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Edward Barlow says goodbye

Tom Shippey, 4 August 1994

Adolescence and Youth in Early Modern England 
by Ilana Krausman Ben-Amos.
Yale, 335 pp., £25, April 1994, 0 300 05597 8
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... blow of the hammer it flew in pieces; but if it was soft, it bowed, and would not touch the stone”.’ This ‘uncomplicated’ model of adolescence in other times and cultures has suffered blow after blow since Maitland’s time (1895), not to mention that of Margaret Mead thirty years later. The other model Ben-Amos has to deal with is the ...

Lawrence Festival

Dan Jacobson, 18 September 1980

... One of the functions that took place during the recent D. H. Lawrence Festival in Santa Fe was a procession to the shrine on the Lawrence ranch, outside Taos. A few hundred people must have taken part in the ceremony. After listening to a string quartet play Schubert everyone formed up in a line ...

A Favourite of the Laws

Ruth Bernard Yeazell, 13 June 1991

Married Women’s Separate Property in England, 1660-1833 
by Susan Staves.
Harvard, 290 pp., £27.95, April 1990, 0 674 55088 9
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The Bluestocking Circle: Women, Friendship and the Life of the Mind in 18th-century England 
by Sylvia Harcstark Myers.
Oxford, 342 pp., £35, August 1990, 0 19 811767 1
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Portrait of a Friendship: Drawn from New Letters of James Russell Lowell to Sybella Lady Lyttleton 1881-1891 
by Alethea Hayter.
Michael Russell, 267 pp., £16.95, September 1990, 0 85955 167 9
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Fierce Communion: Family and Community in Early America 
by Helena Wall.
Harvard, 243 pp., £23.95, August 1990, 0 674 29958 2
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... the first volume of his celebrated Commentaries on the Laws of England (1765-69), William Black stone concluded his account of how the law makes a husband and wife one person by suggesting that the legal disappearance of the married Englishwoman was effectively a tribute to her sex. ‘These are the chief legal effects of marriage during the ...


Peter Laslett, 6 August 1981

L’Amour en plus 
by Elisabeth Badinter.
Flammarion (Paris), 372 pp., £6.80, May 1980, 2 08 064279 0
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Mari et Femme dans la Société Paysanne 
by Martine Segalen.
Flammarion, 211 pp., £6.30, May 1980, 2 08 210957 7
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... many European countries, defiantly announced that mothers have not always loved their offspring. Lawrence Stone, whose book Family, Sex and Marriage in England, 1500-1800 (1977) prints some horrifying passages about maternal indifference and neglect. When he lectured on this subject in Cambridge in 1975, Stone painted ...

Homo Sexualis

Michael Ignatieff, 4 March 1982

Sex, Politics and Society: The Regulation of Sexuality since 1800 
by Jeffrey Weeks.
Longman, 306 pp., £11, October 1981, 0 582 48333 6
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Sexual Preference: Its Development in Men and Women 
by Alan Bell, Martin Weinberg and Sue Kiefer Hammersmith.
Indiana, 242 pp., £9, October 1981, 9780253166739
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Pornography and Silence 
by Susan Griffin.
Women’s Press, 277 pp., £4.75, October 1981, 0 7043 3877 7
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The History of Sexuality. Vol. 1 
by Michel Foucault, translated by Robert Hurley.
Penguin, 176 pp., £2.25, May 1981, 0 14 022299 5
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... and the systems of taboos and inhibitions which man has erected to control them’, while for Lawrence Stone history is a geology of the glacial grinding of repression – ‘the huge mysterious secular swings from repression to permissiveness and back again’. In both accounts, it is the body’s chains, not the body itself, which has a ...

Casual Offenders

J.S. Morrill, 7 May 1981

The Justice and the Mare’s Ale 
by Alan Macfarlane.
Blackwell, 238 pp., £8.50, March 1981, 0 631 12681 3
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... But even those whose overstatements are quoted against them – notably Carl Bridenbaugh and Lawrence Stone – do not claim that England in this period was as violent as 17th-century China or mafioso Sicily. They are principally arguing for a general predisposition to petty cruelty and impulsive striking-out greater than in contemporary ...

Why Darcy would not have married Elizabeth Bennet

Linda Colley: Women in Georgian England, 3 September 1998

The Gentleman’s Daughter: Women’s Lives in Victorian England 
by Amanda Vickery.
Yale, 436 pp., £19.95, May 1998, 0 300 07531 6
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... Among her more predictable targets are older historians such as Philippe Ariès and Lawrence Stone, who claimed for the 18th century the emergence of a more companionate style of marriage among the prosperous, and a kinder, gentler way of bringing up and perceiving children. She shows, as others have done, that there was in fact no ...

Using the Heavens

John Bossy: Renaissance Astrology, 1 June 2000

Cardano’s Cosmos: The Worlds and Works of a Renaissance Astrologer 
by Anthony Grafton.
Harvard, 284 pp., £21.95, February 2000, 0 674 09555 3
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... and now deservedly, perhaps symbolically, sits in the Princeton chair once occupied by the late Lawrence Stone, and next to another chair once occupied by the happily not late Natalie Davis. As against both of them, he has pursued a roughly Warburgian path of investigating the 16th-century intellect. That may suggest Foucauldian overtones, and indeed ...

Past v. Present

Phil Withington: Blair Worden’s Civil War, 10 May 2012

God’s Instruments: Political Conduct in the England of Oliver Cromwell 
by Blair Worden.
Oxford, 421 pp., £35, March 2012, 978 0 19 957049 2
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... the politics of their respective authors: R.H. Tawney and Christopher Hill on the political left, Lawrence Stone in the Whig centre, and Hugh Trevor-Roper on the right. They were comfortable corroborating their own political predilection with sophisticated historical exposition and, it seems, happy for their opponents to do the same. All agreed on the ...

The Magic Trousers

Matt Foot: Police Racism, 7 February 2019

Behind the Blue Line: My Fight against Racism and Discrimination in the Police 
by Gurpal Virdi.
Biteback, 299 pp., £20, March 2018, 978 1 78590 321 2
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... he decided to make a submission to Sir William Macpherson’s inquiry into the murder of Stephen Lawrence. It was this inquiry that led to the charge that there was ‘institutional racism’ in the Met. After Virdi’s reinstatement in 2000, he was unsurprisingly overlooked for promotion until finally he retired from the police in 2012. In 2014, a new ...

Blame it on his social life

Nicholas Penny: Kenneth Clark, 5 January 2017

Kenneth Clark: Life, Art and ‘Civilisation’ 
by James Stourton.
William Collins, 478 pp., £30, September 2016, 978 0 00 749341 8
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... so the evidence seems to have vanished.A major source for Stourton is Clark’s letters to Janet Stone, wife of the wood engraver Lawrence Stone, kept under embargo in the Bodleian but available to Stourton in the form of transcripts made before they were consigned to the library. Clark’s true feelings are more ...

Glad to Go

Ruth Bernard Yeazell, 6 March 1997

Death in the Victorian Family 
by Pat Jalland.
Oxford, 464 pp., £25, November 1996, 0 19 820188 5
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... him to her, wiped away his tears with her hand, ‘and tried in every way to comfort him’. Lawrence Stone has argued that the frequency with which children died in earlier periods meant that parents had less emotional investment in each one, but Jalland’s subjects do not appear to have been governed by this affective economy. The early ...

National Myths

Rosalind Mitchison, 20 November 1986

Domesday Economy: A New Approach to Anglo-Norman History 
by John McDonald and G.D. Snooks.
Oxford, 240 pp., £27.50, July 1986, 0 19 828524 8
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Scottish Literacy and the Scottish Identity: Illiteracy and Society in Scotland 
by R.A. Houston.
Cambridge, 352 pp., £27.50, December 1985, 0 521 26598 3
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A History of the Highland Clearances. Vol. II: Emigration, Protest, Reasons 
by Eric Richards.
Croom Helm, 543 pp., £25, October 1985, 0 7099 2259 0
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... is not what their evidence shows. The whole concept of income was, historically, slow to develop. Lawrence Stone showed many years ago that even in the late 16th century the English aristocracy was usually more concerned with cash in hand than with long-term income enhancement. Manorial lords may have been working within a strongly held system of ...


Peter Burke, 21 May 1987

The Count-Duke of Olivares: The Statesman in an Age of Decline 
by J.H. Elliott.
Yale, 733 pp., £19.95, August 1986, 0 300 03390 7
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Philip IV and the Decoration of the Alcazar of Madrid 
by Steven Orso.
Princeton, 227 pp., £36.70, July 1986, 0 691 04036 2
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... but the book itself was written in the Seventies and Eighties, a deliberate contribution to what Lawrence Stone has regretfully termed the ‘revival of narrative’. The narrative form certainly has its advantages, and Elliott knows how to exploit them. The tone is quiet and even, the style resolutely plain, sober, almost austere, but the author is ...

The Impostor

Peter Burke, 19 April 1984

Le Retour de Martin Guerre 
by Natalie Davis, Jean-Claude Carrière and Daniel Vigne.
Robert Laffont, 269 pp.
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The Return of Martin Guerre 
by Natalie Davis.
Harvard, 162 pp., £12.75, October 1983, 0 674 76690 3
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... In a provocative article published in Past and Present in 1979, another Princeton historian, Lawrence Stone, argued that we have recently witnessed – for better or worse, probably worse – a ‘revival of narrative’ in history. In the debate which followed, it became abundantly clear that historical ‘narrative’ is not easy to define, and ...

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