Princeton University Library Catalog

Accidents and violent death in early modern London 1650-1750 / Craig Spence.

Spence, Craig [Browse]
  • Woodbridge, Suffolk, UK : The Boydell Press, an imprint of Boydell & Brewer Ltd, 2016.
  • ©2016
xii, 273 pages : illustrations, map ; 25 cm.
  • Studies in early modern cultural, political and social history ; v. 25. [More in this series]
  • Studies in early modern cultural, political and social history ; Volume 25
Summary note:
"Between the mid-seventeenth and mid-eighteenth century more than 15,000 Londoners suffered sudden violent deaths. While this figure includes around 3,000 who were murdered or committed suicide, the vast majority of fatalities resulted from unexplained violent deaths or accidents. In the early modern period, accidental and "disorderly" deaths - from drowning, falls, stabbing, shooting, fires, explosions, suffocation, and animals and vehicles, among others - were a regular feature of urban life. This book is a critical study of the early modern accident. Drawing on the weekly London Bills of Mortality, parish burial registers, newspapers and other related documents, it examines accidents and other forms of violent death in the city with a view to understanding who among its residents encountered such events, how the bureaucracy recorded and elaborated their circumstances and why they did so, and what practical responses might follow. Additionally, the book explores the way in which these events were transformed to become a recurring cultural trope in oral, textual and visual narratives of metropolitan life and how sudden deaths were understood by early modern mentalities. By the mid-eighteenth century, providential explanations were giving way to a more "mechanically" rational view that saw accident events as threats to be managed rather than misfortunes to be explained."-- Provided by publisher.
Bibliographic references:
Includes bibliographical references (pages 247-264) and index.
  • 9781783271351 ((hbk.))
  • 1783271353 ((hbk.))
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