Forthcoming | ‘London: A Social and Cultural History’

Posted in books by Editor on June 4, 2012

Robert Bucholz, Professor of History at Loyola University Chicago, has been teaching a thematic course on London for years (a version is available at The Great Courses). Long dissatisfied with the available options for texts, he finally decided — with his co-author Joseph Ward — to write one. With its emphasis on the experience of living in early modern London and the varied lives of the city’s residents, the book is good news for anyone trying to fit the city into a semester.  -CH

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From Cambridge UP:

Robert O. Bucholz and Joseph P. Ward, London: A Social and Cultural History, 1550–1750 (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2012), 415 pages, ISBN: 9780521896528, $28.

Between 1550 and 1750 London became the greatest city in Europe and one of the most vibrant economic and cultural centres in the world. This book is a history of London during this crucial period of its rise to world-wide prominence, during which it dominated the economic, political, social and cultural life of the British Isles, as never before nor since. London incorporates the best recent work in urban history, contemporary accounts from Londoners and tourists, and fictional works featuring the city in order to trace London’s rise and explore its role as a harbinger of modernity, while examining how its citizens coped with those achievements. London covers the full range of life in London, from the splendid galleries of Whitehall to the damp and sooty alleyways of the East End. Readers will brave the dangers of plague and fire, witness the spectacles of the Lord Mayor’s Pageant and the hangings at Tyburn, and take refreshment in the city’s pleasure-gardens, coffee-houses and taverns.


Introduction: London’s Importance
1. London in 1550
2. The Socioeconomic Base
3. Royal and Civic London
4. Fine and Performing Arts
5. The Public Sphere and Popular Culture
6. The People on the Margins
7. Riot and Rebellion
8. Plague and Fire
Conclusion: London in 1750

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