to specialists and students in retail history, human geography and social and cultural history. (I.B. Taurus publishers)
  • Men and Menswear: Sartorial Consumption in Britain, 1880 -1939

    Ugolini, Laura (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2007)
    Despite increasing academic interest in both the study of masculinity and the history of consumption, there are still few published studies that bring together both concerns. By investigating the changing nature of the retailing of menswear, this book illuminates wider aspects of masculine identity as well as patterns of male consumption between the years 1880 and 1939. While previous historical studies of masculinity have focused overwhelmingly on the moral, spiritual and physical characteristics associated with notions of 'manliness', this book considers the relationship between men and activities which were widely considered to be at least potentially 'unmanly' – selling, as well as buying clothes – thus shedding new light on men's lives and identities in this period. Contents: General editor's preface; Introduction; Part I Consuming Menswear: Identities, 1880–1939; Non-conformity, 1880–1939; Menswear and war,1914–1918; The democratisation of menswear? 1919–1939. Part II Selling Menswear: Tailoring and manliness, 1880–1914; Menswear retailing and war, 1914–1920; The struggle for survival, 1920–1939. Part III Buying Menswear: Shopping decisions, 1880–1939; Making a purchase, 1880–1939. (Ashgate)
  • Ready-to-wear or Made-to-measure? Consumer Choice in the British Menswear Trade, 1900–1939

    Ugolini, Laura (London: Maney Publishing, 2003)
    This article explores British men's attitudes towards the purchase of a particular commodity — the suit — in order to shed some light on the nature of male consumer demand in the four decades before the outbreak of the Second World War. The focus is on men's motives for choosing between a ready-to-wear and a made-to-measure suit. Financial considerations aside, the article suggests that interested and well-informed male consumers generally preferred to buy bespoke suits : while usually more expensive than their ready-made counterparts, these were also perceived to be better quality, better looking, and better value, and therefore most likely to enhance the wearer's sense of self-worth as a manly, discerning and successful consumer. (Ingenta)
  • 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)
  • 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)
  • 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)
  • 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)
  • Perceptions of Retailing in Early Modern England

    Cox, Nancy; Dannehl, Karin (Aldershot: Ashgate Publishing, 2007)
    Whilst there has been much recent scholarly work on retailing during the early modern period, less is known about how people at the time perceived retailing, both as onlookers, artists and commentators, and as participants. Centred on the general theme of perceptions, the authors address this gap in our knowledge by looking at a different aspect of consumption. They focus on two ancillary themes: the first is location and how contemporaries perceived the settlements in which there were shops; the other is distance. Pictures, prints, novels, diaries and promotional literature of the tradespeople themselves provide much of the evidence. Many of these sources are not new to historians, but they have not been scrutinized and analysed with the questions in mind that are posed here. The methodology to be employed has been developed by Nancy Cox over the last decade, and is used successfully in her book The Complete Tradesman and in the compilation of the forthcoming Dictionary of Traded Goods and Commodities 1550–1800. This book will find a ready market with scholars concerned with British social and economic history in the early modern period. Although it is first and foremost a book written by historians for historians, it nevertheless borrows concepts and approaches from various disciplines concerned with theories of consumption, material culture and representational art. (Ashgate Publishing)
  • 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.
  • Two Kinds of Reform: Left Leadership in the British National Union of Mineworkers and the United Mineworkers of America, 1982-1990

    Gildart, Keith (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2006)
    Explores the efforts of two left labor leaders, Arthur Scargill of the British National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) and Richard Trumka of the United Mineworkers of America (UMWA), to address the crisis of deindustrialization in 1980s. Role of leadership in determining industrial and political outcomes; Impact of the development of alternative sources of energy on British and U.S. coalfields; Background on the development of the UMWA and the NUM. (EBSCO)
  • The Miners' Lockout in 1926 in the Cumberland Coalfield

    Gildart, Keith (Maney Publishing, 2007)
  • North Wales Miners: A Fragile Unity, 1945-1996

    Gildart, Keith (Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 2002)
    Keith Gildart concentrates on the period between the nationalization of the coal industry in 1947 and its privatization in 1994 and, through a detailed study of groups, individuals and communities, demonstrates the complex nature of work and politics during a period of momentous change in British coalfield history. He pays particular attention to the politics of the National Union of Mineworkers, the role of the Labour Party, and the impact of pit closures on miners and their localities. North Wales Miners combines oral history and archival sources to provide a ground-breaking account of social, political and industrial change in post-war Wales. Contents: The Golden Age of Labourism, 1945-1963; Miners, Labour and pit closures, 1964-1971; The Politics of Coal, 1972-1982; The Fragmentation of Unity, 1983-1988; The End of an era, 1989-1996. (University of Wales Press)
  • Cooperation and Conflict: Episodes from the North Wales Coalfield, 1925-35

    Gildart, Keith (Keele University: Centre for Industrial Relations, 2001)
  • Affluence and Authority: A Social History of Twentieth-Century Britain

    Benson, John (Hodder Arnold, 2005)
    The turn of the millennium generated a spate of reflections on the state of the nation and the ways in which life in Britain had changed during the course of the twentieth century. Affluence and Authority contributes to this debate by providing a wide-ranging, well-informed and accessible interpretation of British social history during a hundred years of profound, and almost certainly unprecedented, economic, political, cultural, demographic and ideological change. This book lays particular emphasis upon material conditions in accounting for the underlying stability of society during the course of this turbulent and troubled century. It argues that despite the fact that many groups shared only haltingly and uncertainly in the benefits of economic growth, it is the long-term improvement in the standard of living that provides the single most important key to understanding the social history of twentieth-century Britain. The balance between economic and social developments is analysed thoroughly. Indeed, one of this book's central purposes is to challenge the view that economic gains were undermined by social losses, that the British people failed to respond as constructively as they should to the economic improvements they enjoyed. John Benson's thought provoking study also suggests that social class should be set alongside categories such as age, gender and ethnicity when attempting to analyse the ways in which British social history developed during the course of the twentieth century.
  • 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.