restricted access A Nation Transformed: England after the Restoration ed. by Alan Houston and Steve Pincus (review)
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205 famously ‘‘mad’’ or possibly disordered writers, such as Johnson, Cowper, and Christopher Smart. Obviously centering the book on cases in which John or another Monro was involved entailed some limitations of scope. Moreover, this book will not replace more historically pointed andcohesivestudies,suchasRoyPorter’s Mind-Forg’d Manacles (1987), though it makes a persuasive case against the vilification of Monro and the treatment of Battie as a scientific hero, arguing that their theories and practice were really quite similar. The book is profusely and usefullyillustrated,withexplanatorycaptions that call attention to the implicit characterization of mental disease or its treatment. Its companion volume, Customers and Patrons of the Mad-Trade: The Management of Lunacy in Eighteenth -Century London, provides the text of the casebook that started it all, but it is this volume that reveals how that text and other primary documents may alter our understanding of the treatment of madness in the period. No seriousstudent of medical history and the interactions of medicine and society can afford to miss it. Patricia Craddock University of Florida A Nation Transformed: England after the Restoration, ed. Alan Houston and Steve Pincus. Cambridge: Cambridge, 2001. Pp. ix ⫹ 337. $65. The editors of this collection set out ‘‘to challenge the conventions of recent Stuart historiography,’’ but neglect to say why this is necessary. Their dominant ‘‘revisionists’’ amount to J. C. D. Clark and Jonathan Scott, who have argued for continuity within and beyond the seventeenth century. After asserting that the Restoration era was ‘‘obsessed by modernity ,’’ the editors offer some theoretical discussion of modernization, but, after this posturing, the articles provide the mildest of qualifications, hardly promoting a theme of ‘‘transformation.’’ Opening with a consideration of secularization would seem to provide an obvious rebuttal of Clark, but Blair Worden insteaddissolvestheconceptintoamatter of religious change, treating secularization as atopicin intellectualhistory.Mark Knights revisits the issue of toleration, recognizing that it was an instance of secularization . In attending to the recurrence of the phrase ‘‘mere religion,’’ he shows the kind of decline and privatization that Mr. Worden was reluctant to admit. But in a volume emphasizing change over continuity, it is jarring to read that the Restoration reasserted ‘‘the political role of the church.’’ Mr. Pincus is likewise concerned with secularization. In a variety of authors, he traces how economics replaced religion as the main concern of the state, stemming from a consideration of Dutch power and revulsion against religious wars. Of course, the rise of mercantilist theory is always associated with the Dutch threat, and that revulsion has long been the theme of late seventeenth-century diplomatic history. Mr. Pincus offers ampleevidencethatconsiderationsofthena tional interest had replaced the triumph of true religion at the center of public debate . Mr. Houstonexploresdiscussionsof the state in the context of that growing concentration on ‘‘interest.’’ Such language is shown to have liberated the Restoration from older ideologies. The two editors of the collection thus offer the clearest evidence of the transformation announced in its title. Gary DeKrey assesses the radicalism of Restoration London, finding thatitwas 206 not a sudden growth, but had a long development in concepts of ‘‘conscience.’’ Rachel Weil looks at some of the ways in which gender figured in political and social theory, showing how family became a real issue for Whigs, rather than just a Tory metaphor. Tim Harris is concerned to deny theimportanceofnewspapersand coffeehouses in the creation of ‘‘popular politics,’’ warning us not to forget gossip and taverns, but he fails to distinguish the modern concept of ‘‘public opinion’’ from earlier prejudice and rumor. The several articles coming from literary studies do not stir into the mix very smoothly. Nicholas von Maltzahn offers a theoretically sophisticated account of how the Miltonicsublimewasmisusedby the poets of England’s Augustan imperial successes. Joshua Scodel thinks Pindaric odes such as Cowley’s did something to sublimate the religious and political passionsof theday. And PaulinaKewestakes up the issue of how playwrights established their property in their works. Finally, Barbara Shapiro reviews the century’s scientific activity to see whether it suggested a revolutionary situation, or was related to changes in the political, religious, or philosophical areas. She concludes that at least it was not out of step with issues in church...


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