Revisiting The Polite and Commercial People: Essays in Georgian Politics, Society, and Culture in Honour of Professor Paul Langford

ISBN : 9780198802631

Elaine Chalus; Perry Gauci
288 ページ
164 x 242 mm

For some time before his death in July 2015, former colleagues and students of Paul Langford had discussed the possibility of organising a festschrift to celebrate his remarkable contribution to eighteenth-century history. It was planned for 2019 to commemorate the thirtieth anniversary of the appearance of his seminal A Polite and Commercial People, the opening volume in the New Oxford History of England series, Paul's best-known and most influential publication. He was delighted to hear of these plans and the tragic news of his death only made the contributors more determined to see the project through to completion. The importance of A Polite and Commercial People within its own time is unquestionable. Not only did it provide a powerful new vision of eighteenth-century Britain, but it also played a vital part in reviving interest in, and expanding ways of thinking about, Georgian history. As the thirteen contributors to this volume amply testify, any review of the field from the 1980s onwards cannot ignore the profound effect Paul's research had on the social and political publications in his field. This collection of essays combines reflection on the impact of Paul's work with further engagement with the central questions he posed. In particular, it serves to re-connect various recent avenues of Georgian studies, bringing together diverse themes present in Paul's scholarship, but which are often studied independently of each other. As such, it aims to provide a fitting tribute to Paul's work and impact, and a wider reassessment of the current direction of eighteenth-century studies.


Elaine Chalus and Perry Gauci: Introduction: Paul Langford (1945-2015)
1 William A. Pettigrew: The Public Life and Death of a Propertied, but Artificial Person: The Divestment of the Royal African Company and a Reconciliation of Parliamentary Supremacy and the Sanctity of Property, 1747-52
2 Perry Gauci: East Meets West: John Paterson and the Politics of Improvement in Georgian London
3 Paul Seaward: Parliament Observed: The Gallery of the Old House of Commons
4 Cindy McCreery: The Sailor, the Lover, the Husband, and the King: Images of William IV and Change and Continuity in Visual Representations of Elite English society, 1765-1837
Society and Culture
5 Ian Doolittle: The City of London in the Eighteenth century: Corporate Pressures and their Consequences
6 Bob Harris: Fantasy, Speculation, and the British State Lottery in the Eighteenth Century
7 Hannah Barker: A Devout and Commercial people: Religion and Trade in Manchester during the Long Eighteenth Century
8 Rosemary Sweet: Antiquarian Transformations in Historical Scholarship: The History of Domesticity from Joseph Strutt to Thomas Wright
Britain and the World
9 Peter Marshall: A Polite and Commercial People in the Caribbean: the British in St Vincent
10 Andrew O'Shaughnessy: British Imperial Policy and the American Revolution
11 Leslie Mitchell: The Harcourts: Anglo-French Relations in a Time of Revolution
12 Elaine Chalus: Becoming an Englishwoman: Gender, Politeness, and Identity in the Age of Revolutions
13 Joanna Innes: Afterword: Polite and Commercial's Twin: Public Life and the Propertied Englishman 1689-1789
A Bibliography of the Major Works of Paul Langford


Elaine Chalus (FRHistS) is Professor of British History at the University of Liverpool. An expert on gender and political culture, Elaine completed her doctorate under Paul Langford. Her numerous publications - especially Elite Women in English Political Life c.1754-1790 (2005) - owe much to his guidance. She is currently preparing a monograph for OUP, based on the forty surviving volumes of Elizabeth Wynne Fremantle's journals. She serves on editorial boards for Women's History Review, Parliamentary History Journal, and the History of Parliament Trust, where she is Section Editor for the House of Lords, 1660-1832.; Perry Gauci is currently the VHH Green Fellow in British History at Lincoln College, Oxford. He was fortunate to be one of Paul Langford's undergraduate students at the college, and his interests in eighteenth-century social and political history owe so much to Paul's teaching and published work.