The social historian of life and labour in Victorian and Georgian Britain John G Rule has died at age 67. Rule was part of a group of young historians who worked under the famous historian E.P. Thompson at the University of Warwick in the 1960s. Among Rule's many prestigious academic achievements is his remarkable chapter on "Wrecking and Coastal Plunder" in Albion's Fatal Tree: Crime and Society in Eighteenth-Century England. His obituary in the Guardian describes his contribution to this collection as follows:
John's contribution to the seminal collection Albion's Fatal Tree (1975) restored to history those Cornish coastal communities which, during the 18th century, accepted the flotsam and jetsam of the sea as a natural bounty to which no laws of property attached; and he destroyed the romantic myth of the Cornish wreckers with their false lights.