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British History

British History Book List

Cover of 'Inventing Pollution'

Inventing Pollution
Coal, Smoke, and Culture in Britain since 1800
By Peter Thorsheim
· Preface by Peter Thorsheim

Inventing Pollution examines new understandings of pollution, centered not on organic decay but on coal combustion, that emerged in the late 19th century in Britain. This change, Thorsheim argues, gave birth to the smoke-abatement movement and to new ways of thinking about the relationships among humanity, technology, and the environment.

Cover of 'A Room of His Own'

A Room of His Own
A Literary-Cultural Study of Victorian Clubland
By Barbara Black

In nineteenth-century London, a clubbable man was a fortunate man, indeed. The Reform, the Athenaeum, the Travellers, the Carlton, the United Service are just a few of the gentlemen’s clubs that formed the exclusive preserve known as “clubland” in Victorian London—the City of Clubs that arose during the Golden Age of Clubs. Why were these associations for men only such a powerful emergent institution in nineteenth-century London?

Cover of 'A Necessary Luxury'

A Necessary Luxury
Tea in Victorian England
By Julie E. Fromer

Tea drinking in Victorian England was a pervasive activity that, when seen through the lens of a century’s perspective, presents a unique overview of Victorian culture. Tea was a necessity and a luxury; it was seen as masculine as well as feminine; it symbolized the exotic and the domestic; and it represented both moderation and excess.

Cover of 'Come Buy, Come Buy'

Come Buy, Come Buy
Shopping and the Culture of Consumption in Victorian Women’s Writing
By Krista Lysack

From the 1860s through the early twentieth century, Great Britain saw the rise of the department store and the institutionalization of a gendered sphere of consumption.

Cover of 'The Wake of Wellington'

The Wake of Wellington
Englishness in 1852
By Peter W. Sinnema

Soldier, hero, and politician, the Duke of Wellington is one of the best-known figures of nineteenth-century England. From his victory at Waterloo over Napoleon in 1815, he rose to become prime minister of his country. But Peter Sinnema finds equal fascination in Victorian England's response to the Duke's death.

Cover of 'Inventing Pollution'

Inventing Pollution
Coal, Smoke, and Culture in Britain since 1800
By Peter Thorsheim

Britain's supremacy in the nineteenth century depended in large part on its vast deposits of coal. This coal not only powered steam engines in factories, ships, and railway locomotives but also warmed homes and cooked food. As coal consumption skyrocketed, the air in Britain's cities and towns became filled with ever-greater and denser clouds of smoke.

Cover of 'Race, Resistance, and the Boy Scout Movement in British Colonial Africa'

Race, Resistance, and the Boy Scout Movement in British Colonial Africa
By Timothy H. Parsons

Conceived by General Sir Robert Baden-Powell as a way to reduce class tensions in Edwardian Britain, scouting evolved into an international youth movement. It offered a vision of romantic outdoor life as a cure for disruption caused by industrialization and urbanization. Scouting's global spread was due to its success in attaching itself to institutions of authority.

Cover of 'The Literary Guide and Companion to Northern England'

The Literary Guide and Companion to Northern England
By Robert M. Cooper

The Literary Guide and Companion to Northern England is the third and final guide in Cooper’s light-hearted and informative travel collection. As Cooper explains in the preface to the first volume: “This book was written for the person who unabashedly loves travel, loves England, and loves English literature. In short, for somebody remarkably like the person I was when I began to plan my first trip to Britain and looked for just such a book.”

Cover of 'The Literary Guide and Companion to Middle England'

The Literary Guide and Companion to Middle England
By Robert M. Cooper

Cooper’s The Literary Guide and Companion to Southern England has been popular with travellers since 1986. This, the second guide in a series of three, brings all Cooper’s delight and enthusiasm to the literary sites of Middle England.

Cover of 'The Literary Guide and Companion to Southern England'

The Literary Guide and Companion to Southern England
By Robert M. Cooper

In a series of intriguing routes through the English countryside, Professor Robert Cooper notes those attractions that the casual tourist might unknowingly pass by, such as the house where Dickens wrote A Tale of Two Cities, or the windswept quay where John Fowles's French Lieutenant's woman walked.