How 18th and 19th century London supported its unmarried mothers and illegitimate children – essentially establishing an earlier version of today’s Child Support Agency – is the subject of newly-published research by a Cambridge historian.
Six academics from the University of Cambridge have been made Fellows of the prestigious British Academy for the humanities and social sciences.
As we celebrate the 100th anniversary of women gaining the vote in the UK today, the fight for equality feels far from over, says historian Dr Amy Erickson
Today, feathers are an extravagant accessory in fashion; 500 years ago, however, they were used to constitute culture, artistry, good health and even courage in battle. This unlikely material is now part of a project that promises to tell us more not only about what happened in the past, but also about how it felt to be there.
Rustic figurines of a resigned-looking Virgin clutching her child may have no obvious literary or artistic merit to us today. But understanding what they meant to the spiritual lives of their owners can offer a glimpse of the human hopes and fears that people have, for centuries, invested in inanimate objects.
Things structure our lives. They enrich us, embellish us and express our hopes and fears. Here, to introduce a month-long focus on research on material culture, four academics from different disciplines explain why understanding how we interact with our material world can reveal unparalleled insights into what it is to be human.
The unlikely coincidence of a local hospital record and a census led by a pioneering physician has enabled the first study charting rates of venereal disease in 18th century England, revealing high infection levels in the city of Chester at this time.