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By James Sharpe
‘Wonderfully interesting, entire 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 ebook … The outlaw's tune has without doubt by no means been larger rendered.’ Times Literary Supplement
From the tragic story of Mary Clifford, whose demise by the hands of her enterprise 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 existence in all its type. And because it considers the litany of attacks, murders and riots that pepper our background, it additionally lines the sophisticated 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 at the same time felony and so frowned upon that continual offenders could good prove being ducked within the village pond? while did the serial killer first make an visual appeal within the annals of English crime? How may perhaps soccer be appeared at one second as a raucous hobby that are meant to be banned, and the following as a decent activity that are supposed 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 selection of fabric – courtroom files and homicide pamphlets, renowned ballads and novels, sermons and movies – to color brilliant photographs of the nation's criminals and felony method from medieval occasions to the current day. He supplies a robust experience of what it used to be wish to be stuck up in, say, a highway brawl in medieval Oxford or a conflict through the English Civil struggle. And he additionally seeks to reply to maybe the main interesting and primary query of all: is a rustic that has skilled not just consistent aggression on anyone scale but additionally the Peasants' insurrection, the Gordon Riots, the ballot Tax protests and the city unrest of summer season 2011 obviously susceptible to violence or are we, in truth, progressively changing into a gentler nation?
‘Deeply researched, thoughtfully thought of and vividly written … learn it.’ History Today
‘Sharpe's eye for aspect guarantees that the surprise worth by no means dwindles.’ Mail on Sunday ****
‘Deeply considerate and thought-provoking … really demanding to place down.’ BBC heritage Magazine
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A Fiery & Furious People: A History of Violence in England by James Sharpe