The representation and experience of English urban fire disasters, c.1580–1640

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Fire disasters were a perennial threat to urban life in early modern England, but are yet to receive sustained attention from historians. By analysing popular literature, charitable collections and relief distribution this article reveals how urban fires were interpreted and what effect they had on individuals and specific communities in England between 1580 and 1640. Some aspects of the experience of fire disasters in early modern England are illuminated through detailed contextual readings of contemporary news reports, quantitative analyses of the collection and distribution of charitable funds, and attention to the fortunes of individual survivors of fires.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)268-293
Number of pages26
JournalHistorical Research
Issue number244
Early online date18 Apr 2016
Publication statusPublished - May 2016

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