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Series: Vernon Series in World History Series covering all aspects of World History.

Publish and Perish: The Practice of Censorship in the British Isles in the Early Modern Period

Edited by Isabelle Fernandes, University of Clermont Auvergne, France

March 2020 / ISBN: 978-1-62273-405-4
Availability: In stock
202pp. ¦ $61 £46 €52

The development of printing practices during Tudor rule led both to the dissemination of religious and secular knowledge, and the development of a legal arsenal to control it. While the vast majority of studies on censorship regard it as being at the origin of the notion of authorship, critics tend to disagree on its actual influence on early modern writings. Who, among the Church and the secular state, were its main supporters? Did it aim at destroying or removing, punishing or protecting, hampering or regulating? Did it propagate a culture of secrecy or, on the contrary, did it help to circulate new ideas and knowledge by controlling them and making them more acceptable to the masses? If the answers to these questions are bound to differ according to the aesthetic and religious biases of both censors and censored, they all lead to one major point of debate: did censorship really work to stop some marginal threat or did it simply improve the lot of early modern writers who turned its limited negative effects into a comforting shield of self-publicity? By suggesting it suppressed neither artistic creativity nor subversive practices, this volume analyses censorship in Britain and Ireland during the Tudor and Stuart periods as an instrument of regulation, rather than a repressive tool. Ideal for both graduate students and general readers interested in Early Modern History, the work sheds new light on a topic as fascinating as it is often misunderstood.

The Idea of Sport in Western Culture from Antiquity to the Contemporary Era

Saverio Battente, University of Siena, Italy

ISBN: 978-1-62273-938-7
Availability: Pre-order
$45 £34 €38

In “The Idea of Sport in Western Culture from Antiquity to the Contemporary Era,” Dr Saverio Battente examines the concept of sport as an element of Western culture. Sport has aided in structuring the collective identities that underpin individual civilisations in the West, and, far from being a merely marginal phenomenon, it has in fact been an essential feature of Western civilisation and culture from antiquity, in its various forms. The starting point of the book is the idea that there is a certain number of universal traits—unchanged across time and different cultures—underlying all sports, even if there are a series of entirely original elements with which sport has been linked over the centuries in specific civilizations. This volume thus makes a comparative analysis of the ancient, modern, and contemporary worlds and various national contexts; longues durées (whose presence transcends anthropological and cultural barriers), divergences, and discontinuities pertaining to the concept of sport are identified and explored. The book also looks at the link between the rise of civilisation and the educational and training function of sport, as well as the connection between a culture’s decline and a growing emphasis on sport as an element of entertainment and spectacle in and of itself.

A History of the Seventies: The political, cultural, social and economic developments that shaped the modern world

Bas Dianda

January 2019 / ISBN: 978-1-62273-529-7
Availability: In stock
378pp. ¦ $57 £43 €49

Relegated to the back bench, the Seventies are often considered as no more than a bridge between the more momentous decades of the Sixties and Eighties. However, delving into this historical period, this book asks; how significant were the Seventies in terms of political, economic and cultural developments? And, to what extent did this decade change the course of the second half of the twentieth century? Seeking to uncover the extraordinary transformative capacity of this era, this book reveals how important events from this decade marked history for many years to come. Grounded in a ‘history of developments,’ this book investigates connections of causality or concomitant causality with events that were yet to come. The first part of this volume traces the economic, political and cultural trends that prevailed during this decade, before turning its attention to the legacies of the Seventies and the events that changed the course of history and that are still having repercussions to this day. From the oil crisis to microwaves, this book offers an in-depth and complete look at the Seventies that will not only be of interest to historians and economists, but also sociologists and those intrigued by the evolution of political, economic and cultural developments.

Cultural Encounters: Cross-disciplinary studies from the Late Middle Ages to the Enlightenment

Edited by Désirée Cappa, Warburg Institute et al.

March 2018 / ISBN: 978-1-62273-381-1
Availability: In stock
182pp. ¦ $57 £41 €46

This collection of essays contributes to the growing field of ‘encounter studies’ within the domain of cultural history. The strength of this work is the multi- and interdisciplinary approach, with papers on a broad range of historical times, places, and subjects. While each essay makes a valuable and original contribution to its relevant field(s), the collection as a whole is an attempt to probe more general questions and issues concerning the productive outcomes of cultural encounters throughout the Late Medieval and Early Modern periods. The collection is divided into three sections organised thematically and chronologically. The first, ‘Encounters with the Past,’ focuses on the reception of classical antiquity in medieval images and texts from France, Italy and the British Isles. The second, ‘Encounters with Religion,’ presents a selection of instances in which political, philosophical and natural philosophical issues arise within inter-religious contexts. The final section, ‘Encounters with Humanity,’ contains essays on early science fiction, political symbolism, and Elizabethan drama theory, all of which deal with the conception and expression of humanity, on both the individual and societal level. This volume’s wide range of topics and methodological approaches makes it an important point of reference for researchers and practitioners within the humanities who have an interest in the (cross-)cultural history of the medieval and Renaissance periods.

Mersey Built: The Role of Merseyside in the American Civil War

Robert Thorp

July 2017 / ISBN: 978-1-62273-280-7
Availability: In stock
448pp. [Color] ¦ $105 £86 €99

‘Mersey Built’ chronicles the little-known commercial battle that raged between North and South during the American Civil War. The South relied on Europe for its military supplies, which the North tried to stop with a naval blockade of all Southern ports. The South retaliated by destroying Northern merchant ships on the high seas, using war ships, secretly procured from British shipyards and smuggled out of Britain by sympathetic British captains using British crews. The Charleston-based business empire headed by George Trenholm provided a conduit for Confederate finance with its Liverpool branch acting as bankers for the Confederacy’s procurement agents. Merseyside, with its extensive docks and numerous shipyards quickly became the epicenter of Confederate operations in Europe. Several British businessmen bought ships specifically to run supplies through the Union blockade, leaving relationships between the United States and Britain strained, close to breaking point. The book relates the history of Trenholm’s commercial empire, its pre-war expansion into Liverpool and the pivotal role it played in supporting the Confederate war effort. The involvement of other Liverpool-based entrepreneurs and their successes and failures in blockade-running is described. Background histories of the Merseyside ship builders who constructed warships and blockade runners for the Confederacy are included as well as several mini-biographies of the Liverpool-based captains who smuggled out warships and braved the Union blockade. Details of each ship built on Merseyside for involvement in the Civil War are listed. The role of the United States consular service and its extensive, Liverpool-based, spy ring is described, as are the efforts of the United States ambassador in London to influence British government policy on neutrality. The author, a direct descendant of a Liverpool ship builder, and a blockade-running captain, brings new insights and previously unpublished facts to light in this fascinating chapter of history.

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