Reader in Early Modern History
School of History, Classics and Archaeology, Newcastle University
I specialise in British history circa 1660 to 1800, and have a particular interest in social, cultural and economic history. My research and teaching are closely linked, and cover a wide range of themes, from the history of how a new kind of consumer society emerged in Britain during the eighteenth century, to how global trade and economics shaped personal experiences, families and communities. The following areas are my pet subjects: the history of the mass media - the rise of newspapers and periodicals that reflected and informed public debates from the late-seventeenth century onwards; coffee house sociability and politeness; the history of gender and sexuality, particularly in the shifting definitions of marriage over time. Having benefitted from working for several years with fellow historians and archaeologists at Newcastle University who have particular expertise in World History, I am passionate about encouraging people to think more broadly about British history in a global context. My most recent book, The Castrato and His Wife (Oxford: OUP, 2011) is a microhistory that - among other things - explores the impact of Italian culture in the British Isles. In addition to my books and articles which explore various national and international perspectives on British history, I have also published widely on the history of North-East England, on subjects ranging from high-design glassware and regional identity, to architectural style and taste in Newcastle. An ongoing interest in transdisciplinary research, landscape history and the Tyne river system has led to my participation in the 'Rivers of the Anthropocene' project (see 'Projects').
I have supervised and continue to supervise PhD students (domestic and international) on a range of topics, from the history of women and the newspaper press in Georgian England, to the development of the architectural profession in eighteenth-century Newcastle. I welcome inquiries from prospective PhD applicants with interests that fall within my areas of research expertise.
BA (Hons) History - University of Durham
PhD History - University of Cambridge
Memberships and Honorary Appointments
FRHistS - Fellow of the Royal Historical Society
FRSA - Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce
International Scholar, School of Liberal Arts, Indiana University, IUPUI
Roles and Responsibilities
Director of Postgraduate Studies
For previous research, see Publications.
My next book, Orphans of Empire: the Fate of London's Foundlings, will explore the history of welfare in Britain in the first era of global British imperialism. Little is currently known about the fate of the children of London's Foundling Hospital, from its foundation in 1739, through to the Poor Law Act of 1834. This book will trace what happened to those who survived the experience of being raised in Europe's first secular corporation designed to 'save' children for the nation, funded at first by private philanthropy, then state aid, and finally the profits of investment and venture capitalism. The book will explore the broader issue of whether the vision of the Hospital's founder, Thomas Coram, was eventually realised, and the historical parallels between this early experiment in charitable welfare provision and current debates in our own time about the role of the state versus private philanthropy in caring for the most vulnerable members of society. (See link below for more details).
Inspirational Women of North-East England: Past, Present, Future
Project Leader(s): Helen Berry
Rivers of the Anthropocene: Part I - The Ohio/Tyne Rivers
Project Leader(s): Helen Berry, Jason M. Kelly (IUPUI), Phil Scarpino (IUPUI)
The London Foundling Hospital: Impact and Legacy, 1750-1850
Project Leader(s): Professor Helen Berry (PI)
HIS1044 Aspects of British History
HIS2031 Between Revolutions: Britain 1688-1789 (Stage 2, module leader)
HIS2123 Family, Sex and Society in Early Modern England (Stage 2, module leader)
HIS3278 The Birth of a Consumer Society: England 1714-1820 (Stage 3, module leader)
HIS3010 Writing History (Stage 3)
HIS8026 Pathways in British History
HIS8104 Ideas and Influences in British History
Semester 1 2014/15
Wednesdays 11am – 12 noon
Thursdays 11am – 1pm
With the following exceptions:
Week 1 Thursday office hours (2 October) will be 12 noon-1pm and 4-5pm
Week 2 Thursday office hours (9 October) will be 12 noon-1pm and 4-5pm
Week 4 Wednesday office hour (22 October) will be 10am-11am
Week 9 Wednesday office hours (26 Nov) 9am-12 noon. No office hours on Thursday 27 Nov (field trip)
- Berry H. The Pleasures of Austerity. Journal for Eighteenth-Century Studies 2014, 37(2), 261-277.
- Berry H. Queering the History of Marriage: the Social Recognition of a Castrato Husband in Eighteenth-Century Britain. History Workshop Journal 2012, 74(1), 27-50.
- Berry H. The Castrato and His Wife. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011.
- Berry H. Gender, Sexuality and the Consumption of Musical Culture in Eighteenth-Century London. In: Hindle, Steve; Shepard, Alexandra; and Walter, John, ed. Remaking English Society: Social Relations and Social Change in Early Modern England. Woodbridge and Rochester, NY: The Boydell Press, 2013, pp.65-87.
- Berry H. William Hutchinson and the Creation of British National Identity. In: Faulkner, T., Berry, H. and Gregory, J, ed. Northern Landscapes: Representations and Realities of North-East England. London: Boydell and Brewer, 2010.
- Faulkner T, Berry H, Gregory J, ed. Northern Landscapes: Representations and Realities of North-East England. London: Boydell and Brewer, 2010.
- Berry H. Regional Identity and Material Culture. In: Harvey, K, ed. History and Material Culture: A Student's Guide to Approaching Alternative Sources. London and New York: Routledge, 2009, pp.139-157.
- Berry H, Foyster E. The Family in Early Modern England. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007.
- Berry H. Gender, Society and Print Culture in Late-Stuart England : The cultural world of the Athenian Mercury. Aldershot: Ashgate, 2003.
- Berry H. 'Lawful Kisses? Sexual ambiguity and platonic friendship in England c.1660-1720'. In: Karen Harvey, ed. The Kiss in History. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2005, pp.62-79.
- Berry H. Women, consumption and taste. In: Hannah Barker and Elaine Chalus, ed. Women’s History: Britain, 1700-1850. London: Routledge, 2005.
- Berry H. Crimes of Conscience: the Last Will and Testament of John Dunton. In: Robin Myers, Michael Harris and Giles Mandlebrote, ed. Against the Law: Crime, Sharp Practice and the Control of Print. New York and London: Oak Knoll and the British Library, 2004, pp.81-102.
- Berry H. Sense and singularity: the social experiences of John Marsh and Thomas Stutterd in late-Georgian England. In: Barry, J. and French, H.R, ed. Identity and Agency in England, 1500-1800. London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2004, pp.178-199.
- Berry H. Creating Polite Space: The Organisation and Social Function of the Newcastle Assembly Rooms. In: Helen Berry and Jeremy Gregory, ed. Creating and Consuming Culture in North-East England, 1660-1830. Aldershot: Ashgate, 2004, pp.120-140.
- Berry H. Prudent Luxury: the Metropolitan Tastes of Judith Baker, Durham gentlewoman. In: Rosemary Sweet and Penelope Lane, ed. Women and Urban Life in Eighteenth-Century England. Aldershot: Ashgate, 2003, pp.131-56.
- Berry H. Promoting taste in the provincial press: national and local culture in eighteenth-century Newcastle upon Tyne. British Journal for Eighteenth-Century Studies 2002, 25, 1-17.
- Berry HM. Polite consumption: shopping in eighteenth century England. Transactions of the Royal Historical Society 2002, Sixth series(12), 375-394.
- Berry H. Rethinking Politeness in Eighteenth Century England: Moll King's Coffee House and the Significance of 'Flash Talk': The Alexander Prize Lecture. Transactions of the Royal Historical Society 2001, 6(11), 65-81.
- Berry HM. 'All Englands Rarityes Are Gathered Here': the World of the Athenian Mercury. Biblion 2000, 8(2), 23-44.
- Berry HM. An Early Coffee House Periodical and its Readers: the Athenian Mercury 1691-1697. The London Journal 2000, 25(1), 14-33.
- Berry H. Men and the emergence of polite society, Britain 1660-1800. History Workshop Journal 2001, (52), 283-286.
- Berry H. Gertrude Bell - Pioneer, Anti-Suffragist, Feminist Icon?. Proceedings of the British Academy 2015. Submitted.
- Berry H. The Great Tyne Flood of 1771: Community Responses to an Environmental Crisis in the Early Anthropocene. In: Berry, H.; Kelly, J.; Meybeck, M. and Scarpino, P, ed. Rivers of the Anthropocene. Oakland, CA: University of California, 2015. In Preparation.