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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  • 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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  • 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 via link on the Tooting History Group page]. A few miles from the Historical Association office, a substantial and easily accessible open...

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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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  • 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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  • 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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  • The Pirate World: A History of the Most Notorious Sea Robbers

    Article

    The Pirate World: A History of the Most Notorious Sea Robbers, Angus Konstam, Osprey Publishing, 2019, 336p, £25-00. ISBN 976-1-4728-3097-5 Angus Konstam very successfully blends a narrative of how piracy has been a challenge to settled society for at least two thousand years with some very important insights. He explains...

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  • The Parish Atlas of England

    Article

    The Parish Atlas of England: All Early Ordnance Survey 6-inch Maps Traced Over, (ed) T.C.H. Cockin, Malthouse Press, 2017, 898p, £60.00*, ISBN 978-1-907364-10-5. *The Parish Atlas of England is available to Historical Association members at the special price of £45.00 direct from the publishers: The Malthouse Press, Grange Cottage, Malthouse Lane,...

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  • Out and About in Derry/Londonderry

    Article

    Jenni Hyde was out and about in Derry in 2016 and describes how the sights of the city tell the story of a history which is so much more than just the legacy of the Troubles.

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  • The Great Famine

    Article

    The Great Famine, (ed) John Gibney, Pen and Sword History, 2018, 136p, £12-99. ISBN 9781526736635. This selection of essays, edited by John Gibney, is the first instalment of a collaboration between Pen and Sword History and the History Ireland magazine. Its focus is the Irish Potato Famine of the 1840s...

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  • Kings and coins in later Anglo-Saxon England

    Article

    The study of Anglo-Saxon coins shows the sophistication of tenth- and eleventh-century government and of the economy. But they carried a moral and religious message too.

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  • Out and About in Ryedale

    Article

    Tom Pickles explores Ryedale in Yorkshire, where an extraordinary network of churches bears witness to the social, political, and religious transformations of the Anglo-Saxon period.

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  • We will remember them: well, most of them

    Article

    Richard Broadhead provides a personal view on whether the mammoth task of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission can always be fulfilled, especially at a time of so many anniversaries.

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  • Out and About with homing pigeons in the Great War

    Article

    Trevor James emphasises the role and importance of ‘messenger’ pigeons on the Western Front. Amidst the one-hundredth anniversary commemorations of the ending of the Great War, there has been a sudden burst of interest, in such varying locations as both Houses of Parliament and the Antiques Roadshow, in the role...

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  • Britain’s Jews and the First World War

    Article

    Jewish service in the UK military forces can be traced back over 300 years. During the First World War that service was demonstrated into the tens of thousands. In this article the contribution of Anglo-Jewry is brought to light.

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