A Pleasing Prospect: Society and Culture in Eighteenth-century Colchester

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Univ of Hertfordshire Press, 2008 - History - 235 pages
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Based on extensive primary-source research, this historical account considers the changing identity of 18th-century Colchester from the perspective of its “middling sort”—a section of society often attached to cultures of politeness and to the practices of consumption and production that helped shape economic change. Painstakingly reconstructing 18th-century social networks along lines of family, kinship, gender, spatiality, religion, and politics, this study examines the relationships between individual and family biographies while reflecting on provincial urban society and culture. The guide explores how Colchester capitalized on growth in agriculturally based industries—such as brewing, milling, and malting—and its role as an east-coast port and its participating in the urban renaissance and commodification of polite culture.


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Status in stone
Kin and connection
Credit and exchange
Politeness and association
Chief priests lawyers and tradesmen
Points to be carried
Disorder and dependence
The indefatigable Mr Strutt

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About the author (2008)

Shani D'Cruze is an honorary reader in history at Keele University and the author of Crimes of Outrage: Sex, Violence and Victorian Working Women.

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