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The Lord Cornbury Scandal: The Politics of Reputation in British America (Published for the Omohundro Institute of Early American History & Culture) Paperback – February 28, 2000

ISBN-13: 978-0807848692 ISBN-10: 0807848697

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The Lord Cornbury Scandal: The Politics of Reputation in British America (Published for the Omohundro Institute of Early American History & Culture) + American Colonies: The Settling of North America, Vol. 1
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press (February 28, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0807848697
  • ISBN-13: 978-0807848692
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.8 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,131,176 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

A model of historical investigation.Edmund S. Morgan, "New York Review of Books"

Book Description

"[This book] will appeal to a general audience who enjoys a good story populated with colorful characters, and more importantly, to all who are interested in the ways our histories are produced. For students of colonial America, Bonomi's mastery of the cultural and linguistic complexities of the political scene in New York and England during the turbulent decades surrounding the turn of the eighteenth century will provide ample rewards."--Journal of the History of Sexuality

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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Sarah Marie Parker-Allen on May 16, 2000
Format: Paperback
The support community for heterosexual male transvestites in Vancouver, British Columbia, calls itself The Cornbury Society. The organization, like New York's famous Hyde Park, has taken upon itself the name of the third Earl of Clarendon, Edward Hyde, the Lord Cornbury, royal governor of New Jersey and New York from 1702 to 1708. These men, like most historians from the mid-19th century forward, believe that Governor Hyde was an exhibitionistic cross-dresser, who attended his own wife's funeral dressed in women's clothing, and cavorted about in society dressed as a woman, to the horror and condemnation of hundreds of spectators. This has been the historical legacy of Hyde for over 150 years, and it is Patricia Bonomi's task to not only refute these (and other) rumors, but illuminate the condition of politics and political discourse in the 18th century, and expose a long-standing bias in American history against royalists in general, and Tory governors in particular. She does this all in an engaging and descriptive manner, though with perhaps an insufficient degree of explanation of basic terminology and concepts (for example, she does not explain what she means by "Grub Street Press," a fundamental concept used from the first chapter forward, until page 102), and a organizational structure that seems to lack both organization and structure. There are three areas from which criticism of Governor Hyde has always stemmed. The most infamous is a portrait said to be of him, dressed in women's attire, now hanging in the halls of the New-York Historical Society, a portrait with which there is no connection to the Governor until many decades after his death.Read more ›
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Philip Leetch on October 21, 2005
Format: Paperback
The writer does indeed show how easily stories get garbled and tales get passed on as history. A great deal of scepticism or, at least, critical awareness is needed when looking at the past. This is a very readable and lucid book.
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7 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 12, 2001
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The author argues convincingly that stories of Lord Cornbury's cross-dressing were only rumors. She offers some explanations as to why such rumors might have started but fails to consider one plausible explanation-- they were true. As evidence that the charges were untrue, the author cites the four letters which described Cornbury's behavior. Each was written by someone who disliked the colonial governor. Cornbury probably did not attend public functions in women's clothes. Rumors do tend to be embellished with each re-telling. The fact that someone has enemies, however, does not mean he can not also be a transvestite, consider J. Edgar Hoover. The fact that his enemies would be more likely to comment than his friends seems hardly surprising.
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