Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Historian Identifies Time When Politicians, Not Footballers, Were Heroic and Popular

19.05.2004


New research from the University of Warwick reveals the celebrities and heroes of 17th century England were politicians, not footballers. The study into ballads of the 1600s reveals that the Duke of Monmouth, James Scot, the illegitimate son of Charles II, was hailed as a true hero in ballads, the equivalent of today’s pop music, and despite his flaws, as the people’s Royal he could do no wrong - very much like England’s most recent darling, David Beckham.



In the 17th century the general public- and especially young people- really cared about parliamentary politics, so much so that they sang about political events and figures all the time. Political issues appealed not just to young people’s heads but also to their hearts.

The study entitled “‘England’s Darling’ or ’Senseless Loon’” examines over 30 ballads about the Duke of Monmouth to show that he achieved immortality in black letter ballads, the tabloids and popular media of their day, as Protestant Prince, England’s Glory and Brave and Valiant Hero.


Just as Beckham is hailed as a hero by men and lusted after by women, Monmouth was adorable and much loved by women. One ballad ’Young Jemmy or The Princely Shepherd’ claimed ’he with glances could enslave the heart’. Endless songs celebrated the fact that he was young, handsome, romantic, and a courtly lover of the ladies. Ballads lamenting their love for ’Jemmy’ were particularly common.

Monmouth had a portfolio of virtues - he was a handsome young Royal, military hero and Protestant champion. In traditional ballads that appealed to the lower end of the buying market, he remained an idealised hero, despite the ups and downs of his career. Monmouth was wildly popular, drawing adoring crowds wherever he went, particularly during unofficial ’tours’ in the West Country and Cheshire in 1680 and 1682.

One ballad ’Englands Darling’ describes him as the most loyal of subjects, willing ’to spend his life and fortune/ to support the Church and State’ and calls upon him to ’restore/the ruins of our nation’. His connection with royalty meant Monmouth had the benefit of a ballad convention of freedom from criticism.

Despite disclosures about alleged affairs Beckham remains a national hero. Monmouth was also a man that could do no wrong in the eyes of the public, at least according to traditional ballads. Despite the fact that Monmouth had several mistresses and even allegedly cuckolded his best friend Lord Gray he remained untainted.

There was a ballading battle over the heroism or villany of the Duke of Monmouth, but this only took place in elite metropolitan ballads, bought by the more discerning and informed punter. At street level black letter ballads represented him as an ideal political figure and hero and refused to be swayed by the attacks of his enemies, or the fact that he was, at best, an unlucky politician. Even at the height of the exclusion crisis and after leading a rebellion Monmouth was neither condemned nor attacked.

Angela McShane-Jones, from the University of Warwick, said: “Whereas today footballers win the hearts of the youth, in the 1600s it was politicans that commanded loyalty. Black letter ballads were ’political pop songs’ that were chanted again and again. Perhaps we can learn something from this about how institutional politics and politicians have become detached from the affections and the interests of younger voters today.”

The study also reveals that the power of popular media was present in the 17th century. By the end of the 1600s the broadside ballad could build or destroy a person’s public image. Ballads were a highly accessible print item, and through public performance they could overcome literacy barriers and widely engage in the denigration or commendation of public figures that had caught the popular imagination.

Jenny Murray | University of Warwick
Further information:
http://www.newsandevents.warwick.ac.uk/index.cfm?page=pressrelease&id=1909

More articles from Social Sciences:

nachricht The transparent soccer player
05.06.2018 | Technische Universität München

nachricht Illinois researchers researchers find tweeting in cities lower than expected
21.02.2018 | University of Illinois College of Engineering

All articles from Social Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: AchemAsia 2019 will take place in Shanghai

Moving into its fourth decade, AchemAsia is setting out for new horizons: The International Expo and Innovation Forum for Sustainable Chemical Production will take place from 21-23 May 2019 in Shanghai, China. With an updated event profile, the eleventh edition focusses on topics that are especially relevant for the Chinese process industry, putting a strong emphasis on sustainability and innovation.

Founded in 1989 as a spin-off of ACHEMA to cater to the needs of China’s then developing industry, AchemAsia has since grown into a platform where the latest...

Im Focus: First real-time test of Li-Fi utilization for the industrial Internet of Things

The BMBF-funded OWICELLS project was successfully completed with a final presentation at the BMW plant in Munich. The presentation demonstrated a Li-Fi communication with a mobile robot, while the robot carried out usual production processes (welding, moving and testing parts) in a 5x5m² production cell. The robust, optical wireless transmission is based on spatial diversity; in other words, data is sent and received simultaneously by several LEDs and several photodiodes. The system can transmit data at more than 100 Mbit/s and five milliseconds latency.

Modern production technologies in the automobile industry must become more flexible in order to fulfil individual customer requirements.

Im Focus: Sharp images with flexible fibers

An international team of scientists has discovered a new way to transfer image information through multimodal fibers with almost no distortion - even if the fiber is bent. The results of the study, to which scientist from the Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology Jena (Leibniz IPHT) contributed, were published on 6thJune in the highly-cited journal Physical Review Letters.

Endoscopes allow doctors to see into a patient’s body like through a keyhole. Typically, the images are transmitted via a bundle of several hundreds of optical...

Im Focus: Photoexcited graphene puzzle solved

A boost for graphene-based light detectors

Light detection and control lies at the heart of many modern device applications, such as smartphone cameras. Using graphene as a light-sensitive material for...

Im Focus: Water is not the same as water

Water molecules exist in two different forms with almost identical physical properties. For the first time, researchers have succeeded in separating the two forms to show that they can exhibit different chemical reactivities. These results were reported by researchers from the University of Basel and their colleagues in Hamburg in the scientific journal Nature Communications.

From a chemical perspective, water is a molecule in which a single oxygen atom is linked to two hydrogen atoms. It is less well known that water exists in two...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Munich conference on asteroid detection, tracking and defense

13.06.2018 | Event News

2nd International Baltic Earth Conference in Denmark: “The Baltic Sea region in Transition”

08.06.2018 | Event News

ISEKI_Food 2018: Conference with Holistic View of Food Production

05.06.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Novel method for investigating pore geometry in rocks

18.06.2018 | Earth Sciences

Diamond watch components

18.06.2018 | Process Engineering

New type of photosynthesis discovered

18.06.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>