Peerage of Science: will it work?
French liberalism and the aristocratic sources of liberty. Popular attitudes to turnpikes in early-century England.
The issues facing academic libraries in the North-east of England as the 21st century approaches. The emergence of the factory system in 18th century England: Did transportation improvements really matter? Wharton represents the beginnings of the new order, a man of modest gentry stock, who has risen to power and prominence as the result of his service to the Crown, and who belonged to a community of publicly-spirited, gentry administrators, obedient to central authority.
Many of these themes are brilliantly worked out in the chapter on the Essex Revolt, the last of the honour rebellions. The fact that many of the essays dwell on the same general themes albeit such important ones does lead to a certain amount of repetition. Even this minor quibble, however, is somewhat unfair, since few apart from reviewers will read this volume as if it were a book; instead, most will delve into the discrete but overlapping essays as they find appropriate, and it has to be acknowledged that James is a true master of the genre of the historical essay.
My personal favourite remains the study of the Lincolnshire Rebellion which, despite the criticisms it has drawn, stands as a marvellously textured case study, offering a sophisticated, multi-layered analysis of a complex event.
All students of Tudor history-and many more besides-will want to own this volume, and Cambridge University Press are to be congratulated for bringing it out in paperback. They combine urbanity, clarity, a pleasing humour and substance. Two propositions are advanced: that a small number of peers controlled the commanding heights of English political and social life throughout the period, and that aristocrat prestige, influence and exclusiveness strengthened as the century progressed.
Examining the political, economic and ideological exercise of their power, their recruitment, marriage, education and religion, Cannon reveals a remarkably exclusive, rather than open, elite; one convinced of their duty, ability and right to rule and Book Reviews one for whom extraordinary claims might be made in terms of the achievement of a comparatively liberal, tolerant society of undoubted energy and commercial, industrial and technological enterprise, a society capable of Empire.
The picture may readily be overdrawn and Cannon is the first to warn of the dark side of the rule of privilege. One is to suggest very firmly that the dominant elites in eighteenth century England remained closed and exclusive, consolidating their power without significant admissions from other social groups.
Studies like J. Wiles Lectures, Queen's University of Belfast. New York: Cambridge University Press. Most users should sign in with their email address. If you originally registered with a username please use that to sign in.
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Buy Aristocratic Century: The Peerage of Eighteenth-century England (The Wiles Lectures) New Ed by Cannon (ISBN: ) from Amazon's Book. The Peerage of Eighteenth-Century England He traces the recovery made by the aristocracy from its decade in when the House of Lords was abolished.
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