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Love and Madness

Author : Martin Levy
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In eighteenth-century England the aristocracy dominated the imagination, their exploits -- and misdeeds -- discussed, debated, and gossiped about in the salons and parlors of London. Now author Martin Levy vividly re-creates one of the most shocking and scandalous events of the period, in a riveting true tale of passion, obsession, murder, and courtroom drama. On a spring evening in the year 1779, a young woman emerged from London's Covent Garden Theatre amid a grand swirl of lords and ladies, their servants and coachmen. From out of the shadows a man emerged, dressed in a black suit. He raised a pistol and fired one fatal shot point-blank into the woman's head. A sudden and brutal murder, it was all the more shocking because of the identities of those involved. The victim was Martha Ray, famed aficionada of fashion and the arts, and longtime live-in mistress of the Earl of Sandwich, high-ranking minister to King George III. The assailant was James Hackman, a respected Anglican minister and Martha Ray's former lover. It was a savage crime that rocked both British high society and the church, and inflamed the interest and imagination of such renowned personages as Samuel Johnson and James Boswell, noted biographer and lover of prostitutes and executions. And it resulted in a courtroom extravaganza unique in the annals of legal proceedings -- where passion was the motive, the madness of "momentary phrenzy" the mitigating circumstance . . . and love the ultimate justification for a crazed act of murder. With consummate skill, author Martin Levy brings to breathtaking life the sights and sounds of an unparalleled era in history -- when hangings were public entertainment and debauchery was a popular pastime of the wealthy and the titled -- and expertly unravels the mystery behind a truly sensational slaying. Fascinating, startling, edifying, and entertaining, Love and Madness is a brilliant tale of crime and punishment as vivid and compelling as the headlines of today.

The Men Who Lost America

Author : Andrew Jackson O'Shaughnessy
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Questioning popular belief, a historian and re-examines what exactly led to the British Empire’s loss of the American Revolution. The loss of America was an unexpected defeat for the powerful British Empire. Common wisdom has held that incompetent military commanders and political leaders in Britain must have been to blame, but were they? This intriguing book makes a different argument. Weaving together the personal stories of ten prominent men who directed the British dimension of the war, historian Andrew O’Shaughnessy dispels the incompetence myth and uncovers the real reasons that rebellious colonials were able to achieve their surprising victory. In interlinked biographical chapters, the author follows the course of the war from the perspectives of King George III, Prime Minister Lord North, military leaders including General Burgoyne, the Earl of Sandwich, and others who, for the most part, led ably and even brilliantly. Victories were frequent, and in fact the British conquered every American city at some stage of the Revolutionary War. Yet roiling political complexities at home, combined with the fervency of the fighting Americans, proved fatal to the British war effort. The book concludes with a penetrating assessment of the years after Yorktown, when the British achieved victories against the French and Spanish, thereby keeping intact what remained of the British Empire. “A remarkable book about an important but curiously underappreciated subject: the British side of the American Revolution. With meticulous scholarship and an eloquent writing style, O'Shaughnessy gives us a fresh and compelling view of a critical aspect of the struggle that changed the world.”—Jon Meacham, author of Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power

Sex and the Church in the Long Eighteenth Century

Author : William Gibson
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The Long Eighteenth Century was the Age of Revolutions, including the first sexual revolution. In this era, sexual toleration began and there was a marked increase in the discussion of morality, extra-marital sex, pornography and same-sex relationships in both print and visual culture media. William Gibson and Joanne Begiato here consider the ways in which the Church of England dealt with sex and sexuality in this period. Despite the backdrop of an increasingly secularising society, religion continued to play a key role in politics, family life and wider society and the eighteenth-century Church was still therefore a considerable force, especially in questions of morality. This book integrates themes of gender and sexuality into a broader understanding of the Church of England in the eighteenth century. It shows that, rather than distancing itself from sex through diminishing teaching, regulation and punishment, the Church not only paid attention to it, but its attitudes to sex and sexuality were at the core of society's reactions to the first sexual revolution.

A Great and Monstrous Thing

Author : Jerry White
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A Great and Monstrous Thing offers a street-level view of eighteenth-century London, a city of grandeur and glitter, squalor and poverty, risen from the ashes of the Great Fire of 1666 that destroyed half its homes and great public buildings. What emerges is a society fractured by geography, politics, religion, history—and especially by class.

Anna of Saxony

Author : Ingrun Mann
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Since her early youth at the glittering court of Dresden, Anna had been known as a difficult child and troublemaker. Servants complained about her violent outbursts, while courtiers bemoaned her general disregard for aristocratic female etiquette. Upon reaching her teenage years, the princess’ guardians decided that Saxony’s enfant terrible should leave home as quickly as possible by marrying a foreign suitor in a preferably far-away land. Enter William of Orange: handsome, charming, and heir to one of the Netherlands’ largest estates. The fact that he was also a profligate partier and lover of women was conveniently overlooked. Anna immediately fell for the Dutch bon vivant despite warnings from a few well-meaning relatives. For one, William was a Catholic, while Anna adhered to the Protestant teachings of Martin Luther, critical voices cautioned, correctly predicting future trouble for the princess in the Catholic Netherlands. Furthermore, the prince’s liege lord, the fanatical Philip II of Spain, very much disapproved of a match between his premier vassal and a “Lutheran heretic.” There was also the issue of plain Anna’s growing obsession with the roguish William; an obsession that was not reciprocated. In the end, the impetuous princess threw caution to the wind. No other than William would do for a husband, she insisted, while publicly announcing that “every vein in my body heartily loves him.”

Captain Cook

Author : Frank McLynn
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This “thoroughly researched and sharply opinionated” biography presents a nuanced portrait of the renowned 18th century navigator (The Wall Street Journal). The age of discovery was at its peak in the eighteenth century, with bold adventurers charting the furthest reaches of the globe. Foremost among these explorers was Captain James Cook of the British Royal Navy. Recent writers have viewed Cook through the lens of colonial exploitation, regarding him as a villain. While they raise important issues, many of these critical accounts overlook his major contributions to science, navigation and cartography. In Captain Cook, Frank McLynn re-creates the voyages that took the famous navigator from his native England to the outer reaches of the Pacific Ocean. Although Cook died in a senseless, avoidable conflict with the people of Hawaii, McLynn illustrates that to the men with whom he served, Cook was master of the seas and nothing less than a titan. McLynn reveals Cook's place in history as a brave and brilliant yet tragically flawed man.

A Community of Scholars

Author : Thomas Vinciguerra
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The Columbia University Seminars, founded in 1945, represent a distinctive experiment in academia. Scholars from different disciplines and institutions, as well as practitioners and other experts, meet once a month through the academic year to study and discuss subjects, sometimes beyond their specialties. Through collegial discussion, participants learn from one another. Today, over ninety seminars are ongoing: some have outlived their founders, while others are just beginning. A Community of Scholars is a seventy-fifth anniversary celebration of the founding of The University Seminars. It brings together essays by seminar chairs and other leading participants that exemplify the diversity and vibrancy of these proceedings. Their topics are wide-ranging—the evolution of the labor movement, urban life, the politics and culture of Brazil, the Enlightenment, the prospects for world peace—but in each, a commitment to intellectual provocation and shared learning is on full display. An informative introduction explains how The Seminars came into being and why they continue to matter. The volume also features biographical sketches of Frank Tannenbaum, the Latin America scholar and criminologist who founded The Seminars, and his wife, the anthropologist Jane Belo, a close friend of Margaret Mead. Belo and Tannenbaum endowed The Seminars and allowed them to flourish. A remarkable testament to an unparalleled intellectual forum, A Community of Scholars allows readers to share in the eclectic spirit of The Seminars.

The Real Story

Author : Sarah Statz Cords
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Explores the genres and sub-genres of nonfiction and provides an annotated bibliography of more than five hundred popular nonfiction titles, organized according to genre with a focus on titles published in the last decade.

Dwelling in Possibility

Author : Yopie Prins
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Contributors here suggest new ways of thinking and writing about poetry in light of contemporary questions about history and identity. The book covers a range of time, geography, and genre, considering poets from antiquity to the present and drawing on a variety of critical approaches--particularly the transformation of classical lyric through the figure of Sappho and the use of biblical material in women's verse. 4 illustrations. .

The Game of Love in Georgian England

Author : Sally Holloway
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Courtship in Georgian England was a decisive moment in the life cycle, imagined as a tactical game, an invigorating sport, and a perilous journey across a turbulent sea. This volume brings to life the emotional experience of courtship using the words and objects selected by men and women to navigate this potentially fraught process. It provides new insights into the making and breaking of relationships, beginning with the formation of courtships using the language of love, the development of intimacy through the exchange of love letters, and sensory engagement with love tokens such as flowers, portrait miniatures, and locks of hair. It also charts the increasing modernization of romantic customs over the Georgian era - most notably with the arrival of the printed valentine's card - revealing how love developed into a commercial industry. The book concludes with the rituals of disintegration when engagements went awry, and pursuit of damages for breach of promise in the civil courts. The Game of Love in Georgian England brings together love letters, diaries, valentines, and proposals of marriage from sixty courtships sourced from thirty archives and museum collections, alongside an extensive range of sources including ballads, conduct literature, court cases, material objects, newspaper reports, novels, periodicals, philosophical discourses, plays, poems, and prints, to create a vivid social and cultural history of romantic emotions. The book demonstrates the importance of courtship to studies of marriage, relationships, and emotions in history, and how we write histories of emotions using objects. Love emerges as something that we do in practice, enacted by couples through particular socially and historically determined rituals.