Emeritus Professor Penelope Corfield has uploaded papers on Academia.edu. To view click on paper title.
Argues for the importance of teaching history in multiple dimensions, including not only gradual change and rapid change, but also deep continuities.
Examines the intellectual context of the ideas of historian Christopher Hill, including both his early Methodism and later Marxism.
Welcomes the depth and richness of the history of men, women and gender; but rejects the argument (now not so common) that women’s history will introduce an entirely new historical epistemology. A challenge from two feminist supporters of ‘herstory’ is included, plus a critical reply.
Analyses the concepts, language and realities of social class in eighteenth-century England. An older terminology of ‘sorts’ slowly disappeared. ‘Class’ arrived but fuzzily, not in a rigid manner. There was no consensus as to how many classes there were.
Explores the use of hats in seventeenth and eighteenth-century England for the expression of either deference or dissent. Changing manners of meeting and greeting testified to slow social changes. Hat honour gradually attenuated from the full flourish to a more limited acknowledgement.
Explores the continuous broadening of the concept and social application of the English gentleman from the sixteenth to the nineteenth centuries. The appellation never referred exclusively to landowners; and, over time, the rival usages became ever more socially diversified.
A pen portrait of the vitality and energy of eighteenth-century urban life, with special reference to the city streets.
A survey of the early town directories in key British towns and cities in the 1770s and 1780s. These were pioneering information systems, publicly available, designed to help people orient themselves in the expanding towns.
Examines the role of eighteenth-century lawyers in eighteenth-century England, in establishing an ethos of professionalism.
Examines the changing reputation of the apothecaries in eighteenth-century England. The absence of formal qualifications allowed many quacks to flourish – and left uncertain the dividing line between reputable and disreputable practitioners.
Business Leaders and Town Gentry in Early Industrial Britain: specialist occupations and shared urbanism 1
This essay was first published in 2004 in the major two-volume history of Norwich, edited by C. Rawcliffe and R.G. Wilson. Norwich’s changing role from the late eighteenth century onwards reflected Britain’s own urban reconfiguration, as well as the relative eclipse of the North Sea economy. ..
This essay, first published in 2010, reconsiders an important theme for historical studies. In-depth analysis of short periods of micro-history is surely valuable. Yet micro-history means little without understanding the long-term frameworks of macro-history. Old models of inevitable progress or …
This web-published essay (2013) is an expanded from a lecture (2009) given at a Conference on Spain and the British Isles in the Long Eighteenth Century. The discussion looks at various long-term cyclical and linear models for explaining the rise and fall of empires.
This essay, published as the final chapter in Peter Clark (ed.), Oxford Handbook to Cities in World History (2013), assesses the role that urban development has played in major theories of world history, and analyses the elements of continuity, slow change and dramatic upheaval.
This essay, first web-published in Danish research journal Literature, Culture & Media (2013), reveals the many uses of the term ‘Revolution’ to Britain by eighteenth-century observers and compares their verdicts with those of later historians.
This essay presents evidence for a gradual spread of secular ideas, attitudes, behaviour and social/cultural organisations in the context of (limited) religious toleration in eighteenth-century Britain.
This essay explains and defines the emergence of Proto-Democracy in Eighteenth-Century London, as prepared by P.J. Corfield for publication in E.M. Green, P.J. Corfield and C. Harvey, Elections in Metropolitan London, 1700-1850: Volume 1 Arguments and Evidence (Bristol, 2013), pp. 55-67.
This essay explains the rankings of titles for men and women, plus the contemporary rules of precedence, which were current in eighteenth-century Britain, as prepared by P.J. Corfield for publication in E.M. Green, P.J. Corfield and C. Harvey, Elections in Metropolitan London, 1700-1850: Volume 1.
Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens
Penny’s ‘Vauxhall. Sex and Entertainment’ which is published under my imprint History & Social Action Publications is available for £5 plus postage – email@example.com@btinternet.com
Penny’s web site