By James Sharpe
‘Wonderfully enjoyable, finished and astute.’ The Times
‘Sweeping and bold … Sharpe is a humane and clear-eyed advisor to a chain of intractable and well timed questions.’ Observer
‘A magisterial e-book … The outlaw's tune has definitely by no means been larger 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 lifestyles in all its kind. And because it considers the litany of attacks, murders and riots that pepper our historical past, it additionally lines 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 might straight away be at the same time criminal and so frowned upon that continual offenders could good turn out being ducked within the village pond? while did the serial killer first make an visual appeal within the annals of English crime? How may well soccer be looked at one second as a raucous hobby that are meant to be banned, and the following as a decent recreation that are meant to be inspired? What gave upward thrust to certain types 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 variety of fabric – court docket files and homicide pamphlets, well known ballads and novels, sermons and flicks – to color brilliant photos of the nation's criminals and legal process from medieval occasions to the current day. He offers a powerful feel of what it was once wish to be stuck up in, say, a highway brawl in medieval Oxford or a conflict throughout the English Civil struggle. And he additionally seeks to reply to maybe the main attention-grabbing and primary query of all: is a rustic that has skilled not just consistent aggression on somebody scale but additionally the Peasants' rebellion, the Gordon Riots, the ballot Tax protests and the city unrest of summer season 2011 certainly susceptible to violence or are we, actually, steadily changing 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 worth by no means dwindles.’ Mail on Sunday ****
‘Deeply considerate and thought-provoking … really difficult to place down.’ BBC background Magazine
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A Fiery & Furious People: A History of Violence in England by James Sharpe