This article examines three vernacular chronicles written from contrasting view-points: the Scalacronica of Sir Thomas Gray, whose father was linked with Edward II’s court, and the ‘Long’ and ‘Short’ continuations of the prose Brut, both markedly sympathetic towards Thomas of Lancaster, leader of the opposition to the king. This is a period which saw a sea change in the crown’s attitude towards rebellion, but the accounts of these chronicles suggest that a significant part of the political community did not accept the crown’s new definition of treason.
John Knox’s First Blast and Christopher Goodman’s Superior Powers arguably represent two of the most radical pamphlets produced during the reign of Mary Tudor. Both texts were published in Geneva in early 1558 and attracted the displeasure not only of their authors’ fellow exiles, but also of Queen Elizabeth herself when she heard of their publication. Ever since, these pamphlets have been closely associated with the climate of radicalism which supposedly prevailed in Geneva under the aegis of Calvin. Yet, it is also clear from his writings that Calvin never went so far as to endorse any of the Marian exiles’ most controversial ideas. Rather, archival and bibliographical evidence suggests that it was the lively and highly competitive Genevan book trade, combined with inconsistent mechanisms of censorship and a system of monopolies favouring the wealthiest printing firms, which provided ideal conditions for the publication of these pamphlets.
This article presents documents from the archive of the central committee of the Romanian Communist party, recording the January 1949 Moscow conference that established the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance (C.M.E.A.). It argues that the creation of the C.M.E.A. began as a Romanian initiative and presents the process by which the document constituting the C.M.E.A. was elaborated in early 1949. There is generally very little information on the creation of the C.M.E.A., so while it was not possible to use evidence from the Moscow archives, these findings, corroborated by studies involving sources from other communist archives, will help to create a better understanding of this event.
This article argues for a revised view of the British eugenic sterilization campaign, proposing that a failure to maximize the contemporary political terrain significantly contributed to its lack of legislative success. The Eugenics Society’s unwillingness to alienate Labour or overtly to link sterilization to concerns articulated by Conservative M.P.s rendered it somewhat rudderless when, actually, it could have been attached to broader concerns (including the economic depression). While there were key elements arguing for a more aggressively pro-Tory stance, the fact that the strongest advocate of this course, George Pitt-Rivers, was so sympathetic to Nazi Germany undermined this strategy’s chances.
This article examines three ways of representing space as a commodity that played key roles in colonial Delhi: maps, lease deeds and auctions. These representations were related to the buying and selling of real estate in distinct ways. At the same time, they also referred to and relied on each other to give effect to their pronouncements. Two elements can be traced running through these disparate representations: connections between space and time, and the imbrication of state and property market. This article argues that the ability to utilize these elements in order to develop narratives about urban space was a critical constituent of state power
This article explores how the Boy Scout movement moved from an inward looking and decidedly militaristic programme to one which embraced liberal internationalism following the First World War. It argues that the Boy Scouts’ wholehearted embrace of internationalism was not inevitable; in fact it was a complex and inconsistent transition, and the result of unintentional circumstances. Furthermore, internationalism did not replace but merely supplemented the movement’s older aims of organizational autonomy and the promotion of empire. During the inter-war period, these competing motives informed and strained the Boy Scouts’ interactions with the public and with other internationalist organizations such as the League of Nations and the League of Nations Union
Thanks to the globalization of relief and increasing global food output, the famines of the twenty-first century (so far), Somalia (civil war) and North Korea (autarky) apart, have been small. Today malnutrition is a much more intractable and pressing problem than famine, even though the proportion of the world’s poor that is malnourished has been declining. Moreover, although the prospects for avoiding famines in peacetime in the short run are good, global warming looms in the medium term. These contrasting signals are not lost on international non-governmental organizations.
This article looks at two ‘oaths of the community’ of 1258. First, it shows that the oath of the community at Oxford has been widely misinterpreted by historians: it was an oath of mutual aid, not an oath binding the community to reform. Second, it looks at the order for all in the realm to take an oath in October 1258, which has never been fully examined before. This order aimed to bind the entire realm to the reform movement – it was proclaimed in Latin, French and English – yet no chroniclers mentioned it and no mechanism was provided for its enactment.
This article explores the significance of weeping in the lives of late medieval English bishops (c.1100−c.1400). It considers the lachrymose devotions of saintly bishops alongside tears of grief, friendship and self-pity, and asks how such displays of emotion were understood by contemporary onlookers. It is argued that a bishop’s tears were key to perceptions of his masculinity, sexuality and physical body, which in turn had significant implications for his reputation both as a prelate and as a potential saint.
In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the spread of what we now know as the cold chain sparked controversy in both Europe and North America. This article examines popular distrust of early refrigerated transport and storage in light of larger debates about how best to procure good food at a fair price. Expanding on E. P. Thompson’s concept of moral economy, the article shows that refrigeration proved controversial not simply because it helped de-localize and industrialize food supply. It also challenged norms that had previously governed trade in perishables, especially those concerning transparency, naturalness and freshness.
Utilizing archival material and analysing Read’s poetry, prose and polemical writing, this article argues that Read’s perception of the war was deeply ambiguous, and shifted in response to the changing view of the conflict in British cultural history. He saw the war as at once disabling and liberating, and his continual return to the conflict as a subject in his writing was a process of attempting to fix its ultimate meaning to his life.
This article explores how attitudes to black people were translated into practice by examining how the latter fared as victims, witnesses and especially as the accused when they came to the Old Bailey in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.