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Preview: Twentieth Century British History - current issue

Twentieth Century British History Current Issue

Published: Mon, 27 Nov 2017 00:00:00 GMT

Last Build Date: Fri, 08 Dec 2017 14:56:10 GMT


The Complex Holiday Calendar of 1902: Responses to the Coronation of Edward VII and the Growth of Edwardian Event Fatigue

Mon, 27 Nov 2017 00:00:00 GMT

The coronation of Edward VII and events to mark the end of the South African War led to a series of public ceremonies and events in the United Kingdom that had a profound effect on attitudes linked to national occasions and public holidays. This article explores the circumstances surrounding the numerous local and national holidays of 1902. It considers the decision-making process linked to the declaration of a coronation double-bank holiday, which demonstrated the inadequacy of contemporary legislation. The public response to the postponement of the coronation, due to the king’s contraction of appendicitis, led to a period of ‘event fatigue’ in response to further ceremonial events. This showcased how much the British people guarded their right to holiday time and how the coronation had become more synonymous with celebration than with royal ceremony. It also showcased the degree to which the British people had been politicized and were ready to defend what they saw as their rights, in rejection of deference and traditional authority.

Tutankhamen, Egyptomania, and Temporal Enchantment in Interwar Britain

Mon, 27 Nov 2017 00:00:00 GMT

The man in the street talked Tut-ankh-amen, the road mender in the country said, ‘It is a shame to disturb that ’ere Tut-ankh in his tomb’, the shop windows were filled with books on the Pharaohs. People who could afford it rushed to Egypt to see for themselves, and those who could not afford to go there displayed letters from friends who were there with pardonable pride. The whole world was under the Tut-ankh-amen spell.11

Rethinking Folk Culture in Twentieth-Century Britain

Thu, 17 Aug 2017 00:00:00 GMT

Research on folk culture in twentieth-century Britain has focused on elite and transgressive political episodes, but these were not its mainstream manifestations. This article re-evaluates the place of folk culture in twentieth-century Britain in the context of museums. It argues that in the modern heritage landscape folk culture was in an active dialogue with the modern democracy. This story begins with the vexed, and ultimately failed, campaign for a national English folk museum and is traced through the concurrent successes of local, regional, and Celtic ‘first wave’ folk museums across Britain from the 1920s to the 1960s. The educational activities of these museums are explored as emblematic of a ‘conservative modernity’, which gave opportunities to women but also restricted their capacity to do intellectual work. By the 1970s, a ‘second wave’ folk museology is identified, revealing how forms of folk culture successfully accommodated the rapid social change of the later twentieth century, particularly in deindustrializing regions. From this new, museums’ perspective, folk culture appears far less marginal to twentieth-century British society. In museums folk culture interacted with mainstream concerns about education, regionalism, and commercialization.

Contested Spaces: London and the 1984–5 Miners’ Strike

Thu, 20 Jul 2017 00:00:00 GMT

The 1984–5 British miners’ strike can be understood as a defence of place as well as jobs. Such a conception encourages us to foreground the local in accounts of the strike. However, I argue in this article that the local should not be understood in an excessively bounded way. By paying attention to relationships developed between London and the coalfields during the dispute, we can see how direct personal networks of solidarity were constructed between these very different places. This article discusses the spaces in which solidarity activity for miners in London took place. I argue that political activists rooted themselves in localities by constructing permanent spaces such as centres and bookshops, which enabled the development of concrete relationships between different places. I highlight ‘twinning’ as a distinct spatial tactic used by supporters of the strike to bridge geographical distance and develop personal connections between London and the coalfields. I also show that elements of the state were used to both sustain this solidarity and to restrict the space available for the miners and their supporters. I argue centrally, therefore, that opposing political visions for moving beyond the post-war settlement manifested in a struggle over space in the 1980s.

Europe after Empire. Decolonization, Society, and Culture. By Elizabeth Buettner

Wed, 14 Jun 2017 00:00:00 GMT

Europe after Empire. Decolonization, Society, and Culture. By BuettnerElizabeth. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2017. vii + 551 pp. ISBN 978-0-521-13188-9, £22.99.

Communications, Media and the Imperial Experience: Britain and India in the Twentieth Century. By Chandrika Kaul

Wed, 07 Jun 2017 00:00:00 GMT

Communications, Media and the Imperial Experience: Britain and India in the Twentieth Century. By KaulChandrika. Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke, 2014. 278 pp. ISBN 978-0230572584, £63.

Lesbian Motherhood and the Artificial Insemination by Donor Scandal of 1978

Mon, 24 Apr 2017 00:00:00 GMT

In January 1978, the London Evening News informed its readers of its shocking discovery that British lesbians were conceiving babies by artificial insemination by donor (AID). Assisted by a respected London gynaecologist, Dr David Sopher, the women were planning and raising children in the context of lesbian relationships, challenging conventional family models and the widespread presumption that lesbianism and motherhood were mutually exclusive identities. The debate which was sparked by the Evening News expose and taken up in Parliament, the national and local media and on the streets in the subsequent weeks, offers an insight into attitudes towards lesbian motherhood in the late 1970s. This article explores constructions of lesbian mothers and the impact on the experiences and identities of lesbian mothers themselves. The late 1970s marked the beginnings of a shift in practices of conception by British lesbians from lesbians who conceived their children in the context of previous heterosexual relationships, to women who utilized AID and other forms of donor insemination to forge new family structures, and this article analyses the stories of some of these women as they emerged from the 1978 debate.

Cultural Studies 50 Years On: History, Practice and Politics. Edited by Kieran Connell and Matthew Hilton

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 00:00:00 GMT

Cultural Studies 50 Years On: History, Practice and Politics. Edited by ConnellKieran and HiltonMatthew. Rowman & Littlefield, London, 2016. 318 + xvii pp. ISBN9781783483938 £24.95.

Christmas and the British: A Modern History. By Martin Johnes

Wed, 21 Dec 2016 00:00:00 GMT

Christmas and the British: A Modern History. By JohnesMartin. Bloomsbury, London, 2016. xviii+295 pp. ISBN 978-1474255370, £16.99.

The Great Labour Unrest: Rank-and-File Movements and Political Change in the Durham Coalfield. By Lewis H. Mates

Mon, 31 Oct 2016 00:00:00 GMT

The Great Labour Unrest: Rank-and-File Movements and Political Change in the Durham Coalfield. By MatesLewis H.. Manchester University Press, Manchester, 2016. xiv+311 pp. ISBN 978-0719090684, £75.