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.
Entries are invited for this year’s Annual Pollard Prize (sponsored by Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Ltd.) awarded for the best paper presented at an IHR seminar by a postgraduate student or by a researcher within one year of completing the PhD.
Fast track publication in the prestigious IHR journal, Historical Research, and £200 of Blackwell books.
Runner up prizes
Publication in Historical Research, and a selection of Blackwell books.
Applicants are required to have delivered a paper during the academic year in which the award is made. Submissions should be supported by a reference from a convenor of the appropriate seminar. Papers should be fully footnoted, although it is not necessary at this stage to follow Historical Research house style. All papers submitted must be eligible for publication.
The closing date for submissions is Friday 30 May 2014
Enquiries and submissions should be directed to the Executive Editor, Historical Research (Jane.Winters@sas.ac.uk). If you are unable to submit by email, please include a PC disk or CD-Rom with any postal submission to:
Historical Research (Pollard Prize)
Institute of Historical Research
University of London
London WC1E 7HU
‘They seem to have all died out’: witches and witchcraft in Lark Rise to Candleford and the English countryside, c.1830–1930. Thomas Waters
Flora Thompson’s account of the English countryside during the 1880s–1890s – Lark Rise to Candleford – continues to be an important source for rural history. In that text the protagonist’s mother says that witches had ‘all died out’, and none had been known in her generation. The informants of late Victorian folklorists sometimes made similar remarks. Historians have taken such statements about witchcraft being a thing of the past at face value, inferring from them that plebeian concern about its influence was disappearing during the final decades of the nineteenth century. This article uses evidence from the English south midlands, and insights provided by anthropological studies of sorcery, to suggest an alternative interpretation. Rather than being a sincere statement of belief, assertions that witches had ‘all died out’ were part of a strategy to avoid speaking about a dreaded subject. Such pains were taken because it was believed that talking about witchcraft was a dangerous activity that would lead to the bewitchment of anyone with a loose tongue.
And check out our other latest articles on Early View:
Bishops and deans: London and the province of Canterbury in the twelfth century.D. P. Johnson
Chivalry, British sovereignty and dynastic politics: undercurrents of antagonism in Tudor-Stewart relations, c.1490−c.1513. Katie Stevenson
Pressing the French and defending the Palmerstonian line: Lord William Hervey and The Times, 1846–8. Laurence Guymer
Remembering usurpation: the common lawyers, Reformation narratives and the prerogative, 1578–1616. David Chan Smith
The Annual Pollard Prize 2013 (sponsored by Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Ltd.)
The Pollard Prize is awarded annually for the best paper presented at an Institute of Historical Research seminar by a postgraduate student or by a researcher within one year of completing the PhD.
Applicants are required to have delivered a paper at an IHR seminar during the academic year in which the award is made. Submissions should be supported by a reference from a convenor of the appropriate seminar.
First prize is fast track publication in the prestigious IHR journal, Historical Research, and £200 of Blackwell books.
Runner up prizes include publication in Historical Research, and a selection of Blackwell books. A variable number of runner up prizes will be awarded, depending on the quality of applications in any given year.
Enquiries and submissions should be directed to the Executive Editor, Historical Research (Jane.Winters@sas.ac.uk).
The August 2012 issue of Historical Research is now available. Contents include articles on ‘John Cabot and his Italian financiers’ by Francesco Guidi-Bruscoli; ‘The medicalization of poverty in colonial India’ by David Arnold; ‘The origins of ‘liberalism’ in Britain: the case of The Liberal‘ by D. M. Craig; and ‘Pain, sympathy and the medical encounter’ by Joanna Bourke. Full contents on the Historical Research/Wiley web pages