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.
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.
This article examines the part played by key baronial wives of the Welsh Marches in the defeat of Llywelyn ap Gruffudd in 1282. It explores the hidden involvement of women in the conquest of Wales and considers the opportunities available to noblewomen, particularly non-widows, in the Welsh Marches and beyond.
Various early view articles now available from Historical Research, including ‘For the freedom of captive European nations’: east European exiles in the Cold War by Martin Nekola. This article looks at the activities of political exiles from the countries of east-central and south-east Europe in the West, particularly in the U.S.A., during the Cold War. It discusses the formation of political organizations for a number of individual national exile groups, and explains that their role and standing were essentially derived from changes in international politics. The characteristic view of these anti-communist groups includes internal crises and conflicts, which were often rooted in petty quarrels, personal animosity, arguments about the legitimacy of leading bodies, an absence of charismatic leadership, and the predominance of propaganda in their work.
The new issue of Historical Research is now available, and among the articles is ‘Rank-and-file movements and political change before the Great War: the Durham miners’ “Forward Movement”‘ by Lewis Mates, which examines political change in the Durham Miners’ Association (D.M.A.), one of the best-established, largest and most influential Edwardian trade unions.
Other content includes:
The hue and cry in medieval English towns by Samantha Sagui
The impact of land accumulation and consolidation on population trends in the pre-industrial period: two contrasting cases in the Low Countries by D. R. Curtis
Kinship and diplomacy in sixteenth-century Scotland: the earl of Northumberland’s Scottish captivity in its domestic and international context, 1569–72 by Amy Blakeway
Thinking outside the gundeck: maritime history, the royal navy and the outbreak of British civil war, 1625–42 (pages 251–274) by Richard J. Blakemore
The dominion of history: the export of historical research from Britain since 1850 by Miles Taylor
From anti-colonialism to anti-imperialism: the evolution of H. M. Hyndman’s critique of empire, c.1875–1905 by Marcus Morris
The myth of sovereignty: British immigration control in policy and practice in the nineteen-seventies by Evan Smith and Marinella Marmo
A less well-known, but integral part of the Institute of Historical Research is its Friends programme. Founded to support the aims of the Institute, the Friends bring together individuals from the academic community and beyond to foster the growth and development of the study of history in Britain.
As a Friends Bursary holder in 2012-2013, the award proved invaluable to my studies. It allowed me to access the resources at the IHR and the National Archives which resulted in the production of a chapter in my thesis. I was also able to take part in many seminars conducted at the IHR while undertaking research in London. Attendance at the seminars allowed me to learn about and engage with historians carrying out research
In learning about the Friends organisation and coming to understand the important role it plays in supporting the activities of the IHR, I became a member of the group in the summer of 2013, and was asked to join its committee in the Autumn of that year. As the newest member on the IHR Friends Committee, I am continually learning about the valuable work the group undertakes to assist with activities at the institute. Through annual membership fees and fund raising, the Friends group supports the IHR in a number of ways, including funding seminars, giving money to purchase books for the library, and underwriting conferences and workshops. Among this year’s contributions, the Friends organisation donated money to help with the refurbishment of the institute, and offered financial assistance to the Women’s History seminar to help defray the costs of running the meetings.
Members of the organisation engage in a number of exciting activities throughout the year, participating in special events such as the annual summer outing to a place of historical note. Last summer’s excursion took Friends to the William Morris Gallery in Walthamstow, where we were treated to a guided tour of the newly renovated gallery, and had refreshments in the tea room. The Friends also host film evenings at which historians present and discuss cinematic portrayals of historic events. Most recently, Professor Penelope Corfield hosted a screening of The Dutchess for the Friends group at which the audience busily searched for anachronisms in the film. Lively debates about the social, cultural and political representations of Georgian England followed.
William Morris Gallery
This summer’s reopening of the IHR in the North Block of Senate House promises to offer the Friends group new opportunities to contribute to the Institute and the historical community. Plans are underway to expand the Friends’ calendar to include more film evenings and other stimulating events throughout the year.