Author(s): Keith Thomas
Civility in a changing world The renowned historian Keith Thomas has written a peerless study of the place of civility in the shaping of English society between the early sixteenth and the late eighteenth centuries. Dramatic changes in court fashion and manners took place, but equally important was the emergence of an urban trading and manufacturing class with new values and standards of behavior. Traditional notions of class, gender, social custom, and "Englishness" would all be affected by the upheavals of the period. Civility emerged in contrast to barbarism, as England took its first steps towards global domination. Displaying a true master's grasp of the period, Thomas offers a compelling and wide-ranging analysis of the connections between changing notions of civility, the justification of colonial expansion, and the invention of race.