Tutorial in the History of Modern Britain


Course Description: This graduate-level tutorial introduces the major themes, debates, and methods of historical writing on modern Britain.  It is intended particularly, though not exclusively, as field preparation for the general examination.  Topics include the domestic ramifications of war and empire, the expanding reach of the state and the market, the adaptability of tradition, the contradictions of liberalism, and the meanings of modernity. 

Sample Reading List:

Jordanna Bailkin, The Afterlife of Empire
John Barrell, The Dark Side of the Landscape: The Rural Poor in English Painting
John Brewer, The Sinews of Power: War, Money and the English State
David Cannadine, The Decline and Fall of the British Aristocracy
Deborah Cohen, Family Secrets: Shame and Privacy in Modern Britain
Linda Colley, Britons: Forging the Nation
Leonore Davidoff and Catherine Hall, Family Fortunes: Men and Women of the English Middle Class
Anna Davin, “Imperialism and Motherhood”
David Edgerton, England and the Aeroplane
Boyd Hilton, Age of Atonement: The Influence of Evangelicalism on Social and Economic Thought
Eric Hobsbawm and Terence Ranger (eds.), The Invention of Tradition
Peter Mandler, The Fall and Rise of the Stately Home
Peter Mandler (ed.), Liberty and Authority in Victorian Britain
Ross McKibbin, Classes and Cultures: England 1918-1951
Guy Ortolano, The Two Cultures Controversy
Alex Owen, The Place of Enchantment: Occultism and the Culture of the Modern
Kathleen Paul, Whitewashing Britain: Race and Citizenship in the Postwar Era
Bernard Porter, The Absent-Minded Imperialists: Empire, Society, and Culture in Britain
Sadiah Qureshi, Peoples on Parade: Exhibitions, Empire, and Anthropology in Nineteenth-Century Britain
Jonathan Rose, The Intellectual Life of the British Working Classes
Jonathan Schneer, London 1900: The Imperial Metropolis
G.R. Searle, The Quest for National Efficiency
James Secord, Victorian Sensation: The Extraordinary Publication, Reception, and Secret Authorship of Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation
Mathew Thomson, Lost Freedom: The Landscape of the Child and the British Postwar Settlement
E.P. Thompson, Customs in Common
E.P. Thompson, The Making of the English Working Class
James Vernon, Distant Strangers: How Britain Became Modern
Judith Walkowitz, Nights Out: Life in Cosmopolitan London

Corcoran Department of History
University of Virginia
Nau Hall - South Lawn
Charlottesville, VA 22904


(434) 924-7147
(434) 924-7891
M-F 8am to 4:30pm
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