Series - The Royal Historical Society (2011-15)

# playlist (click the video's upper-left icon)

source: GreshamCollege      2011年8月12日
The transcript and downloadable versions of the lectures are available from the Gresham College website: http://www.gresham.ac.uk/lectures-and...

 What did eighteenth-century men want? - Professor Amanda Vickery 
Such is the gloom that surrounds settling down today and the glamour that attaches to mature bachelor freedom, it is hard to imagine that there was a time when marriage represented the summit of a young man's hopes.
Forty years after the sexual liberalization of the 1970s, it is easy to forget that only marriage promised true sexual fulfillment for Christians, turning furtive or frustrated boys into fully-realized men. Marriage was the only acceptable framework for children, through whom men made a claim on the future, but also confirmed their potency. Virility was one of the most celebrated masculine qualities. The father who led a handsome family into church radiated both an air of commanding respectability and a glow of unmistakable sexual success.
Marriage promised physical excitement. Two days before his marriage in January 1754, 33 year old Josiah Wedgwood positively frothed with anticipation of 'the blissful day! When she will reward all my faithful services & take me to her arms! To her Nuptial bed! To - Pleasures which I am yet ignorant of'. He took the precaution of working over-time the week before his wedding to clear time to enjoy his bride uninterrupted. Marriage was a sexy prospect.
In the 17th and 18th century, bachelorhood was a temporary and unprestigious state best solved by marriage. The Batchelor's Directory of 1694 was unequivocal - 'Matrimony - what can better agree with man and more exactly relate to his necessities?' Even men who felt no attraction to the opposite sex had to marry to gain the full benefits of adulthood.
There were even proposals to levy a tax on mature bachelors as a deterrent and a punishment for their evasion of the burden of domestic government and social provision. Perpetual bachelors were the 'vermin of the State' pronounced the Women's Advocate stonily. 'They enjoy the benefit of society, but Contribute not to its Charge and Spunge upon the publick, without making the least return'.
We associate the history of home and private life with women, but what did house and domesticity mean to men? More than you might think argues Professor Amanda Vickery. 
 The Rural Past and Urban Histories, 1881-2011 - Professor Alun Howkins 
The Census of April 1881 revealed an England which was a firmly urban and industrial nation. Although the number of 'urban' dwellers had exceeded the rural for the first time thirty years earlier it was not until the 1870s and 1880s that the population was firmly urban and living in large and mostly 'modern' towns. We do not know in any detail what the Census of  April 2011 will reveal but what is certain is the England remains an urban, although  no longer an  industrial nation. However the proportion of the population living in rural areas is now greater than at any time since 1911. These simple facts chart the great demographic changes in England in the last 150 years. However, as many observers have noted, the English imagination has never lost its enthusiasm for the rural.
This lecture will look at that enthusiasm not as one simple unchanging set of ideas but as a complex web of the popular and the elite; the political right and left and the culturally the progressive and the reactionary.  By bringing some of these aspects into relationship with one another the lecture will explore the continuing fascination with the rural  as a central part of the popular ideas of the past.
56:37 Why the Enlightenment still matters today - Professor Justin Champion
"The Enlightenment" has been regarded as a turning point in the intellectual history of the West. The principles of religious tolerance, optimism about human progress and a demand for rational debate are often thought to be a powerful legacy of the ideas of Locke, Newton, Voltaire and Diderot. There was however a radical Enlightenment, indebted to the materialism of Hobbes and Spinoza, which posed an even greater challenge to traditional religious and political values. Given the 'return of religion' and the challenges of potential environmental catastrophe, Professor Champion argues to the contrary in this lecture on why we would be wise to go back to explore some of the more radical insights of Enlightenment freethinkers.
52:25 The Private Diary and The Public History - Professor Joe Moran 
In recent years, the diary of the private citizen has emerged as a particularly fertile source for both academic and non-academic historians. But private diaries are inherently opaque texts, with a complex sense of audience, and this lecture will be about the uses and limitations of diaries in enhancing our understanding of the recent past. It will particularly focus on examples from the early to mid-twentieth century, a particularly productive period in the history of diary keeping.
 Making History Online - Professors Tim Hitchcock and Robert Shoemaker 
Digitisation and Open Access resources are allowing historians across the world to find new insight into their data: http://www.gresham.ac.uk/lectures-and...
This lecture will assess how recent innovations in making historical resources available online, and in the crowdsourcing and co-creation of research materials, have effectively reconfigured the relationship between the academy and the public. We can all be historians now. Despite limitations, an online dialogue between academic history and the public is not only inevitable, but also desirable.
49:36 Free Speech and the Study of History - Professor Timothy Garton Ash
Professor Timothy Garton Ash discusses the difficulty of memory laws and free speech: http://www.gresham.ac.uk/lectures-and...
A growing number of countries have so-called memory laws, ranging from the criminalisation of Holocaust denial, to prescriptions for the teaching of certain subjects, memorial days and public monuments. Which, if any, of these are justified? Which are more effective in combating evils they are supposed to combat, based on misinterpretations of the past? The lecturer, who has just completed a book on free speech, will argue that phenomena such as Holocaust denial are better contested by the completely free, robust exchange of scholarly, journalistic and political debate, and that the state should not use its coercive power to limit the study of history.

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