“I have never known such undisguised arson”: the Ladysmith Rag, the Mafeking Bonfire and the battle for order in late nineteenth-century Cambridge

Lang, Sean F. (2013) “I have never known such undisguised arson”: the Ladysmith Rag, the Mafeking Bonfire and the battle for order in late nineteenth-century Cambridge. (Draft)

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Abstract

The celebrations in Cambridge to welcome the relief of Ladysmith in March 1900 took the form of a huge illegal bonfire erected in the town market place by students and townspeople, fed by wood taken without permission from public and private buildings in the city and accompanied by a firework fight. This was the third such bonfire to be lit in the market place in almost as many years, and it contributed to a crisis developing in the city over the extent and effectiveness of the control exercised at street level by both the town and the university authorities. The crisis sparked off by the relief of Ladysmith gave particular importance to the preparations being made for the expected relief of Mafeking later in the year, which became the vehicle for an effective reassertion of authority and control by the town council. The article also considers the way in which the bonfires reflected conflicting perceptions of masculinity and the long-running rivalry between the university and the town.

Item Type: Journal Article
Additional Information: Citation: Lang, S.F., 2013. I have never known such undisguised arson: the Ladysmith Rag, the Mafeking Bonfire and the battle for order in late nineteenth-century Cambridge..
Faculty: Faculty of Arts, Law & Social Sciences
Depositing User: Mr I Walker
Date Deposited: 05 Nov 2013 10:46
Last Modified: 07 Jul 2016 12:51
URI: http://arro.anglia.ac.uk/id/eprint/304963

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