Podcast: C18th chat-up lines, with Dan Snow

Happy Valentine's Day! To celebrate, a look back at my chat with Dan Snow about love, romance and sex in the 18th century, including some of my favourite historical chat-up lines & a bit of a swoon over Sharpe and/or Mr Darcy. Podcast link below: History Hit Valentine's Day Special: Emily Brand on Love &... Continue Reading →


Dating disasters of the Regency era

Confession: First Dates is my televisual jam. (For the uninitiated, in brief: strangers are set up on dates at a London restaurant by a suave Frenchman called Fred {above}, said date is filmed, & they are then subjected to having their dating style reviewed. It’s hugely high-brow.) From teenagers looking for their first love to... Continue Reading →

In love with Lord Byron

On My Thirty-Third Birthday JANUARY 22 1821  Through life’s dull road, so dim and dirty, I have dragg’d to three-and-thirty. What have these years left to me? Nothing – except thirty-three. Lord Byron did not like birthdays. He intentionally avoided his own 21st and 24th parties, and considering how miserable he was at the prospect... Continue Reading →


Beauty, Sex & Power at the Restoration Court

... Or, what not to read on a packed bus. I don't often harp on here about things written recently (or, you know, since the Crimean War), but I SO enjoyed this romp of a book that I thought I'd give a little sneak peek at it. It was published to accompany an exhibition on the... Continue Reading →


Beware, gents: A pair of Mantraps! 1780s

Just wanted to share these two lovely prints, depicting a couple of women of dubious morals, or 'MANTRAPS' as the artists have it.  The images are obviously meant to titillate, but the warning is clear, gentlemen: giving into such a temptation could be your ruin! The first dates to 1780 and shows a fashionable (and rather... Continue Reading →


Exhibition: Ruin & Reputation in the Georgian Era

Last week i was delighted to find myself with an invite to the launch of a new exhibition at No.1 Royal Crescent, Bath, curated by historian Hallie Rubenhold. Without wanting to give away all of its secrets, here is a little sneak preview... The exhibition inhabits two modest rooms in this lovely Georgian town house (which... Continue Reading →


Two at a Time for a Shilling! (1798)

... Clearly the gentleman doesn't have expensive taste. - 'The Economy of Love, or Two at a Time for a Shilling', attributed to Richard Newton. Courtesy of the Lewis Walpole Library.


The reluctant father: An c18th joke

'A girl big with child had two gallants, one with a wooden leg; the question was put, which, he who had the wooden leg, offered to decide it thus: "If the child (says he) comes into the world with a wooden leg, it is mine, if not it must be yours."'   - from 'The... Continue Reading →


Sex & The c17th City

The tendency of women to gossip about their sex lives with their friends has set men a-fretting for centuries. Far from being a phenomenon of the 'Sex & the City' era, women of the seventeenth century were just as likely to have intimate discussions about their man's skills and equipment, past experiences, how to keep... Continue Reading →


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