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Inebriated women clearly do not make the most delicate wives and sweethearts. This satire on drunkenness in the fairer sex, published in 1795, depicts eight ladies young and old drinking gin, falling over, vomiting and walking into things (also featuring the occasional disgruntled gent).

The print is vaguely reminiscent of Thomas Nashe’s ‘The Eight Kindes of Drunkenes’ (1592). Contemplation of both sources – added to my own experience of various public houses in the modern era  – leads me to the conclusion that the effects of excessive drinking have changed very little in the course of their long (if not exactly illustrious) history. [if you remain unconvinced, I recommend that you peruse these images and treat yourself to a night out in Retford]

According to Newton, the eight species of drunken women run thus:

1. The one who just wants ALL THE GIN

GIN

2. The one who has trouble staying upright

fall

3. The one who gets in a grump and hurls abuse at passers-by

grump

4. The puker

puke

5. The one who loudly rampages around town, paying no heed to her state of (un)dress

undress

6. The one who demands to be carried about ‘like a princess’

princess

7. The one who finds the immovable object and crashes into it

smash

aaand finally…..

8.The one who can outdrink her boyfriend

boyf

full print

- ‘Samples of Sweethearts and Wives’ by Richard Newton, 23rd July 1795 (courtesy of the Lewis Walpole Library)

3 thoughts on “Why drunk women don’t make good sweethearts, 1795

  1. Pingback: Why drunk women don’t make good sweethearts, 1795 | ART + HISTORY

  2. Pingback: Sunday Morning Medicine | Nursing Clio

  3. Pingback: Merkwaardig (week 41) | www.weyerman.nl

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