Nineteenth-Century Spanish America: A Cultural History provides a panoramic and accessible introduction to the era in which Latin America took its first steps into the Modern Age. Including colorful characters like circus clowns, prostitutes, bullfighters, street puppeteers, and bestselling authors, this book maps vivid and often surprising combinations of the new and the old, the high and the low, and the political and the cultural. Christopher Conway shows that beneath the diversity of the New World there was a deeper structure of shared patterns of cultural creation and meaning. Whether it be the ways that people of refinement from different countries used the same rules of etiquette, or how commoners shared their stories through the same types of songs, Conway creates a multidisciplinary framework for understanding the culture of an entire hemisphere. The book opens with key themes that will help students and scholars understand the century, such as the civilization and barbarism binary, urbanism, the divide between conservatives and liberals, and transculturation. In the chapters that follow, Conway weaves transnational trends together with brief case studies and compelling snapshots that help us understand the period. How much did books and photographs cost in the nineteenth century? What was the dominant style in painting? What kinds of ballroom dancing were popular? Richly illustrated with striking photographs and lithographs, this is a book that invites the reader to rediscover a past age that is not quite past, still resonating into the present.
Edward Teach Blackbeard-is one of the legends of the so-called golden age of piracy. There have been so many accounts of his short, bloody career that it is hard to see him and his times in a clear historical light. This new study looks for the man behind the legend, and it gives a vivid insight into the nature of piracy and the naval operations that were launched against it.The narrative focuses on the roles played by the Governor of Virginia Alexander Spotswood who masterminded the pursuit of Blackbeard, and Lieutenant Robert Maynard of HMS Pearl who led the pursuit and finally cornered Teach and his crew and, after a vicious fight, saw him killed.In vivid detail, it reveals how the hunt for Blackbeard was orchestrated, how he was tracked down, and the parts played in the drama by the larger-than-life leading characters in this extraordinary story. This freshly researched study of the pursuit of the notorious pirate and his crew—and of the final fight in which Blackbeard lost his life—makes compelling reading.
This satirical short novel displays a side of Cooper unfamiliar to many modern readers. It is told from the point of view of an actual handkerchief: its origins in a French flax field, how it was passed around New York City society in the 1830s, and its eventual return to its maker. In this story, Cooper makes a point of ridiculing Victorian materialism—which places value on consumption, not production.
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