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Representations and perceptions of fraudulent identities

Impostors and impostures featured prominently in the political, social and religious life of early modern England. Who was likely to be perceived as impostor, and why? This book offers a full-scale analysis of this multifaceted phenomenon. Using approaches drawn from historical anthropology and micro-history, it investigates changes and continuities within the impostor phenomenon from 1500 to the late eighteenth century, exploring the variety of representations and perceptions of impostors, and their deeper meanings within the specific contexts of social, political, religious, institutional and cultural change. The book examines a wide range of sources, from judicial archives and other official records to chronicles, newspapers, ballads, pamphlets and autobiographical writings. Given that identity is never fixed, but involves a performative dimension, changing over time and space, it looks at the specific factors which constitute identity in a particular context, and asks why certain characteristics of an allegedly false identity were regarded as fake.

Open Access (free)
Katherine Aron-Beller

costly sanctions needing to be applied or the involvement of the secular arm in the execution of the Jew’s punishment. Bernard Cooperman has recently argued that there is a shortage of criminal proceedings in Italy in general because these records were the first type of documents to be disposed of when space was lacking in judicial archives.3 Yet if trial procedure of the Jew before the Papal Inquisition is compared to similar activity in civil and criminal courts in other parts of western Europe, preliminary investigation suggests that the Inquisition’s conscious

in Jews on trial
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Tobias B. Hug

problems familiar to most historians of crime. Judicial practice varied across the country, from village to village, from official to official. Conflicts were often resolved by agreement, so there must be a considerable ‘dark figure’ of cases which were neither recorded nor prosecuted. Last but not least, there were also a handful of successful impostors. This book, however, is not a statistical project, scrutinising a specific body of sources, but focuses instead on cultural meanings. It makes use of sources ranging from judicial archives, mainly in the London area, and

in Impostures in early modern England
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Reconstructing popular political culture in early modern England
John Walter

also reflected the nature of the archive – while rebellion forced its way into familiar and frequently calendared sources (State Papers, gentry correspondence) or created its own judicial archive – evidence of smaller-scale actions was to be found buried in little or less explored (and often bulky and intractable) archival sources, where the popularity of the Latin tag ‘riotose’ for plaintiffs wanting to involve the state’s criminal justice in what were essentially interpersonal or private property disputes, added another complication in their use. This archival

in Crowds and popular politics in early modern England
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"Experience" and "theory" in debates over forensic knowledge and expertise in early twentieth-century China
Daniel Asen

left in the police and judicial archives that Yu was quite literate. For example, it was not uncommon for Beijing judicial authorities to have Yu send written reports or explanations to regional authorities seeking forensic assistance.10 After praising the Bar Association’s good intentions in writing the letter, Yu launched directly into an abstract discussion of epistemology meant to demonstrate its mistaken understanding of the practice of forensic examination. He argued that in forensics, jingyan (經驗, experience) was more essential than xueli (學理), which might be

in Historical epistemology and the making of modern Chinese medicine
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Sara Callahan

Historian Arlette Farge tied her own fascination for the archive to the fact that its documents are not published. Farge's archive is alluring, but also unsettling and colossal, and it grabs hold of the historian: ‘The archival document is a tear in the fabric of time, an unplanned glimpse into an unexpected event.’  28 The eighteenth-century judicial archives that Farge studied were ‘not compiled with an eye toward history’, and because of this they could ‘produce the sensation of having finally caught hold of the real

in Art + Archive
Laurent Turcot

, diametrically opposed: on the one hand, treatises concerned with civility; and on the other hand, judicial archives. A key element to emerge from these sources is the trope of social mixing in the spaces of leisure. Numerous historians have cast leisure activities as a key prism for investigating the spaces where different social groups encountered and intermixed with one another, with some scholars going so far as to see in this the premises of a democratic society. I argue that this is in fact a false idea: instead, I propose that, although the different social classes

in Leisure cultures in urban Europe, c.1700–1870
Samuel K. Cohn, Jr

reported a conspiracy to topple the government of the Bentivoglio in Bologna [69] . It amounted, however, to little, was immediately repressed, and has left no trace in Bologna’s rich judicial archives that survive from the thirteenth century on. In 1353, the Roman popolo chased the ruling senator, Luca Savelli, out of town. But the ex-senator and nobleman, Rainaldo Orsini, lead them and pulled the

in Popular protest in late-medieval Europe
Samuel K. Cohn, Jr

This chapter comprises a wide range of documents on popular protest before the Black Death, 1245 to 1347 which embrace heretical movements in city and countryside and the most sophisticated industrial revolts found in these documents – strikes, illegal associations of workers, insurrections led by weavers and fullers, a general strike of all commoners, and a strike of rural labourers to achieve political ends.

in Popular protest in late-medieval Europe