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Exploring History

British Culture and Society 1700 to the Present – Essays in Honour of Professor Emma Harris

Lucyna Krawczyk-Żywko

This volume of essays in honour of Professor Emma Harris explores various branches of British history from 1700 to the present. The range of topics reflects the varied academic interests of the authors, who are friends, colleagues, and former students of Professor Harris. The essays take us on a journey through time, beginning with Queen Anne, eighteenth-century translations of literature, literary criticism, and ethnographical writings on witches. From there we proceed to Lord Byron, the outcast playwright, Victorian Englishness, modernist foreignness, the effect of World War I on language, and World War II on fashion. The collection also incorporates reflections on subcultural studies and on the fascination of the mystery of Jack the Ripper.
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From the Editor


The idea behind the subject and time span of the present volume was twofold: Emma Harris’s interests and the interests of her friends and colleagues who kindly contributed the papers. The Professor’s academic research includes British nineteenth-century social and cultural history, economic history, and political immigrants in nineteenth-century Britain. She has been teaching classes on British social and cultural history as well as biographies, and lecturing on the history of England. The manifestations of culture discussed here cover a wide range of topics and reflect the varied academic interests of their authors – and yet, surprisingly naturally, they organised themselves chronologically with some thematic crossovers: from Queen Anne through the eighteenth-century literary translation and criticism, press and antiquaries, witches and a Romantic outcast playwright, Victorian Englishness and Modernist Foreignness, World War I and its language, World War II and its effect on clothing, to contemporary subcultural studies, and obsessions with an old mystery.

Professor Harris is one of the people who deserve such a book gift. I have gathered a kind of bouquet to accompany it, consisting of the author’s own words. These paper flowers are not signed but I am sure she will know who stands behind every single one of them.

This book would not have been possible without the invaluable support of a few people. First of all, I am grateful to Professor Małgorzata Grzegorzewska for the idea that initiated the project and for her assistance, which helped realise it. My...

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