his premature death at the age of fifty-five in 1890, apparently
worn out by his labours, Oakley exploited his position to engage with
important city issues, intervening in the gas strike, supporting
educational initiatives, and, in the best Mauricean tradition, bringing
together men of various political and religious opinions and socialclasses for discussion of key issues.
Seen from the choir end of the Cathedral, the 1870s and
1880s witnessed significant progress in equipping the church with the
Between 1598 and 1800, an estimated 3, 271 Catholic women left England to enter convents on the Continent. This study focuses more particularly upon those who became Benedictines in the seventeenth century, choosing exile in order to pursue their vocation for an enclosed life. Through the study of a wide variety of original manuscripts, including chronicles, death notices, clerical instructions, texts of spiritual guidance, but also the nuns’ own collections of notes, this book highlights the tensions between the contemplative ideal and the nuns’ personal experiences. Its first four chapters adopt a traditional historical approach to illustrate the tensions between theory and practice in the ideal of being dead to the world. They offer a prosopographical study of Benedictine convents in exile, and show how those houses were both cut-off and enclosed yet very much in touch with the religious and political developments at home. The next fur chapters propose a different point of entry into the history of nuns, with a study of emotions and the senses in the cloister, delving into the textual analysis of the nuns’ personal and communal documents to explore aspect of a lived spirituality, when the body, which so often hindered the spirit, at times enabled spiritual experience.
expectations and expressions of gender identity (Reay, 1998 ). Modern Australian, Welsh, Scottish, Irish, English or American societies all have subtly, and not so subtly, different approaches to the body, family, marriage, childbirth, socialclass, gender and age or education, based on wider cultural contexts like history, religion or law. Most importantly there is not in fact a single approach to these ideas in any of the places described. Indeed, your own attitude to family, for example, might depend on your past, your background and, importantly, the regional or class
from the same cultural and chronological contexts. In short, to understand the social dimensions of mortuary expression we need to explore difference in terms of ‘socialclass’, attitude and aesthetics, and not via two-dimensional entities like social status based on wealth. Today, attitudes dictated by background or family might influence someone’s attitudes, determining things like the age when you have children and how to approach books, marriage, student loans, family history or social obligations. For example, the middle classes might move for work, whereas
theoretical reflection and the passage of time and events, to offer a reassessment
of the original essay as a means of analysing the events of 2 June 1953.
The basic argument of Shils and Young was that the mass participation of
the population in the coronation of 1953 displayed a degree of social and
moral consensus in the British society of the day that was unusual for such a
complex industrial society and which was facilitated by the unity forged by the
collective national effort of the Second World War and the corresponding and
subsequent socialclass compromise
Deathbed narratives and devotional identities in the early seventeenth century
and didactic texts more recognisably belonging to the ars moriendi tradition. While plays, scaffold speeches, martyrologies and ballads scripted the deaths of historical characters, convicted felons, heretics and saints, deathbed narratives made available to a growing reading public the final moments of a diverse range of ordinary Christian subjects.
This essay surveys a cross-section of deathbed narratives printed in English between 1592 and 1646, about individuals from a spectrum of socialclasses and
then we have to bear in mind that most of the people who were and are
drawn to the
religion came from socialclasses whose members had already largely
abandoned witchcraft as a mechanism of accusation by the eighteenth century.
A comparative approach may shed some more light on this, because at present
the religion is hardly studied outside England. Continental instances
nevertheless appear to be strongly influenced by the
Ursulines and the religious of the Sacred Heart were more likely to recruit
from the daughters of the wealthy aristocracy than from the working classes
in the nineteenth century.11 Women who entered active, simple-vowed
congregations in France came from the socialclasses that they served.12
Religious life in England followed a different trajectory owing to the
penal laws and the suppression of Catholicism. Unlike in France, there was
no explosion of congregations similar to the filles séculières. The Institute of
Mary, founded by Mary Ward, was the sole English
Parliamentary representation, these men turned their attention to the minor offices of Leeds to express their political influence. The parish vestry, the office of churchwarden, the Improvement Commission and the Poor Law became highly politicised, as the new whig-liberal elite created an alternative political focus to rival the existing tory-Anglican establishment entrenched in the unreformed Leeds Corporation. These new socialclasses had their own press mouthpiece in the Leeds Mercury which promoted the interests of the new society. The Mercury had a great journalistic
that was intended to suppress others identities of socialclass, ethnicity, family, gender and sexuality. A shared identity remained essential to religious life, 49 but uniformity became out of place within the processes of renewal and adaptation to a modern world.
Interlinking worlds: post-war Britain, Catholics, Vatican II
Much of the material in the upcoming chapters, because of the international and transnational nature of religious life, will resonate with historians of women religious from other national contexts. However, this research is grounded in a