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A Fiery & Furious People: A History of Violence in England by James Sharpe

By James Sharpe


‘Wonderfully exciting, complete and astute.’ The Times

‘Sweeping and bold … Sharpe is a humane and clear-eyed advisor to a sequence of intractable and well timed questions.’ Observer

‘A magisterial ebook … The outlaw's tune has definitely by no means been higher rendered.’ Times Literary Supplement

From the tragic story of Mary Clifford, whose loss of life by the hands of her organisation scandalised Georgian London, to an account of the violent actions of Victorian Manchester's scuttling gangs, through a personality portrait of the duel-obsessed Cavalier Sir John Reresby, A Fiery & livid People explores the brutal underside of our nationwide existence in all its sort. And because it considers the litany of attacks, murders and riots that pepper our historical past, it additionally lines the sophisticated shifts that experience taken position either within the nature of violence and in people's attitudes to it. Why used to be it, for instance, that wife-beating might without delay be at the same time felony and so frowned upon that chronic offenders may perhaps good prove being ducked within the village pond? while did the serial killer first make an visual appeal within the annals of English crime? How may soccer be appeared at one second as a raucous hobby that are supposed to be banned, and the subsequent as a decent recreation that are supposed to be inspired? What gave upward thrust to certain types of violent legal – medieval outlaws, Georgian highwaymen, Victorian garroters – and what made them dwindle after which vanish?

Throughout, Professor James Sharpe attracts on an astonishingly wide selection of fabric – courtroom files and homicide pamphlets, renowned ballads and novels, sermons and flicks – to color brilliant photos of the nation's criminals and felony approach from medieval occasions to the current day. He offers a robust feel of what it was once wish to be stuck up in, say, a highway brawl in medieval Oxford or a conflict in the course of the English Civil warfare. And he additionally seeks to reply to possibly the main interesting and basic query of all: is a rustic that has skilled not just consistent aggression on someone scale but in addition the Peasants' rebellion, the Gordon Riots, the ballot Tax protests and the city unrest of summer season 2011 certainly liable to violence or are we, actually, steadily turning into a gentler nation?

Deeply researched, thoughtfully thought of and vividly written … learn it.History Today

Sharpe's eye for aspect guarantees that the surprise price by no means dwindles. Mail on Sunday ****

‘Deeply considerate and thought-provoking … certainly difficult to place down.’ BBC background Magazine

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