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A royal city in a time of revolution
Author: J. F. Merritt

This book examines the varied and fascinating ways in which the series of non-monarchical regimes of England’s civil wars and interregnum interacted with the unique locality and community of Westminster. Westminster (as opposed to London) was traditionally viewed as the ‘royal’ city – the site of Whitehall Palace and the royal courts of justice, its Abbey reputed to be the ‘house of kings’, and its inhabitants assumed to be instinctive followers of the monarch and the royal court. Westminster emerges in this study as a site of extraordinary ambiguities and juxtapositions. The promoters of vigorous moral reformation and a sustained and often intrusive military presence coexisted uneasily with the area’s distinctive forms of elite sociability and luxury. The state’s foremost godly preachers performed in close proximity to royalist churchmen. More generally, the forces of political, religious and cultural conservatism can be observed on the very doorstep of parliament and non-monarchical regimes. Yet for Westminster as a whole, this was the time when the locality became tied to the state more tightly than ever before, while at key moments the town’s distinctive geography and local government played a significant role in shaping the political crises of the period. Chapters analyse the crisis of 1640-42, the use of Westminster’s iconic buildings and spaces by the non-monarchical regimes, the sustained military occupation of the locality, the problems of political allegiance and local government, the religious divisions and practices of the period, and the problematic revival of fashionable society in a time of political tension.

J. F. Merritt

necessarily have affected forms of public, elite sociability.23 The moral regulation of fashionable living would also be a problematic feature of Westminster society well after the war was over, as we will see. Fashionable society under the republic and  protectorate Ultimately, the end of the war saw Westminster begin slowly to recover some its role as a centre for aristocratic living, with some of Westminster’s residents returning, albeit potentially saddled with sequestrations. There were still temporary alarms when times of tension created a more intrusive military

in Westminster 1640–60
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J. F. Merritt

for fashionable society in the emerging West End. The worlds of military government and of elite sociability and luxury now coincided uneasily and in close proximity. Here was a place where pleasure gardens still provided opportunities for leisure and exuberant social display, even though nearby fashionable houses were used to quarter troops, and soldiers intervened to stop aristocrats’ coaches travelling on the Sabbath. What emerges from the contextualized study of fashionable society and religious life in Westminster in these decades would seem to be a pattern of

in Westminster 1640–60
Justin Champion

culture in the period was to the cultural intent of such ideas. Toland’s example is both a symptom and a cause of the cultural conflict of the period. Fragments of evidence show how Toland’s participation in an elite sociability was a means for insinuating his ideas into the minds of the great and good. This was most definitely enlightenment from above rather than from below. This offers a different model of ‘Enlightenment’ than the one commonly advanced which still emphasises the intellectual influence of philosophic ideas. The more sophisticated account suggested by

in Republican learning
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Travel and the British country house
Jon Stobart

make his house ‘sufficiently permeable’ to allow visitors to ‘appreciate and, preferably, report on his achievements’; but the increasing press for admission in some places meant that restrictions, in terms of tickets or opening hours, were necessary. Moreover, the new set of visitors sometimes failed to behave themselves, resulting in complaints about vandalism and theft.16 Not everything was changing, however: polite social visits remained a central element of elite sociability throughout the eighteenth century.17 For those travelling, overnight stays with country

in Travel and the British country house
Society gossip, homosexuality and the logic of revelation in the interwar popular press
Ryan Linkof

creating the modern gossip column, see Horrie, Tabloid Nation. 21 Hannen Swaffer, Hannen Swaffer’s Who’s Who (London: Hutchinson, 1929), p. 6. 22 Quoted in Driberg, Swaff , p. 56. 23 Will Straw’s work on the New York tabloid gossip of the 1930s makes a similar claim. Will Straw, ‘Squawkies and talkies’, Parallax , 14 (2008), 26. Late nineteenth-century women’s magazines hired gossip writers with some connection to elite sociability, paying them pro rata to expose some of the secrets of aristocratic living. It did not take long, however

in British queer history
Open Access (free)
Milton, Harrington and the Williamite monarchy, 1698–1714
Justin Champion

men in the kingdom who had encouraged Toland to publish the work. In 1705 Toland was to describe Newcastle as ‘my true friend’ who had ‘been constantly infusing into me sentiments of peace and moderation, the profoundest respect for the Queen’s Majesty and Government, and a largeness of soul towards all denominations of Englishmen’.31 Newcastle, a friend of men like Somers, Shaftesbury, and the young James Stanhope, was also the dedicatee of Toland’s important work Anglia Libera (1701). Throughout the 1690s and 1700s he was a key political figure in the elite

in Republican learning
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Art in the first industrial society
James Moore

fundamentally devalue old master works and eventually led to a rise in the relative value of contemporary British art.55 For some, the ‘mass production’ of artists in public art schools threatened the status of art itself. Consumerism and the creation of new social spaces changed the nature of group activity and socialisation to one that prized abstract liberal principles of inclusivity over traditional patterns of elite sociability. Habermas’s 11 High culture and tall chimneys work on the public sphere has shown how rational and critical values often lay behind the

in High culture and tall chimneys
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The social and the sexual in interwar Britain
Matt Houlbrook

frame overdetermined by the intersections of sex and social mobilities. By 1925 O’Dare was at Society’s heart: social and geographical mobility collapsed in carefully staged dramas of her climb from ‘Pig feeding on a Hereford farm to the glories of Mayfair’. 68 Moving to London, O’Dare claimed the privileges of elite sociability through elaborate narratives of aristocratic origin. She established a productive relationship with the press, aligning herself with the rhythms of patrician life through interviews and alluring studio portraits. 69 Her fall was equally

in British queer history
Clarisse Coulomb

also eulogised the conversation of women. Thanks to Anglomania, the English were welcomed, as Horace Walpole was by Madame du Deffand. The prominent role of women in the salons was a feature of elite sociability in France.69 Salonnières were praised for their social skills, and their ability to maintain politesse and harmony, even across several social categories.70 Sir Philip Thicknesse, being introduced to the Princess de Beauvau, a ‘lady of the first quality’, was ‘agreeably surprized [sic] with the easy and familiar conversation of one of the most agreeable women

in Leisure cultures in urban Europe, c.1700–1870