Professor, History and Politics.
University of Warwick.
Political theory and political sociology; political corruption and public life; history of political thought and British history at the time of the French Revolution.
People Concepts Objects
William Godwin (and his diary)
William Godwin kept a detailed diary from the late 1780s until shortly before his death in 1836. It is an invaluable source on the radical sociability of the 1790s and its aftermath. But it raises questions about how he reconciled his extensive sociability with his critique of social conventions, manners and fashion.
Joseph Farington (and his diary)
The Diary of Joseph Farington offers a rich source for thinking about sociability in the art world in London from 1793-1821. Nonetheless, it is striking that, while the Diary records a great deal of information – indeed ‘gossip’ - it seems as if this is of a rather distinctive character and suggests that a different sociability existed between men than among women.
People Objects Practices
Touch and sociability
The historiography suggests a growing culture of polite sociability across the course of the eighteenth century. One dimension of this ‘politeness’ is the extent to which men came to respect and pay due deference to conventions of physical etiquette that women sought to claim (doing so, in part, to protect their reputation and their standing in society). The evidence suggests that, while norms may have gradually changed, these were often ignored by men. Violations of these standards of po