By James Sharpe
‘Wonderfully pleasing, finished and astute.’ The Times
‘Sweeping and bold … Sharpe is a humane and clear-eyed consultant to a sequence of intractable and well timed questions.’ Observer
‘A magisterial booklet … The outlaw's track has without doubt by no means been greater rendered.’ Times Literary Supplement
From the tragic story of Mary Clifford, whose loss of life by the hands of her service provider 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 lifestyles in all its sort. And because it considers the litany of attacks, murders and riots that pepper our historical past, it additionally strains the delicate 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 may right now be concurrently felony and so frowned upon that power offenders may possibly good turn out being ducked within the village pond? whilst did the serial killer first make an visual appeal within the annals of English crime? How might soccer be seemed at one second as a raucous hobby that are meant to be banned, and the following as a decent activity that are meant to be inspired? What gave upward thrust to specific sorts of violent felony – 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 – court docket files and homicide pamphlets, well known ballads and novels, sermons and movies – to color shiny images of the nation's criminals and felony method from medieval instances to the current day. He supplies a robust experience of what it used to be prefer to be stuck up in, say, a highway brawl in medieval Oxford or a conflict throughout the English Civil battle. And he additionally seeks to reply to might be the main interesting and basic query of all: is a rustic that has skilled not just consistent aggression on somebody scale but in addition the Peasants' rebellion, the Gordon Riots, the ballot Tax protests and the city unrest of summer season 2011 clearly at risk of violence or are we, in reality, steadily turning into a gentler nation?
‘Deeply researched, thoughtfully thought of and vividly written … learn it.’ History Today
‘Sharpe's eye for element guarantees that the surprise price by no means dwindles.’ Mail on Sunday ****
‘Deeply considerate and thought-provoking … certainly challenging to place down.’ BBC background Magazine
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Extra resources for A Fiery & Furious People: A History of Violence in England
A Fiery & Furious People: A History of Violence in England by James Sharpe