Aristocratic Century by John Cannon
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Aristocratic Century
By John Cannon

Aristocratic Century

The Peerage of Eighteenth-century England

By (author) See other recent books by John Cannon
Format: Paperback

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Aristocratic Century by John Cannon

Book Description

Since the work of Butterfield and Namier in the 1930s, it has commonly been said that eighteenth-century England appears atomised, left with no overall interpretation. Subsequent work on religious differences and on party strife served to reinforce the image of a divided society, and in the last ten years historians of the poor and unprivileged have suggested that beneath the surface lurked substantial popular discontent. Professor Cannon uses his 1982 Wiles Lecture to offer a different interpretation - that the widespread acceptance of aristocratic values and aristocratic leadership gave a remarkable intellectual, political and social coherence to the century. He traces the recovery made by the aristocracy from its decade in 1649 when the House of Lords was abolished as useless and dangerous. After the Glorious Revolution of 1688, the peerage re-established its hold on government and society. Professor Cannon is forced to challenge some of the most cherished beliefs of English historiography - that Hanoverian society, at its top level, was an open elite, continually replenished by vigorous recruits from other groups and classes. He suggests that, on the contrary, in some respects the English peerage was more exclusive than many of its continental counterparts and that the openness was a myth which itself served a potent political purpose. Of the prospering burgeoisie, he argues that the remarkable thing was not their assertiveness but their long acquiescence in patrician rule, and he poses the paradox of a country increasingly dominated by a landed aristocracy giving birth to the first industrial revolution. His final chapter discusses the ideological under-pinning which made aristocratic supremacy acceptable for so long, and the emergence of those forces and ideals which were ultimately to replace it.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780521335669
ISBN-10: 0521335663
Format: Paperback
(228mm x 152mm x 12mm)
Pages: 204
Imprint: Cambridge University Press
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publish Date: 7-May-1987
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

Other Editions...


Books By Author John Cannon

Oxford Companion to British History by John Cannon Oxford Companion to British History, Hardback (October 2015)

In over 4,500 entries, this Companion covers all aspects of the history of Britain from 55 BC to the present day. Completely revised and updated, this is the go-to reference work for students and teachers of British history, as well as for anyone with an interest in the subject.

Dictionary of British History by John Cannon Dictionary of British History, Paperback (May 2009)

This is an invaluable source of information about the people, places, and events that have shaped the history of Britain over the past two millennia. From wars, battles, and the monarchy to Wembley stadium, Robin Hood, and the Black Death - this book contains all the facts you need to know.

Kings and Queens of Britain by John Cannon Kings and Queens of Britain, Paperback (March 2009)

An authoritative and accessible guide to the British monarchy from pre-conquest rulers to the present day House of Windsor. Maps, photos, paintings, and genealogies accompany a wealth of information on the kings and queens of Britain. Find out about their lives, personalities, policies, key dates, places of residence, legacies, and much more.

Fox-North Coalition by John Cannon Fox-North Coalition, Paperback (September 2008)

Dr Cannon studies the workings of the eighteenth-century constitution, concentrating on the years of acute crisis from 1782 to 1784.

» View all books by John Cannon

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