Abstract only
Andrew Taylor

After 1974 and under the leadership of Margaret Thatcher, the party reinstituted an extensive and radical rethink of its attitudes and policies towards the organised working class, actively contemplating the measures likely to be needed in order to avoid a repeat of the Heath Government’s experiences. In opposition, therefore, the party undertook a number of extensive studies into the dimensions of the problem and developed a strategy to handle serious confrontations with the unions. The party invested considerable resources in attempting to revive its union organisation. For a time this played an important role in the party. The collapse of the 1974–1979 Labour Government and ‘the Winter of Discontent’ brought a Conservative government to office, which was determined to deal with ‘the union problem’. It did not come into office with a fully developed programme; both union and industrial relations legislation was passed piecemeal, and was an incremental response, and likewise, the countermeasures needed to meet serious industrial confrontation were developed over time and in response to events. Particularly significant for both was the steel strike. By 1990 when Mrs Thatcher left office the unions’ legal, political and industrial environment had been transformed, with the unions effectively excluded, and the political salience of the organise working class ended.

in What about the workers?
Belief and the shaping of medieval society
Author: Paul Fouracre

In early Christianity it was established that every church should have a light burning on the altar at all times. This unique study is about the material and social consequences of maintaining eternal lights. Never before has the subject been treated as important to the political economy, nor has it been explored over the whole medieval period. The cost of maintaining the lights meant that only the elite could afford to do so, and peasants were organised to provide funds for the lights. Later, as society became wealthier, a wider range of people became providers and organised themselves into guilds or confraternities in support of the church and with the particular aim of commemorating their members. Power over the lights, and over individual churches, shifted to these organisations, and, when belief in the efficacy of burning lights was challenged in the Reformation, it was such people who were capable of bringing the practice of burning eternal lights to a sudden and sometimes violent end. The study concludes that the practice of keeping a flame on the altar did indeed have important material and cultural consequences. Because it examines the relation between belief and materiality at every turn, the book also works as a guide to the way in which Western Europe developed, from the decline of the Roman Empire to the advent of the Protestant state.

Print culture, multimodality, and visual design in Derricke’s Image of Irelande
Andie Silva

One of the most detailed visual accounts of Irish customs and culture, the twelve illustrations in The Image of Ireland (1581) represent an impressive achievement in visual design and textual navigation. Part diagram, part graphic novel, each image features small letters connecting its actions to the narrative poem below. A look at other printed illustrations from the period (particularly those produced by Dutch woodcutters) demonstrates that John Derricke’s work carefully responded to contemporary themes and popular visual protocols. Further, the twelve illustrations offered a unique combination of form, design, and functionality not unlike modern hypertexts. Taking into consideration the early print marketplace in general and the demands from Day’s workroom in particular, this chapter suggests that The Image of Ireland’s illustrations were designed to be printed and circulated separately from Derricke’s poem. Derricke’s illustrations can be understood within the context of increasingly multimodal and dynamic reading practices among middle-class readers and are evidence of Day’s incredibly diverse market of book-buyers.

in John Derricke’s The Image of Irelande: with a Discoverie of Woodkarne
Abstract only
Richard Strier

In ‘Happy Hamlet’, Richard Strier argues that one of the things that makes Hamlet such a profoundly sad play is how utterly unnecessary are its tragic events. Unlike Othello, Lear, and Macbeth, Hamlet does nothing to create the bad situation in which he finds himself, one that corrupts what otherwise appears to be a very happy life. Strier reimagines this ‘happy’ version of Shakespeare’s tragedy, and in doing so calls attention to the biases that have prevented critics from capturing the full significance of the play.

in Positive emotions in early modern literature and culture
Leila Watkins

In ‘Happy objects and earthly pleasure in Thomas Traherne’s devotional poetry’, Leila Watkins explores pleasure in Thomas Traherne’s late seventeenth-century devotional poetry, which display a near obsession with the process of finding present happiness in the material world. The essay addresses Traherne’s poetry’s surprising affective resonances by way of Sara Ahmed’s definition of positive affects as ‘orientations’ toward objects we believe are likely to cause happiness; Watkins thus argues that Traherne views poetry as a tool that can help readers obtain happiness by modifying their inherited cultural orientations toward specific objects.

in Positive emotions in early modern literature and culture
An introduction
Elwin Hofman

The introduction outlines the existing historiography of the self, discusses its lack of attention for social status, and develops a new methodology that can be used as a guide for future studies. It suggests to refocus the investigation on four sets of discourses and four sets of practices of the self, which will allow us to take into account the diversity and paradoxes of the self. Moreover, the introduction shows the need to bring power into the analysis, taking inspiration from Nietzsche and Foucault to highlight the importance of institutions of criminal justice in the making of the self. The introduction concludes with a reflection on archives of criminal justice, suggesting that we must heed to the formative nature of legal records, rather than seeing them as more or less dependable indicators of pre-existing ideas and practices.

in Trials of the self
Abstract only
Silvia Granata

The introduction details the scope and aims of the book, discussing the variety of functions acquired by Victorian home aquaria. In particular, since Victorians tended to conceptualise tank keeping mostly in terms of visual pleasure, it connects the hobby with wider changes in the understanding of attention and vision. It then discusses the literary quality of aquarium texts, explaining why this was so crucial to the fortunes of Victorian tank keeping.

in The Victorian aquarium
Abstract only
Thomas Herron, Denna J. Iammarino, and Maryclaire Moroney

The Introduction to the book offers a historical and literary contextualization of the Image. The editors address the text’s rich historical connections; the little-known background of the author, John Derricke; the brief, but impactful reception of the work; the immediate and contemporary reaches of the Image. Lastly, the editors summarize the collection’s chapters, linking many of the ideas contained in the work. In general, the Introduction seeks to present information about the work, its characters, and its sordid history, ultimately arguing for its early modern significance to a variety of disciplines.

in John Derricke’s The Image of Irelande: with a Discoverie of Woodkarne
Abstract only
Cora Fox, Bradley J. Irish, and Cassie M. Miura

The volume editors provide a rationale for focusing on positive emotions during the European Renaissance, accounting for not only dominant historicist scholarship on Galenic humoral theory, Stoicism, and larger questions of early modern embodiment but also newer methodological directions in affect theory, psychology, and the affective sciences as they may be applied to early modern literature and culture. The editors argue that understanding the interrelationship between positive and negative emotions and how such distinctions are constructed and historically situated offers a new vantage point from which to interrogate conceptions of what constitutes pleasure and who is afforded well-being and happiness in the past as well as in the present day.

in Positive emotions in early modern literature and culture
Abstract only
Andrew Taylor

This sets out the book’s argument. The Conservative Party and the unions were mutually constitutive and for much of the last century Conservative policy was in major respects directed towards accommodating the trade unions and organised working class. Successive Conservative leaderships pursued a policy of inclusion despite hostility from the party grassroots. The Introduction also introduces concepts central to the analysis.

in What about the workers?