Society

How people group together, organise their rules and systems are all part of what create a society. In this section articles examine the nature of society how it interacts with other themes of culture, power, etc. and how societies have developed and changed over time. The structures of the ancient world are explored as are the complex feudal systems and the varied societies of Empire and modernity.

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  • Churchyards

    Article

    Churchyards (Britain's Heritage series), Roger Bowdler, Amberley Publishing, 2019, 64p, £8-99. ISBN 9781445691114 This book is dedicated to the memory of Frederick Burgess, the author of English Churchyard Memorials (1963), from whom many of us learned to study and understand what we find in churchyards. This carefully developed study by...

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  • Willington and the Mowbrays: After the Peasants Revolt

    Article

    Willington and the Mowbrays: After the Peasants Revolt, Dorothy Jamieson, Bedford Historical Record Society Vol 95, Boydell Press, 2019, 241p, £25-00, ISSN 0067-4826. At one level this scholarly and meticulous study introduces us to the Willington neighbourhood in Bedfordshire. Based on Dorothy Jamieson’s careful transcription of its manorial court rolls,...

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  • Tracing Your Ancestors in Lunatic Asylums: a Guide for Family Historians

    Article

    Tracing Your Ancestors in Lunatic Asylums: a Guide for Family Historians, Michelle Higgs, Pen and Sword, 2019,  196p, £14-99. ISBN 978 1 52674 485 2 My great-great-grandmother Emma Wood’s brother, Theophilus Wood, died in the Warwickshire Lunatic Asylum in 1871. It was his extraordinary fore-name that initially attracted my attention...

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  • My Favourite History Place: Gladstone’s Library at Hawarden

    Article

    When I first visited Gladstone’s residential library in 1977 for a pre-university History degree reading week, I barely knew who Gladstone was. I had just come back from a holiday in Italy and the contrast between Florence and Hawarden, a Welsh border town, was startling. I came from the sunny remains...

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  • Linking Law: Viking and medieval Scandinavian law in literature and history

    Article

    Ongoing interdisciplinary developments have cast light on the surprisingly sophisticated world of Viking-age and medieval Scandinavian law and its wide-ranging influence in these societies. In many ways, the Viking Age and its inhabitants are more familiar than ever before. From video games to television and films, new narrative frontiers and bigger...

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  • Gone with the Wind: a great book?

    Article

    HA President Tony Badger examines the historical context which shapes our understanding of Margaret Mitchell’s enduring novel. I had been a historian of the American South for 50 years and like Ringbaum, I had a secret. I had never read Gone with the Wind. As I came up to retirement...

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  • Exploring local sources

    Article

    Tim Lomas was correct when he said, in his article in the Summer 2019 edition of The Historian, that historians can see much more in medieval documents than the scribes intended.  Lay manors in Bedfordshire are a good example. Eggington manor, in the south-west, was part of a larger estate and held...

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  • Real Lives: Alice Daye: mother of the English book trade

    Article

    Our series ‘Real Lives’ seeks to put the story of the ordinary person into our great historical narrative. We are all part of the rich fabric of the communities in which we live and we are affected to greater and lesser degrees by the big events that happen on a daily...

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  • The Georgian Papers – a virtual ‘madness’

    2nd December 2019

    Last month the Georgian Papers Programme released a new virtual exhibition available online. Exploring the myth and reality of the alleged ‘madness of King George III’, the exhibition is an interesting step in examining the past and exploring its relevance for contemporary discourses. Entitled ‘George III: the Eighteenth Century’s Most...

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  • Willington and the Mowbrays: After the Peasants' Revolt

    Article

    Willington and the Mowbrays: After the Peasants' Revolt, Dorothy Jamieson, Bedford Historical Record Society Vol 95, Boydell Press, 2019, 241p, £25-00, ISSN 0067-4826. At one level this scholarly and meticulous study introduces us to the Willington neighbourhood in Bedfordshire. Based on Dorothy Jamieson’s careful transcription of its manorial court rolls,...

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  • The Common Story: A history of Tooting Common

    Article

    The Common Story: A history of Tooting Common, [ed] Katy Layton-Jones, Wandsworth Council’s Tooting Common Heritage Project, 2019, 132p, £10-00 from the Tooting History Group [or downloadable free].  A few miles from the Historical Association office, a substantial and easily accessible open space is what locally is known as ‘Tooting...

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  • Fake news: Psy-war and propaganda in the Indonesian Genocide of 1965-66

    Article

    Geoffrey Robinson explores a little-known episode of the Cold War where half a million people were killed and the Indonesian communist party was destroyed, aided and abetted by the major Western Powers. Amidst all the talk of fake news and Russian meddling in US politics, it is easy to lose...

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  • How hidden are ordinary people in later medieval England?

    Article

    Tim Lomas explores some documents from the Bishop and Priory of Durham that shed interesting light on the lives of ‘ordinary people’ in medieval England. It is largely a truism to state that the majority of documents from medieval Britain were not designed to shed much light on the lives...

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  • Peterloo August 1819: the English Uprising

    Article

    Robert Poole, historical consultant to the ‘Peterloo 200’ commemorations in and around Manchester over the summer, explores the latest research into those tragic events of August 1819 and their significance in the road to democracy. On Monday 16 August 1819 troops under the authority of the Lancashire and Cheshire magistrates...

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  • Crime on the Canals

    Article

    Crime on the Canals, Anthony Poulton-Smith, Pen and Sword, 2019, 120p, £12-99. ISBN 9781526754783. This interesting book is presented as an exposure of criminality on the canal system, and it does achieve that objective rather well. It has to be said that it is more about crime than canals, although...

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  • The Diabolical Cato-Street Plot

    Article

    Richard A. Gaunt reminds us that it is still possible to visit the site of a notorious conspiratorial challenge to Lord Liverpool’s government, and why this event was so significant. At around 7.30pm on Wednesday 23 February 1820, a dozen Bow Street Runners in plain clothes, led by George Thomas...

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  • Homes fit for heroes? James Cecil and the public interest

    Article

    Hugh Gault reminds us that the provision of adequate and price-accessible housing stock has been a matter of public debate and concern for over a hundred years. Economics and financial priorities have continued to undermine the methodologies and good intentions needed to solve the problem. This year is the hundredth...

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  • The burial dilemma

    Article

    The recent attacks on Karl Marx’s grave in Highgate Cemetery have added impetus to the public debate about how we memorialise the dead and the public and private costs of mourning.

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  • Havelock Hall: the East India Company college gymnasium at Addiscombe

    Article

    Trevor James emphasises the importance of this structure in England’s sporting landscape. Tucked behind the houses in Havelock Road in the East Croydon suburb of Addiscombe is a seemingly unprepossessing building, known locally as ‘Havelock Hall’. Now converted into flats, it derives its name from its late nineteenth-century religious use,...

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  • Peterloo: HA interview with Mike Leigh and Jacqueline Riding

    Article

    The film Peterloo dramatises the people and events that led to the infamous ‘Peterloo’ massacre in August 1819. Respected film-maker Mike Leigh created the film using historical records and sources from the period, as he and historical adviser Jacqueline Riding explained to the HA in a recent interview, which you can watch below.  

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