By James Sharpe

A TIMES AND SUNDAY TELEGRAPH publication OF THE YEAR

‘Wonderfully unique, complete and astute.’ The Times

‘Sweeping and bold … Sharpe is a humane and clear-eyed advisor to a chain of intractable and well timed questions.’ Observer

‘A magisterial e-book … The outlaw's track has definitely by no means been greater rendered.’ Times Literary Supplement

From the tragic story of Mary Clifford, whose loss of life by the hands of her service provider scandalised Georgian London, to an account of the violent actions of Victorian Manchester's scuttling gangs, through a personality portrait of the duel-obsessed Cavalier Sir John Reresby, A Fiery & livid People explores the brutal underside of our nationwide lifestyles in all its kind. And because it considers the litany of attacks, murders and riots that pepper our heritage, it additionally strains the sophisticated shifts that experience taken position either within the nature of violence and in people's attitudes to it. Why was once it, for instance, that wife-beating might straight away be at the same time criminal and so frowned upon that chronic offenders may good turn out being ducked within the village pond? whilst did the serial killer first make an visual appeal within the annals of English crime? How may perhaps soccer be seemed at one second as a raucous hobby that are supposed to be banned, and the subsequent as a good activity that are meant to be inspired? What gave upward thrust to certain types of violent felony – medieval outlaws, Georgian highwaymen, Victorian garroters – and what made them dwindle after which vanish?

Throughout, Professor James Sharpe attracts on an astonishingly wide variety of fabric – courtroom files and homicide pamphlets, renowned ballads and novels, sermons and flicks – to color brilliant photos of the nation's criminals and felony process from medieval occasions to the current day. He provides a powerful experience of what it was once prefer to be stuck up in, say, a highway brawl in medieval Oxford or a conflict through the English Civil struggle. And he additionally seeks to respond to might be the main interesting and primary query of all: is a rustic that has skilled not just consistent aggression on anyone scale but additionally the Peasants' rebellion, the Gordon Riots, the ballot Tax protests and the city unrest of summer season 2011 certainly susceptible to violence or are we, in truth, steadily changing into a gentler nation?

Deeply researched, thoughtfully thought of and vividly written … learn it.History Today

Sharpe's eye for aspect guarantees that the surprise price by no means dwindles. Mail on Sunday ****

‘Deeply considerate and thought-provoking … surely tough to place down.’ BBC background Magazine

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