Rachel Weil, Cornell University

Professor Ithaca, New York rjw5@cornell.edu Office: (607) 255-8897

Bio/Research

I work on the political, cultural, intellectual and gender history of early modern England. My first book, Political Passions: Gender, the Family and Political Argument in England 1680-1714 (2000), asked how the ways that people thought about women, gender and the family might shape or in turn be...

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Bio/Research

I work on the political, cultural, intellectual and gender history of early modern England. My first book, Political Passions: Gender, the Family and Political Argument in England 1680-1714 (2000), asked how the ways that people thought about women, gender and the family might shape or in turn be shaped by political struggles over legitimacy, inheritance, royal favorites and highly politicized concepts of public and private. In 2013 I published A Plague of Informers: Conspiracy and Political Trust in William III's England, which takes another set of problems not normally written about in the context of political history -- what or whom can one trust? -- and explores how these problems were expressed and addressed in the turbulent years following the Revolution of 1688, when the new Williamite regime struggled to obtain the trust of subjects even as it relied upon methods (such as the use of paid informers and suspension of habeas corpus) which contradicted its legitimating claim to restore liberty to the English. Plague of Informers also digs deep into social history, reconstructing as far as possible the lives and motivations of the relatively humble men and women who presented information about plots (or sham-plots) to government officials.

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