Criminals or Celebrities?: Life and Death in a Georgian Prison

What was it like to be a prisoner in Georgian London? At a recent London Historians gathering, I had the opportunity to listen to several papers about English prison life, old and new in, “Crime and Punishment – The Capital in the Clink”.

BOOK REVIEW: The Devil in the Marshalsea by Antonia Hodgson

My review of the fantastic new thriller by Antonia Hodgson: The Devil in the Marshalsea.

Performing at the Block: Scripting Early Modern Executions

This thesis explores the executions of noble men and women in Tudor and early Jacobean England and the theatrical representations of executions that mirrored real life spectacles of deadly punishment.

Henry VIII, rebellion and the rule of law

Henry VIII, rebellion and the rule of law Steven G. Ellis (University College, Galway) The Historical Journal, 24, 3 (1981), pp. 513-531 Abstract It has been traditional to regard the reaction of Henry VIII in the face of treason and rebellion as savage and extreme. Perhaps for this reason, historians for long considered it superfluous to […]

'A Hand Prepared to be Red': Manliness and Violence on Britain's Colonial Frontiers

On the frontiers of Queensland and British Columbia in the mid-nineteenth century, a culture of violence prevailed. Frontier men accommodated violence in their lives as a routine and normal part of frontier living. The Victorian ethos of ‘manliness’ – the possession of essential virtues such as self-restraint, courage and strenuous effort – had within it the potential for violence. On the frontier the practice of manliness often entailed violence and the manly ethos could be distorted to justify and legitimise violent acts.

More Than Just Kidd’s Play

Tom Wareham examines the role played by a legendary yet ill-fated pirate in the consolidation of England’s early trading empire.

The Gunpowder Plot: Terror and Toleration

The relatively minor role torture played in the Gunpowder Plot investigation is a good example of the myths that surround this emotive subject. Permission was given to employ torture on Fawkes, who initially refused to say anything, but whether it was actually used and how much is unclear.

It Isn't About Duck Hunting: The British Origins of the Right to Arms

Who, if any, of these American analysts has found the truth? Does the story of the British right to arms offer anything of value to the modern American gun debate? The academic literature has heretofore been sparse. My two books on gun control in Great Britain both focused mainly on twentieth-century gun policy, rather than the story of the 1689 Bill of Rights and its right to arms.

Negative Portrayals of Poles in Elizabethan Literature

Anglo-Polish relations improved during the first half of the sixteenth century. The newly established power of the kingdom of Poland-Lithuania probably raised English hopes that English merchants would gain greater access into the Baltic Sea. High-level diplomatic contacts between the two nations became more frequent.

Historical Perspectives on Violence Against Women

Three great bodies of thought have influenced western society’s views and treatment of women: Judeo-Christian cultural beliefs, Greek philosophy and the western legal code.

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