Chapter 4 considers the first of Freeman’s two neglected volumes on the East, the History and Conquests of the Saracens. Drawing on the theoretical framework of Edward Said’s Orientalism (1978) I argue that Freeman consciously represented the East as the inferior and opposite ‘other’ of the West. In so doing, Freeman interlaced both racial ideas about the Orient and an intense form of Islamophobia. For Freeman it was the teachings of the Qur’an and the Prophet Muhammad that are the leading cause of what he perceived to be the ‘backwards’ and ‘barbaric’ culture of the Arabic-Islamic world.

in History, empire, and Islam

Chapter 1 examines Freeman’s magnum-opus, the six-volume History of the Norman Conquest. It begins by situating this work in relationship to traditions of writing about 1066 which had developed between the thirteenth and the nineteenth centuries. Against this background it is argued that Freeman attempted to incorporate several competing interpretations of history into his work – these included the myth of the ‘Norman Yoke’; the ‘Whig’ view of the past; the Liberal Anglican philosophy; and racialised Victorian Romanticism. Assessing the ways in which Freeman’s commitment to these tropes distorted his use of sources and his narrative, I argue that he was not a straightforward panegyrist to English progress, as is commonly assumed.

in History, empire, and Islam
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The series of international statistical congresses ended somewhat abruptly with the Budapest gathering in 1876. Articles published in international statistics journals conveyed the urgency of the need for organisational reforms. Anyone who has followed the debate about the future of the European Union will have seen many parallels between contemporary events and the dealings of the international statistical congresses. The International Statistical Institute (ISI), which was established in London in 1885, was in many ways the congress's natural successor. The founders of the ISI emphasised the professionalism of the institute and limited membership to 150 to keep out the 'free-floating intelligentsia', who in the opinion of many experts had had a disruptive influence on the congresses. ISI publications, in particular the Bulletin de l'Institut international de statistique, addressed the subjects and methods of statistical research more systematically and with greater precision than the congress reports.

in States and statistics in the nineteenth century

In 1855 Parisians believed that their city was the centre of the world. Carl Friedrich Wilhelm Dieterici, who represented the Prussian kingdom in 1855 as he had in 1853, observed a bellicose mood among the French. The absence of the peacemaker, Adolphe Quetelet, may be one reason for Dieterici's about-face and less-than-conciliatory attitude towards the French. Quetelet wrote about Charles Dupin's graphical innovation in his journal, Correspondance mathématique et physique, and announced that an education map of the Netherlands was being prepared. Dupin's linear progress diktat was well suited to the Napoleonic climate. In many ways, Napoleonic statistics foreshadowed the form that statistics would take as the nineteenth century progressed. By the time the second international statistical congress began in 1855, statistics had acquired a permanent place in the machinery of government, in the academies and in public opinion in France.

in States and statistics in the nineteenth century
The penalties and paradoxes of unmanliness

This chapter demonstrates that unmanliness was written onto ill-formed, unappealing bodies and faces that prompted disgust, fear, and shame. It shows that adult men were instructed on how to avoid unmanliness through emotionalised bodies: failing, uncontrolled, unattractive bodies created by unchecked appetites and bad habits such as drunkenness, and sexual vices. Men were thus taught that the inability to master one’s self caused literal physical, mental, and moral disintegration. Lack of self-control became more dangerous in the nineteenth century as excessive passions, bodily appetites, and feelings were increasingly pathologised as causes of disease and insanity. Responsibility was placed upon the male individual for failing to exert enough moral control to avoid his illness. The discussion of the relationship between unmanliness, bodies, and emotions that follows reveals the inherent paradox of masculine identity, since many unmanly behaviours were also those which, in a managed form, were central to the performance of normative masculinity. Thus, men had to navigate considerable ambiguities in performing their gender. The chapter shows how unmanliness was especially complicated for those men whose bodies were lacking, due to disability, age, or infirmity.

in Manliness in Britain, 1760–1900
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Glorifying the working body

This chapter examines representations of working men’s bodies. The first section explores the nobility assigned to the muscular body, interrogated through the imagined blacksmith and navvy. The next addresses the role of heroism, another appealing quality, primarily through miners, firemen, and lifeboat men. Such strong and appealing working men offered a more comforting vision of working-class masculinity than that in which such men were politically and socially dangerous. Kindness was attributed to both brawn and brave stereotypes, taming the muscular and reckless body. This was not working men’s only function for a middle-class audience, since the same combination of alluring physical and emotional qualities also rendered the working-class male body desirable as a manly ideal. The chapter then shows that the working classes created and disseminated their own highly emotional and material manifestation of working-class manliness on the material culture of trade unions and friendly societies. However, the emotions associated with them were subtly different and deployed in different ways. For middle-class men, the attractive working man was reassuring and admirable, for working-class men he was a measure of their right to be included in the civic polity.

in Manliness in Britain, 1760–1900
Open Access (free)
Edmund Howes’s Annales

The chronicler Edmund Howes was interested in trade and, like his more illustrious contemporaries Francis Bacon (ch. 1) and William Camden (ch. 2), provided an analysis of the state's management of commercial affairs. Howes, however, had much closer connections with the workshops, warehouses and offices of the City than the other writers discussed in this book. And it was through describing the activities of individuals attached to these locales, the chapter argues, that he was able to develop a highly innovative account of English commercial history. In dealing with Howes's writing, the chapter begins by looking briefly at his life, before exploring the account of Jacobean immigration, manufacture and trading companies developed in the Annales (1615, 1632). The chapter's final section shows how Howes's work shaped the approach to Jacobean commerce of one of the most popular historical works of the seventeenth century: Richard Baker's Chronicle (1643).

in Commerce, finance and statecraft
Staging class aboard the omnibus

This chapter considers the omnibus as a central urban site where class relations and class identity were articulated, debated, and contested. Contemporary writers noted that the name omnibus was particularly well-suited to a mode of public transport that was by law open to everyone regardless of class, rank, or social standing. In theory, this vehicle embodied democratic promise, class equality, and French Republican values. Yet a careful analysis of contemporary documents shows that the omnibus was a much more ambivalent class signifier than heretofore believed. While some works hailed it as a symbol of progress and democratic potential, a space in which social distinctions became irrelevant, and all passengers were treated equally, others bemoaned that the omnibus fell short as a vehicle of equality. Finally, some documents reveal a profound anxiety about class mixing aboard the omnibus, which for many symbolized the upending of existing social hierarchies. The omnibus was thus a locus for engaging with both class aspirations and class anxieties. Some urban observers perceived social mobility as a promise, while others saw it as a dangerous challenge to the social order.

in Engine of modernity
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History, time and temporality in development discourse

This chapter focuses on two areas in which history can make a contribution, conceptually and methodologically, to understanding constructions of time and the past in development policy. First, it explores the problematic way in which the discourse writes and conceals its history, and addresses how we can usefully engage an historical perspective to move beyond a bounded history that simply charts a linear chronology of events and sequential theoretical positions. Second, the chapter argues that how we understand, invoke and imagine time and temporality in development, particularly in relation to other people in different places, reproduces and embeds global hierarchies and distinctions. It suggests that a postcolonial historical analysis can offer ways of writing different histories and of moving beyond the problematic framing of time.

in History, historians and development policy
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Why might history matter for development policy?

When economists analyze development policy, the first requirement is a description of the economy, of individuals, households, firms, farms and any other relevant entities, how they behave and how they interact. Having set up the 'non-policy' outcome the policy is introduced and the consequences are worked out given the model of the economy specified earlier. Clearly, history matters, and it matters in important and interesting ways for policy. History matters also to how a ruling elite perceives its objectives and its constraints. It should be clear that the way in which history matters is more than as a series of facts and events in the past related to the policy in question, say. Rather, what is equally if not more important is how and in what form these events of the past came to be embedded in the consciousness of the present generation.

in History, historians and development policy