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  • Academic staff

  • Professor Joanne Begiato

    Head of School of History, Philosophy and Culture

    School of History, Philosophy and Culture

    Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences


    Phone number: +44 (0)1865 483732

    Email: jbegiato@brookes.ac.uk


    Joanne Begiato joined Oxford Brookes in March 2005 from Murray Edwards College, Cambridge where she was a fellow and director of studies in history. Prior to this she was a Junior Research Fellow at Merton College, Oxford and read for her BA and PhD at the University of Durham. Joanne teaches social and cultural history. She specialises in the history of the family, marriage, masculinities, and law. With Professor Begiato students will investigate these topics from the perspective of emotions, material culture and gender in order to understand them better and make them come alive: exploring images of families, sailors, and soldiers; examining gendered objects and spaces; considering which weapons men used to beat their wives and which possessions quarrelling spouses fought over; and thinking about the meaning of men's clothes and beards for masculine identity.


    • U67779 Making Men: masculinities in England 1700-1918 (Third Year)
    • U67723 Culture, Community and Family (Second Year)
    • U67506 Life in Industrial England (First Year)


    • P67501 Key Concepts and Methods for Humanities Research in History

    Professor Begiato is a historian of early modern, Georgian and Victorian Britain, with particular interests in marriage, marriage breakdown, family relationships, the domestic economy, parenting, masculinities and identities. She is fascinated by the ways in which people encountered their material and emotional worlds and draws on a range of different types of primary sources to investigate them, from the printed word, to visual images, to objects and spaces.

    Her book Sex and the Church in England 1688-1832, co-authored with Professor William Gibson will be published by I B Tauris early in 2017. This book reassesses the role of the Anglican Church in ideas about sex, its discipline, and its practice.

    She is also writing a book about the ways in which people learned about being manly and unmanly in England from the 1780s to 1880s. She hopes to unpick the concepts of 'manly' and 'unmanly' at a broad national level and then explore them in more detail through a series of case-studies. These will include material culture such as the idealised motifs of St George, rural labouring men, Jack Tar, and the working men who adorned the emblems, certificates and banners of early trades unions and friendly societies. She'll also think about how men's bodies were 'policed' to reward or punish being manly or unmanly. Finally she is considering the role of emotions in heightening the power of images, objects  and spaces in these processes. 

    Professor Begiato published Parenting in England c.1760-1830: emotions, self-identity and generation in 2012. See a review here. This study traces parenting both as a concept and a mode of being in an era marked by the cultures of Sensibility and Romanticism. The golden thread connecting these movements was the expression of emotion and this research therefore analyses the interplay between practices, feelings and ideas during a period of change in ideas about childhood, family, gender and self.

    She has also published several articles on fatherhood and masculinity, representations of pauper parents, the relationship between memories of parents and the formation of personal identity.

    Her first monograph was Unquiet Lives: marriage and marriage breakdown in England 1660-1800 (CUP, 2003, re-issued in paperback in January 2009). See a review of this book. Related publications include a study of married women's experience of coverture and an analysis of the use of church court records as an historical source.


    • Begiato J, Gibson W, Sex and the Church in the long eighteenth century: religion, enlightenment and the sexual revolution, I B Tauris (2017)
      ISBN: 9781784533779
    • Bailey J, Parenting in England, 1760-1830: emotion, identity and generation, Oxford University Press (2012)
      ISBN: 9780199565191
      Abstract Website
    • Begiato J, Ed., Unquiet lives: marriage and marriage breakdown in England, 1660-1800, Cambridge University Press (2009)
      ISBN: 9780521093118
      Abstract Website

    Journal articles

    • Begiato J, 'Beyond the rule of thumb: the materiality of marital violence in England, c.1700-1857'
      Cultural and Social History (2017)
      ISSN: 1478-0038 eISSN: 1478-0038
      Abstract Website
    • Begiato J, 'Between poise and power: embodied manliness in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century British culture'
      Transactions of the Royal Historical Society 26 (2016) pp.125-147
      ISSN: 0080-4401 eISSN: 0080-4401
      Abstract Website
    • Begiato J, 'Tears and the manly sailor in England, c. 1760–1860'
      Journal for Maritime Research 17 (2) (2015) pp.117-133
      ISSN: 2153-3369 eISSN: 2153-3369
      Abstract Website
    • Begiato J, 'The history of mum and dad: recent historical research on parenting in England'
      History Compass 12 (6) (2014) pp.489-507
      ISSN: 1478-0542 eISSN: 1478-0542
    • Bailey J, 'Marital cruelty: reconsidering lay attitudes in England, c.1580 to 1850'
      History of the Family 18 (3) (2013) pp.289-305
      ISSN: 1081-602X eISSN: 1081-602X
      Abstract Website
    • Bailey J, 'Paternal power: the pleasures and perils of indulgent fathering in Britain in the long eighteenth century'
      History of the Family 17 (3) (2013) pp.326-342
      ISSN: 1081-602X eISSN: 1081-602X
      Abstract Website
    • Bailey J, '"A very sensible man": imagining fatherhood in England, c.1750-1830'
      History 95 (319) (2010) pp.267-292
      ISSN: 0018-2648 eISSN: 0018-2648
      Abstract Website
    • Bailey J, '"Think wot a mother must feel" : parenting in English pauper letters c.1760-1834'
      Family and Community History 13 (1) (2010) pp.5-19
      ISSN: 1463-1180 eISSN: 1463-1180
      Abstract Website
    • Bailey J, 'The "afterlife" of parenting: memory, parentage, and personal identity in Britain c. 1760-1830'
      Journal of Family History 35 (3) (2010) pp.249-270
      ISSN: 0363-1990 eISSN: 0363-1990
      Abstract Website
    • Bailey J, 'I dye [sic] by inches: locating wife beating in the concept of a privatization of marriage and violence in eighteenth-century England'
      Social History 31 (3) (2006) pp.273-294
      ISSN: 0307-1022 eISSN: 0307-1022
    • Bailey J, 'Favoured or oppressed? : married women, property and "coverture" in England, 1660-1800'
      Continuity and Change 17 (3) (2002) pp.351-372
      ISSN: 0268-4160 eISSN: 0268-4160
      Abstract Website
    • Bailey J, 'Voices in court: lawyers or litigants?'
      Historical Research 74 (186) (2001) pp.392-408
      ISSN: 0950-3471 eISSN: 0950-3471
      Abstract Website

    Book chapters

    • Begiato J, 'Afterword. Moving Objects: Emotional Transformation, Tangibility, and Time-Travel' in Stephanie Downes, Sally Holloway, and Sarah Randles (ed.), Feeling Things: Objects and Emotions through History, Oxford University Pres (2018)
      ISBN: 9780198802648
    • Begiato J, 'Bearing Grudges: Marriage and the Inter-generational Family' in DiPlacidi, Jenny; Leydecker, Karl (ed.), After Marriage in the Long Eighteenth Century Literature, Law and Society, Palgrave (2018)
      ISBN: 9783319600970
      Abstract Website
    • Begiato J, 'Pregnancy and childbirth' in Susan Broomhall (ed.), Early modern emotions : an introduction, Routledge (2017)
      ISBN: 9781138925748;9781138925
    • Begiato J, '"Breeding" a "little stranger": perceptions of pregnancy in the Late Georgian Period' in Meehan C, Evans J (ed.), Perceptions of pregnancy from the seventeenth to the twentieth century, Palgrave Macmillan (2017)
      ISBN: 978-3319441672
    • Bailey J, '"All he wanted was to kill her that he might marry the girl": broken marriages and cohabitation in the long eighteenth century' in Rebecca Probert (ed.), Cohabitation and non-marital births in England and Wales, 1600-2012, Palgrave MacMillan (2014)
      ISBN: 9781349484553
      Abstract Website
    • Bailey J, 'Masculinity and fatherhood in England, c.1760-1830' in What is masculinity? : historical dynamics from antiquity to the contemporary world, Palgrave Macmillan (2011)
      ISBN: 9780230278134
      Abstract Website
    • Bailey J, 'Cruelty and adultery: offences against the institution of marriage' in Histories of Crime: Britain 1600-2000 , Macmillan Publishers (2010)
      ISBN: 9780230224704
      Abstract Website
    • Bailey J, 'Family relationships' in Elizabeth Foyster and James Marten (ed.), A cultural history of childhood and family. Vol. 4, In the age of Enlightenment, Berg Publishers (2010)
      ISBN: 9781847887979
    • Bailey J, 'Stitchers in time and space: women in the long eighteenth century' in Quilts, 1700-2010 : hidden histories, untold stories, V&A Publications (2010)
      ISBN: 9781851775958
      Abstract Website


    • Bailey J, review of Cultures of Shame: Exploring Crime and Morality in Britain, 1600-1900, in Journal of British Studies 51 (2012) pp.1025-1027
      ISSN: 0021-9371 eISSN: 0021-9371

    Membership of professional bodies

    Joanne was a member of the Advisory Group for the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation funded Database Project (2007-2010): Cause Papers in the Diocesan Courts of the Archbishopric of York 1300-1858, Borthwick Institute for Archives, University of York.



    Invited Plenary and Conference Presentations:

    • ‘Tender Maternity’, Basic Instincts Symposium, Birkbeck, Nov 2017 (part of Basic Instincts Exhibition Sept 2017-Jan 2018), Foundling Hospital, London.
    • ‘”John, the soldier, Jack the tar”: Emotional Objects and Manliness in Georgian and Victorian England’ at the Annual Conference of the International Society for Cultural History in Umeå, 26-29 June, 2017 (panel: ‘Materialising Love and Loss: Objects and Identity in Eighteenth and Nineteenth Century Britain)
    • Plenary Roundtable, Histories of Religion and Sexuality, University of Nottingham, April 2017
    • ‘a hardy man and bred up in pitch and tar”: Manliness and the Jack Tar’. At Maritime Masculinities 1815-1940, Dec 2016, St Anne’s College, Oxford
    • 'Anxiety, Anger, and Tears: Emotions and Masculine Identities in the Long Nineteenth Century, Royal Holloway University of London, Centre for Victorian Studies, Oct 2016.
    • ‘Emotional Lives’ Professorial Inaugural Open Lecture, Oxford Brookes University, June 2016
    • ‘Sex and the Church in the Long Eighteenth Century’ with Bill Gibson, Long Eighteenth Century Seminar, IHR, June 2016
    • ‘Manly bodies before muscular manliness: grace, strength and dexterity, England 1750-1850’, Royal Historical Symposium: Masculinity and the Body in Britain, 1500-1900, University of Northampton, 18 June 2015
    • ‘Village Heroes and Hearts of Oak: the cultural power of the military in constructing English masculine identity 1790-1850, Military Masculinities in the Nineteenth Century, University of Hull, 20-21 May 2015.
    • ‘Medieval and Early Modern Pregnancy and Parents’, Perceptions of Pregnancy Conference, July 2014, University of Hertfordshire.
    • ‘English Manly Intimacy and Power in Representations of St George and the Dragon c. 1750-1950’ at Royal Historical Symposium: Intimacy, Power and Authority in European Perspectives, Bath Spa University, October 2013.
    • ‘Pandora’s Box: opening up the cultures of domestic violence’ at European Perspectives of Cultures of Violence conference, University of Leicester, June 2013.
    • 'Beds and the Making of the Domestic Landscape’ with Dr Angela McShane, ‘The body in bed’ Seminar series, The History Department, Royal Holloway University of London, October, 2010.
    • ‘Problems and opportunities in investigating gender identities: the case study of parents’, ‘Engendering Gender: production, transmission and change’, University of Exeter, July 2010.
    • ‘Being, doing, and embodying: rethinking histories of masculinities’, Conceptualising Men: Collective Identities and the 'Self'’ conference, University of Exeter, July 2009.
    • ‘Fashioning Fatherhood in eighteenth-century England: or, the rise and influence of the 'Sentimental Father in visual and textual culture', Masculinity and the Other Conference, Balliol College, August 2007.

    Invited Conference Papers (from 2008):

    • Chair/organizer ‘Law and Society Memorial Symposium in Honour of Professor Christopher Brooks, University of Durham, March 2016
    • 'The Voice of the House: Material Culture and Emotion', Small Worlds Symposium, No 1 Royal Crescent, Bath, Nov 2015.
    • One of four invited panel members, Emotions Round Table, Royal Holloway, held at IHR Oct 2015
    • ‘From the 'kicking districts' to Andy Capp: wife-beating and working-class masculinities’, Crime & Legal History Group, Oxford Brookes University, 5 March 2014.
    • ‘From the 'kicking districts' to Andy Capp: wife-beating and working-class masculinities’, Industrialism and Masculinity in Comparative Regional Context, c. 1840-1939’, Aberystwyth University, September 2013. 
    • “all he wanted was to kill her that he might marry the Girl:” Broken marriages and cohabitation in the long eighteenth century’, Workshop: Changing Relationships? Cohabitation and births outside marriage, 1600-2012, University of Warwick, Dec 2012
    • '"Mr Bulcock could no more marry you than that Dog": marriage and the regulation of society', 'Taming the Many-Headed Monster: Regulating Society in Early Modern England', A colloquium and reception in honour of Dr Martin Ingram, University of Oxford, June 2012.
    • ‘In the bosom of the family: visualising parents 1700-1830’, Exeter Early Modern Seminar, University of Exeter, March 2012. 
    • ‘Changing relationships: parents and the life-course in Georgian England’, Life-Cycles Seminar, Institute of Historical Research, University of London, Oct 2011.
    • ‘Marital Law and Lawlessness in Eighteenth-Century Society’ at the Interdisciplinary Workshop, ‘After Marriage in the Long Eighteenth Century,’ University of Kent, June 2011.
    • ‘Re-facing marital cruelty in England from 1590 onwards’ With Professor Loreen Giese, Medieval and Tudor London Seminar, Institute of Historical Research, University of London, May 2011.
    • ‘Marking Marital Respect in English Ecclesiastical Court Records from the Sixteenth to Nineteenth Centuries’ With Professor Loreen Giese at ‘Sex, Violence, and Religion in the Northern Provinces 1300-1858’, a conference celebrating the launch of the York Cause Papers Database, 13 Nov, 2010. 
    • ‘Getting the measure of marriage and household authority in 17th and 18th century Britain’, Workshop on Marriage, University of Warwick, 5 February 2010.
    • ‘The Convergence of the Twain': analysing the ‘twin' categories of masculinity and fatherhood‘, Gender & History Seminar, Wadham College, Oxford, October 2008. 

    Press, publicity and reviews

    Activities outside the University include contributing to television and radio history programmes on BBC1, BBC2, BBC 4, and Radio 3.

    Further information

    Visit her blog to read more about her research: https://jbailey2013.wordpress.com/